• Question: Can you be an engineer but then later on in life do something completely different?

    Asked by hemmo to Urvashi, Rachel, Naomi, Louise, Billy on 11 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Naomi Green

      Naomi Green answered on 11 Mar 2015:

      Hi Hemmo

      Yes I think so. Firstly there is always time in your life to change career. When you are a teenager there is a lot of pressure to decide what you want to study at University and then what you want to do for a career. My brother has gone from being a clown, to designing websites, to running his own business, to working for in the City of London for a major bank! So there is always time to change.

      However back to engineering. Engineering degree courses teach you lots of skills not just the technical knowledge that you need. You learn to work well in a team, you learn to solve problems quickly and efficiently, you learn business skills like accounting and project management, you have to learn to communicate well by writing reports and giving presentations. So there are lots of non technical skills you will learn which employers really value. You’d be well placed to work in logistics, finance, accounting, technical sales, teaching or academia, buying and procurement, operations management and I’m sure many more things than that!

    • Photo: Billy Hicks

      Billy Hicks answered on 11 Mar 2015:

      Hi Hemmo, I couldn’t agree more with what Naomi said!
      Studying Engineering at university teaches you so many skills and you have so many different experiences that you will be able to find out exactly what you like doing and find a job doing that sort of thing. There will always be opportunities to change career or refocus on something new, but engineering covers such a variety of topics you will probably have some experience of most things!

    • Photo: Rachel Pallan

      Rachel Pallan answered on 16 Mar 2015:

      Hi hemmo

      Naomi is complete right. I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was little and as much as I love my engineering I still think one day I will move into teaching and the skills I need for that I have learnt through engineering as well even though I didn’t realise it until after my degree. Also being a teacher I will still be able to use my engineering to teach maths or physics so I will hopefully get the best of both worlds

    • Photo: Louise France

      Louise France answered on 16 Mar 2015:

      Hi Hemma

      Absolutely! I think trying to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life when you are only 14/15 is actually really scary! Engineering is a fantastic career to choose to start with though. You will learn all sorts of skills such as problem solving, team management, team work, project management, communication skills..the list is endless! Obviously you will also be taught how to use engineering specific skills too, but those mentioned above are transferable into all walks of life.

      When I graduated, only about a third of my class went on to be engineers! (Thats around 30 people out of a class of 90). Employers look favourably on people with an engineering degree as it requires commitment, hard work and is a recognition of your intellect!

      Dont be afraid of changing your mind 🙂