Engineering lies at the heart of everything we do in this country – from the machines and equipment we use to roads we drive on, vehicles we travel in and houses we live in.
To meet demand, engineering companies need to recruit 2.56m people before 2022, creating 275,000 new vacancies.
Engineers come in many varieties and work for a huge range of different employers. There’s a job for you whether you want to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, keep people around the world supplied with fresh water and sanitation, build fabulous bridges or just make your favourite mode of transport go even faster.
Practically everything man-made has had some input from engineers in terms of its design and creation – and often in its maintenance and improvement too. The modern world could not function without them.
Engineering is a vast field, so most engineers specialise in a particular knowledge area, also known as a discipline.
Most engineering degrees focus on one particular discipline (though there are some that let you try a bit of everything) and graduate recruiters typically specify which engineering degree disciplines they accept. Higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships usually start to channel you into a particular discipline. So you need to be aware of the options before you apply for university or for school leaver programmes.
These are some of the most common disciplines.
- Mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineers understand how forces act on solid objects, how liquids and gases behave, and how energy is converted from one form to another. Mechanical engineers use this knowledge to design machines that can cope with the forces they are placed under and to develop systems such as pumps, fans, turbines and power plants.
- Civil engineering. Civil engineers understand how to design, construct and maintain the man-made parts of our environment. These include buildings, bridges, roads, railways, dams, tunnels and airports. Civil engineers need to understand how forces act on objects and how fluids behave, including how this relates to geology.
- Electrical engineering. Electrical engineers understand how electricity works and how to generate and use it. They might be involved in generating electricity from renewable resources, working in a traditional power station, helping to electrify a railway line or providing a building with heating and power, among other job options.
- Electronic engineering. Electronic engineers understand how electronic components can be used in electrical circuits to affect their behaviour. Sophisticated circuits are useful in areas such as communication, navigation, medical technology and manufacturing technology.
- Chemical engineering. Chemical engineers understand both how chemicals react to form new substances and how the facilities work that perform these reactions on an industrial scale. These facilities produce a vast array of everyday products, including food, fertiliser, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, plastics and petrol.
The Mosslands School Sixth Form works exclusively with The Engineering College offering two courses for students to follow. Go to https://www.theengineeringcollege.co.uk/ to find out more.