The UK has great strengths in its engineering, technology and design sectors, being world leaders in areas such as aerospace, motor sports and energy. Demand for jobs has been created by new technologies, particularly nanotechnology, and graduates can find employment across a whole range of manufacturing and service industries from food and fashion to construction and transport. Engineering is also central to the growth of the low carbon economy. The Department for Energy and Climate Change estimates that the renewable energy sector alone could create 500,000 new jobs by 2020.
There are opportunities in research, design and development, commissioning, project management, technical sales and marketing, technical journalism and patent work. UK trained engineers are in demand for projects abroad and as employees of international firms; and with the right experience and qualifications you can also work as a self-employed consultant.
STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths): predicted growth areas
- nuclear engineering
- petroleum engineering
- nanotechnology and biotechnology
- aerospace, space technology and exploration
- civil engineering
- biomedical engineering
- creative industries
- automotive industry (low carbon vehicle development in particular).
Women in Engineering
Campaigns such as WISE (Women into Science, Engineering and Construction) have emerged to tackle the low rates of women in STEM subjects and a growing skills shortage. Several large companies and professional organisations also have mentoring schemes for women. The Women's Engineering Society is a professional network of women engineers, scientists and technologists offering inspiration and support to women entering the profession.
Understanding the engineering jobs market
For sector news, analysis and information visit The Engineering Council and SEMTA websites (SEMTA is the sector skills council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing). For information about typical jobs within the sector – including day-to-day activities, the qualifications you need and what you might expect to earn – visit the Prospects careers website. If you live in Ireland look at the relevant information on career sectors and jobs with your degree on the GradIreland website.