Careers Advice For Civil And Structural Engineering Graduates
It’s not long now before the end of term and engineering students across the country will soon be graduates thinking, “What’s next?” If you’ve thinking about a career in civil or structural engineering you may already have applied for a graduate scheme, if not there are other options to start pursuing now.
But first off, if you haven’t already it’s time to knuckle down and get those finals out of the way. If you can secure a 2.1 as opposed to a Desmond (2.2), you’ll open up more civil and structural engineering job opportunities right from the start.
Civil And Structural Engineering Graduate Schemes
Some of the larger construction and engineering firms still have graduate schemes open for applications this year. However deadlines are tight, with most ending on June 30th. You’ll need to act fast once your exams are over if you want to get an application in on time.
You may also find that some companies have not managed to fill their graduate schemes, or graduates have turned down their place since initially applying. These may not be the most popular schemes, but could give you that first step on the career ladder.
Civil And Structural Engineering Internships
Another approach is to look for graduate internships with a view to getting some valuable experience that could improve your long term employment chances. Moreover, many companies offering internships look to recruit permanent staff, handpicking the most talented graduates.
Civil And Structural Engineering Jobs With Smaller Firms
While working for a big ‘name’ may be an attractive proposition, there are numerous smaller firms that can give you a great start in your civil or structural engineering career. These employers could have a vacancy at any time of year, so don’t get too hung up on starting a job in September. You may have to curtail your plans for the summer holidays if the right opportunity comes up!
Salaries are generally comparable to graduate schemes, and employers will often support you if you want to work towards Chartership. Unlike graduate schemes, training is ‘on the job’ and you could progress much faster than in an approved scheme.
Have a look here to see what graduate civil and structural engineering jobs we’re currently recruiting for.
Once you’ve graduated, if you haven’t managed to get a place on a scheme or a job in your field, it’s worth considering what you can do to make yourself more attractive to potential employers. Have a look at the list of skills required for many graduate jobs and see what you areas you could improve in. For example if your ideal job requires experience using software you’re not familiar with, get exposure to it.
Consider getting work experience in a company for a short amount of time so you can build on these important skills: you never know, work experience can also be a route to a job.
Even when advertised as a ‘graduate’ job, many employers are still looking for up to 2 years experience. This can be very demoralising if you’ve only just graduated, but there are ways to gain this experience. Any internship or work experience you’ve done during your studies can be added to the ‘experience’ section of your CV, and subsequently any further work experience once you’ve graduated.
You may also like to consider volunteering abroad and gaining civil or structural engineering experience on non-profit projects. These can not only give you valuable practical experience, but also really differentiate your CV from other candidates.
If you’re planning to start your job search once you graduate, remember to keep checking specialist recruiters’ websites and online job boards regularly. Opportunities can come up at any time, and you want to be the first to hear about them.
You can also register your details and CV with a civil and structural engineering recruitment agency, so they can contact you when a suitable vacancy occurs.