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Explore your career options

  • Explore your career options

Destinations of QUB graduates

A survey of graduates 6 months after graduation reveals that QUB graduates from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have recently gone into the following roles…

Mechanical Engineering (Jobs): Energy Market Analyst, Pressure Systems Engineer, Implementation Engineer, Automotive Engineer, Quality Engineer, Graduate Systems Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Drilling Engineer, Design Engineer, Graduate Project Design Engineer, Graduate Custom Care Engineer, Graduate Design Engineer, M&E Technician, Process Engineer, Project Design Engineer, Data Analyst, Special Projects Assistant, Graduate Powertrain Engineer, CAD Design Technician, Production Planner, Graduate Manufacturing Engineer, Operations Graduate, Graduate Deisgn Technician, Graduate Management Trainee, KTP Associate, Integrated Logistics Support Engineer, Mechanical Design Engineer, Powertrain Design Engineer, Project Manager.

Mechanical Engineering (Further Study includes): MSc Robotics, MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering, PhD Mechanical Engineering, PG Diploma Accounting, MSc Manufacturing and System Management, PGCE Mathematics, MSc Engineering with Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

Aerospace Engineering (Jobs): Lean Operations Graduate, Structures Graduate, Senior Design Engineer, Graduate Engineer, Financial Analyst, Data Scientist, Graduate Engineer, Production Planner, Mechanical Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer 

Aerospace Engineering (Further Study): MSc Advanced Aerospace Engineering, PhD Aerospace Engineering, Data Analytics, MSc Aeronautics, Aeronautics and Space Engineering.  

As with all programmes at all universities, some graduates have not gone into graduate level work. Recent roles have included: Customer Services Adviser, Sales Assistant and Ward Clerk. 

There can be many reasons to explain this including saving for further study, getting relevant work experience, wanting to take some time-out, but often it is due to a lack of career planning prior to graduating. Reviewing these careers resources and taking advantage of opportunities to Go Further will help to ensure that you fulfil your career potential. If you wish to book an appointment to discuss your options and plan your career you can do this through myfuture.

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Engineering and Manufacturing

Prospects: Engineering and Manufacturing will provide an overview of this thriving sector. Engineering graduates can choose to work within a vast range of fields including the automotive industry, aerospace, food and drink manufacturing, the pharmaceutical industry and the energy sector to name a few. To understand how roles may vary by sector take a look at Target Jobs: What can you do with a Mechanical Engineering degree?

You may also choose to specialise in a specific area of engineering in roles such as Maintenance Engineer or Materials Engineer.

As a student any engineering-related work experience you can acquire is really beneficial and most of the larger employers offer internship and placement opportunities. There is a large and diverse range of employers offering work experience and graduate opportunities to engineering students, popular employers are listed on The Guardian UK 2016/17 300 and you can review websites such as Gradcracker to become familiar with the employers who hire student engineers. 

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Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineers are predominantly involved in the design, development and maintenance of aircraft, but may also work with satellites and missiles. TargetJobs: Engineering provides an overview of aerospace engineering and the Careers in Aerospace website provides a directory of employers working in the aerospace industry and an overview of the career areas/specialisms within the sector. The Royal Aeronautical Society also host a Jobs Board and information on ongoing professional development. Students interested in space careers can find more information on Space Careers UK

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Automotive Engineering

Automotive engineers design, develop and manufacture all types of vehicles. This is a popular career choice for engineers and there are many employers within this area of work offering placement and graduate opportunities. Top employers include Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes AMG, Nissan, and McLaren.

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Product Design Engineering

Prospects: Industrial/product designer provides an overview of this role. Opportunities exist with large employers, specialist design agencies or on a freelance basis once you have built up a portfolio of work. 

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Energy Engineering

Energy engineering is a growth area as industry strives to find renewable and alternative energy sources. Energy Careers provides a good overview of the industry and has a catalogue of job profiles associated with the sector. Prospects: Energy Engineer provides further career and sector information. 

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Nuclear Engineering

Prospects: Nuclear Engineer provides a good overview of the role. The Nuclear Institute, a membership organisation for those working in this sector, produce a UK Nuclear Industry Booklet which provides a basic overview. The Nuclear Graduates scheme usually runs every year and recruits graduates for a variety of employers. 

 

Petroleum Engineer

If you are interested in working overseas this may be the career area for you. My Oil and Gas Career includes a career section detailing different roles within the sector, information about employers and vacancies. The Society of Petroleum Engineers and Prospects: Petroleum Engineer both provide further sector and career information. 

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Civil Service and Public Sector roles

The Civil Service Fast Stream is an accelerated training and development programme for graduates, placing them into a variety of departments within the Civil Service. There are various recruitment streams available including a Science and Engineering stream. Locally opportunities may exist with the Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland Training Scheme for engineers within their Graduate Engineering Training Scheme.

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Research

If you are interesting in contributing to the body of knowledge about your subject, a career in research is worth considering. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council offer funding to students interested in further study. Research Councils UK have a collection of case studies of researchers which give an insight into life as a researcher and the different career paths some researchers take. An Academic Career provides more information about careers in research. A postgraduate qualification (most often a PhD) is likely to be required.  Jobs and some PhD studentships can be found on Jobs.ac.uk. More PhD opportunities can be found on findaphd.com.

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Teaching

In Schools: A recognised teaching qualification is essential to find work in this area. The Department of Education Northern Ireland has general details about Initial Teacher Education (which includes the PGCE). The Universities and Colleges offering the training also have information on their websites which include how to apply and the closing dates. Ulster University offer a PGCE in Technology and Design

PGCE courses are competitive to get into so interested students are recommended to: 

  • Gain experience of working with young people of the age group you hope to teach – usually gained through voluntary work.
  • Get an insight into what work as a teacher is like by trying to arrange to speak to a teacher to ask them about their job and try to get some classroom observation experience. You may also be able to arrange visits through personal contacts or with schools where you were taught. It may be possible to arrange with a local school via a speculative application.
  • Keep up-to-date with what’s happening in Education via the Times Education Supplement and the Guardian’s Education section.
  • Apply early.
  • These interview tips are useful when preparing for the course interview.

The Teach First Leadership Development Programme recruits high achieving graduates to work as teachers in some of the most disadvantaged schools in England and Wales.  Its 2 year programme combines this work with business skills training, internship and mentoring opportunities. At the end of the programme around 50% stay in the teaching profession in a leadership position, the other 50% are readily employed in a variety of business areas.

The JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme is an official and prestigious Japanese government scheme that sends graduates to Japan in order to promote international understanding at grass-roots level and to improve foreign language teaching in schools. Although participants teach English to school pupils, applicants for the programme can come from any degree discipline providing they hold a full UK passport.  It is a tough application process that begins in the October preceding the departure the following summer.

Also take a look at some of the teaching/tutoring opportunities available from the British Council such as Teach in India 

In Colleges: Further Education Colleges will sometimes hire people to teach without formal teaching qualifications. These teachers will often be expected to work towards a teaching qualification and will be expected to have other relevant (sometimes vocational) qualifications and experience to offer. Colleges list job vacancies on their own websites. You can find a list of acceptable qualifications on the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland website.

In Higher Education: University lecturers will normally be expected to have or be working towards a PhD. An Academic Career provides more information about this career route. Jobs and some PhD studentships can be found on Jobs.ac.uk. More PhD opportunities can be found on findaphd.com.

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Accountancy, Banking, Finance and Management Consultancy

This broad sector covers a range of different roles including Accountant, Investment Banker, Retail Banker, Insurance Broker, Pensions Consultant and Financial Adviser. Prospects: Accountancy, Banking and Finance has role profiles with more details about each of these areas.  A number of large professional services firms offer a range of graduate opportunities including Management Consultancy and Accountancy. These firms are interested in a broad range of graduates and interested students are recommended to find opportunities to build their commercial awareness and business understanding.

 

There are lots of opportunities to gain relevant experience in these areas while you are a student:

  • Some organisations (e.g. PwC) run 2 day Talent Academies for Level 1 students (application deadlines are often in Semester 1);
  • There are lots of summer internship opportunities for Level 2 students (application deadlines are often in Semester 1);
  • Graduate schemes in this area are usually open to graduates of any degree discipline.

Any additional opportunities to develop your business/commercial awareness such as City Scholars, the London Finance Study Tour, Stock Market Challenge and Insight into Management would be beneficial. Keep an eye on MyFuture for details.

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General Graduate Options

Approximately 50% of graduate vacancies are open graduates of any subject. Some may require some additional, specialist, post-graduate training but some do not. The list is extensive but includes fields as diverse as accountancy, general management, human resources and recruitment consultancy.  You can find a list of websites which advertise these opportunities below under General graduate opportunities.