Careers in Engineering

Upon Graduation, students from the School of Engineering will find many career options open up to them.  Whether in research or industry, our students have a bright future in Engineering and beyond. 

Students at Edinburgh are supported by the University’s Careers Service, which actively partners with the School of Engineering in helping our students to explore options, reflect on their interests and needs, gain experience and ultimately transition into graduate roles and/or further study.  The Service provides a wide and comprehensive range of information on career choice, employers, further study and funding, drafting CVs and applications, preparing for interviews and assessment centres and much more.  

There are two specific careers consultants supporting students in the School of Engineering.  They provide both course-based careers education as well as individual careers appointments.  One-to-one appointments are confidential and totally impartial, so whether you have a clear career plan mapped out or have absolutely no idea where to go after university, they'll help you to explore the different opportunities and options open to you.

Careers Input to Degrees

Careers consultants typically provide the following sessions to students in class time:

  • Year 1 – How to make the most of university to boost your career
  • Year 2 – What can you do with your degree – career options
  • Year 3 – Looking for internships, placements & jobs; Effective CVs & covering letters; Preparing for interviews
  • Year 4 – Preparing for your MEng placement
  • Year 5 – After your placement: selling it to employers

Additional workshops offered outwith curriculum time include: Using LinkedIn; Succeeding with application forms; Practice assessment centres.

Engineering Careers Fair

Every November the Careers Service in collaboration with the School of Engineering organises a Careers in Engineering Fair. Around 40 engineering recruiters are invited to speak to our students about summer placements, MEng placements and graduate jobs. In addition there is a major 2-day graduate recruitment fair in October open to students of all subjects across the University, as well as smaller fairs (e.g. Careers in Technology; Law) and themed weeks (e.g. Creative & Cultural Careers Festival; Eco Week) happening throughout the academic year.

There are also regular presentations by employers, keen to recruit Edinburgh students.  Examples include AWE, Dyson, Exxon-Mobil, GSK, Jaguar Land Rover, Mott MacDonald and UK Power Networks.

Student Societies

In addition to the Careers Service and School of Engineering, student societies also play a key role in opening up industry links to students and helping them to develop both engineering-specific and transferable skills.  Some of the 280 or so student societies at Edinburgh include:

Careers in Chemical Engineering

Whilst many chemical engineering graduates still begin their careers working in the chemical or oil industries, or for the engineering contractors who design and build process plants, there is an increasing demand for chemical engineers from less traditional employers. There are growing opportunities for those who wish to use their chemical engineering knowledge directly in food and drink production, the water industry, electronics manufacture, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, personal products and many other areas.

However the breadth and depth of training required to become a practising chemical engineer, with its emphasis on numerate problem-solving and communication skills, is an excellent basis for other careers, for example in IT, finance, accountancy, consultancy, marketing or general management. This wide range of potential employers means that our graduates are exceptionally well placed to find rewarding and lucrative careers. Many others choose to further their studies by proceeding to postgraduate level studying on PhD and MSc courses.

Some of the companies our recent graduates have gone on to work in include: ABInBev, BP, De La Rue, Diageo, ExxonMobil, GSK, Intel, KPMG, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, North Capital Management, Procter & Gamble, SSE, Syngenta and Xodus, among many others.

Careers in Civil Engineering

Edinburgh graduates are in constant demand from the Civil Engineering industry, with most recent graduates having had a choice of job offers on graduating. Many join larger companies on Training Agreements, which provide accelerated progression to Chartered Engineer status with the Institution of Civil Engineers (usually achieved after three to six years' appropriate experience and a professional review). Consulting engineering roles are particularly common, though some opt for contracting engineering or client positions.

Other graduates move outside engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering degrees are among the most widely sought-after by employers of all kinds, with many joining the financial and business sectors. Many others choose to further their studies by proceeding to postgraduate level studying on PhD and MSc courses.

Some of the companies our recent graduates have gone on to work in include: Aecom, Arup, Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Barclays, BP, Cundall, Deloitte, EY, Farrans, Jacobs, Mott MacDonald, Peter Brett Associates, Sweco, Thames Water, Trenton Fire and WSP, among many others.

Careers in Electronics and Electrical Engineering

A degree in an Electronics and Electrical Engineering subject gives a graduate a very wide choice of careers - for example, the requirement for engineers in the communications and power generation industries is far from being met at present, and these shortages are certain to continue for some time. While one of the first job destinations for our graduates is the design industry in the UK, many other employment opportunities exist in such areas as broadcasting, telecommunications, Government research establishments and academic institutions.

The extension of information technology into all forms of business, commerce and health care opens up further opportunities for those who, at any point in their career, decide to take up employment in these new areas. Some of our graduates have found employment in the financial sector and find the training they have been given at Edinburgh invaluable.

Some of the companies our recent graduates have gone on to work in include: Aecom, Arm, Arup, Broadcom, Cirrus Logic, Dialog Semiconductor, EDF Energy, GSK, Jaguar Land Rover, JP Morgan, Leonardo, Maxim Integrated, Metaswitch, Standard Life and ST Microelectronics, among many others.

Careers in Mechanical Engineering

The skills you will gain whilst studying this degree are highly sought after in industry. Recent graduates have left for jobs with companies across a wide range of industries: automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, and renewable energy. Many others choose to further their studies by proceeding to postgraduate level studying on PhD and MSc courses.

Our graduates have not only found employment in industries associated with engineering. A number have moved into areas such as management consulting, where a background in management, along with numeracy and problem-solving skills is highly valued.

Some of the companies our recent graduates have gone on to work in include: Boston Consulting Group, Foster & Partners, GE Aviation, Jaguar Land Rover, Lloyds Banking Group, Max Fordham, Nissan, Ramboll, Renault Sport Racing, RBS, Rolls Royce, Senvion and WSP, among many others.