Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    I wonder whether there really is this shortage of engineers. I have a few mates who did Civil Engineering, they graduated 2007-2008, with 2:1s, they never got jobs in engineering. I don't know the ins and outs of their applications but they always told me there was very little hiring going on, and what hiring there was was competitive to the extreme. I think the shortage in engineering is a shortage of demand for work rather than a shortage of demand for engineers, although it may vary from sector to sector.
    There is a shortage of engineers. What many don't understand though is that a graduate with an engineering degree is not an engineer - he/she is merely a graduate, and the shortage is in engineers, not graduates (and lets face it, graduates of other numerical and scientific degrees could easily be trained to be engineers, too, if needed). It is easier to poach an experienced engineer from someone else than it is to train up a new graduate.

    There is soon to be a massive demand for work in the North Sea, and many of the companies who will be carrying out this work are saying that they cannot get engineers for love nor money. Although it does vary from sector to sector and I do not think that the construction sector is doing too good at the moment.

    About applications, I was always told to network and be in the right place at the right time, and it seems to have worked in finding an internship. Online applications often go into a database that no-one reads. The HR department will usually have enough CVs to hand from students who have written to them and it is these candidates who will be short-listed for interview (if there is one). I talk to engineering students from other universities and their careers advice doesn't seem to put as much emphasis on networking, cold calling and being persistent. A lot are trying their hand at online applications (that are probably not even being read), which are always a bit of a lottery, and I do feel sorry for them.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jimbo1234)
    Got any figures to back that up or are you the one making blind assumptions? :rolleyes:
    Blithe, not blind. And yes, I can provide figures.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...uates-emigrate

    The rate among graduates in Spain is similar to the rate in the UK. The rate among young people more generally exceeds 40%.

    Greece is on about 40%.

    Ireland's overall unemployment rate is about 14%, but among people 15-19 it's 37% and among people 20-24 is 26%. http://cso.ie/releasespublications/d...rrent/qnhs.pdf

    Germany admittedly has a youth unemployment rate of about 8%, but upping sticks and getting work in Germany isn't a realistic option for most British youths--unless they happen to speak excellent German.

    Places with higher unemployment tend to have *worse* unemployment profiles for the young. Germany is slightly different for demographic reasons.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Look it is tough - but i would say where you are failing down is that on paper you are not as good as the other applicants - tough to accept but there it is.

    The only way to get ahead of them at this stage with your predicament is to intern or get relevan experience to the role, seriously - you'll have to tough it out, I'd pick one particular grad job and target companies for experience to get on the CV.

    7 years at PC world makes you sound like a 'muppet'.

    Taking the scattergun approach to grad applications only works if you tick all the boxes - top 20 uni, 3 A's, captian of sports teams or size 8 with symetrical features and big tits.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by slowhand87)
    I would like to know if anyone has a similar experience to me or can offer any pearls of wisdom.

    I graduated last year with a 1:1 in an engineering degree and am currently studying a MSc at a well regarded university. With my MSc due to finish in Sept this year I decided several months ago to start applying for graduate schemes (both engineering and non) and also normal (non-grad) jobs that suit my degree.

    However 6 months and around 40 applications later, I have made one assessment centre and had around 39 rejections. I have been searching for the answers to why this has happened and now it appears that companies only care about A levels!

    I thought that recruiters would clambering to interview me because of my past.

    MY ACADEMIC+WORK RECORD

    - Studying MSc at World Renowned University
    - First Class Honours Degree - Engineering
    -7 Years working part time for a multinational IT Retailer (Technical, Customer Service and Sales Experience)
    -Started and ran my own E-Commerce site for 2 years

    I have worked nearly 20hrs per week since I was 16 whilst studying at University and I thought that these attributes would propel me into great job.

    However it appears that I am being punished for my academic record from 5 years ago. My A-Level results were C,D,E in IT,Maths and Physics. Admittedly these are very poor however I did not work hard enough and realised when starting my degree that I needed to improve.

    When applying for graduate schemes, most required a numerical test of which I always past. I have considered retaking my A-Levels however it seems that organisations do not accept A Level retakes.

    Most companies ask for at least 280 UCAS point however I have under 200 and am being punished for my record 5 years ago. My MSc is also irrelevant due to my college results.

    Having just found out that a friend of mine who obtained a 2:1 at similar ranked University but obtained 360 UCAS points has just been offered an Investment Banking position with a part time MBA degree it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth (considering that he has never has a long term job)

    So...at 23 with what I thought was a very good CV 6 months ago, has now meant that I cannot find employment and no grad-schemes will even listen to me.

    Anyone thinking of going to Uni without 3 A/B A-Levels DO NOT BOTHER AND WASTE THE TIME AND MONEY -
    how did you get into a world renowned uni with those grades?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by davidr123)
    Look it is tough - but i would say where you are failing down is that on paper you are not as good as the other applicants - tough to accept but there it is.

    The only way to get ahead of them at this stage with your predicament is to intern or get relevan experience to the role, seriously - you'll have to tough it out, I'd pick one particular grad job and target companies for experience to get on the CV.

    7 years at PC world makes you sound like a 'muppet'.

    Taking the scattergun approach to grad applications only works if you tick all the boxes - top 20 uni, 3 A's, captian of sports teams or size 8 with symetrical features and big tits.
    PC World? Wrong company tw*t

    Anyway what job would you expect a full time student to have out of interest. Let me guess, you sponged of mummy and daddy??
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Woah...I wasn't having a go at you - I was being straight up and trying to help. Retail looks crap on the CV.

    Intern at a firm geared to where you are applying - you need work experience that fits with the role - any "work" doesn't count - a high street retail chain is awful on the CV aged 23 if you ask me...

    Also wrong guess - I paid for uni myself whilst working bars and clubs, but you are right in the case that the jobs you go for are going to have lots of rich kids with interns and parents support - so you better either get the chip off your shoulder and work out how to add value to your CV to get a look in or be a bitter person...and blame it all on not having the right parents and bad a-levels.

    Like I say the scattergun application approach works for rich kids/top students only - you need to focus applications - that is where I think you are going wrong.

    Firms do not want unfocussed applicants, let me guess you applied to all teh accounting firms as well - with an engineering degree and no practical experience in accounting....

    Personally I can't think of anything that makes more sense than working for free for a firm of engineers for 6 months.

    Use some common sense!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by goerigi)
    how did you get into a world renowned uni with those grades?
    Well Kingston isnt world renowned. However Cranfield accept students based on there degree grade.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jjarvis)
    Blithe, not blind. And yes, I can provide figures.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...uates-emigrate

    The rate among graduates in Spain is similar to the rate in the UK. The rate among young people more generally exceeds 40%.

    Greece is on about 40%.

    Ireland's overall unemployment rate is about 14%, but among people 15-19 it's 37% and among people 20-24 is 26%. http://cso.ie/releasespublications/d...rrent/qnhs.pdf

    Germany admittedly has a youth unemployment rate of about 8%, but upping sticks and getting work in Germany isn't a realistic option for most British youths--unless they happen to speak excellent German.

    Places with higher unemployment tend to have *worse* unemployment profiles for the young. Germany is slightly different for demographic reasons.
    Hahahaha! You have to be ****ing joking right?
    You are comparing the UK to Spain and Greece? Last I checked we were meant to be a leading country in the EU, not some historically poor or broke country. Also you have to remember that unemployed in the UK is always a bigger problem due to benefits thus the burden on the tax payer significantly increases causing more unemployment and so on...
    Also how many graduates do they have coming out each year? Somehow I have a feeling it will be far far less showing just how screwed the UK is.
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    (Original post by davidr123)
    Personally I can't think of anything that makes more sense than working for free for a firm of engineers for 6 months.
    That sounds good and what is even better is that engineering firms always pay their interns too so he doesn't have to worry about support.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Smack)
    I talk to engineering students from other universities and their careers advice doesn't seem to put as much emphasis on networking, cold calling and being persistent. A lot are trying their hand at online applications (that are probably not even being read), which are always a bit of a lottery, and I do feel sorry for them.
    In fairness (and I don't know if this applies to engineering specifically) for students at a lot of 'non target' universities, networking is very very difficult if you don't have a family contact on the inside, because companies tend to be hostile.

    You get Economics/Politics students for instance who are trying to network their way in with think tanks, economic consultancies, political analysis consultancies etc. In those fields internships are a must so you can't avoid having to go for them. However I suspect there is a different approach given to a student who cold calls saying "I'm at Balliol College Oxford doing PPE...." than a student who says "I'm in my second year at the University of Leicester studying Economics and...." at which point the reaction is likely to be "sorry but we are already committed to students for this summer, goodbye". Neither does persistence pay off because that student will become "that bloody nuisance from Leicester who keeps ringing up and sending his CV".

    As with everything it comes down to how the figures of supply and demand stack up. If there are 1000 vacancies in an industry and 4000 people trying to get them, then networking, showing yourself to be keen etc, will probably be met by people on the other side being receptive. On the other hand if there's 30 vacancies in an industry and
    4000 people trying to get them, then those within are probably fed up to the back teeth of speculative approaches which will be a waste of time.

    I do agree that the online application route is always a lottery and most of the time you need some sort of 'in', however I do think most of the time when people have got an internship in a competitive field, its because either a family contact or at least the university name, has made the recipient open minded. Persistence particularly becomes nuisance when the employer doesn't have many vacancies.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by slowhand87)
    I did a foundation degree first and then a topup year to a full honours degree. Yes i no they are appalling, but you cant change whats happened.
    Why didn't you just resit? Surely you'd know your grades would come back to haunt you?
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    Just out of interest, how do you know the problem is purely to do with your A Level results? Chances are it could be other things working against you. Academic results/ achievements are not everything and often connections and networking can play a bigger role. Chances are the people on the graduate programs have got there through 'other routes' - not necessarily through pure academic achievement. Social skills play a huge part for example. I'm Not saying you lack here, but anyone could go for a job, and regardless of their ability (to a certain extent) be chosen purely based on their social skills/ confidence/ networking skills/ people skills/ ruthlessness etc. Especially if you are going for something like investment banking. I'm not an expert btw, just my two cents.

    Sad but true. Hard work isn't always rewarding.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Perhaps someone who understands the points system better than I do can help me here.

    I was in the first group of people taking AS levels in 2001/2002. The highest you could gain then was an A not A*.

    I think I got A,B,B at AS. B,C,C at A-Level plus a B for a seperate AS. I really have no idea, I cannot remember it was so long ago. I graduated last summer with a 1st and am now doing a postgrad. Will employers want to know about my a-levels from 10 years ago??
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    I'm on the scrap heap too with a 2:1.

    Its not your fault the problem is too many graduates for too few jobs. They are spoilt for choice you can tell this just by the number of hoops you have to jump through these days just to get a CV read.

    I've been invited to loads of interviews and assessment centres so have had the practise of being grilled yet I still can't get anything. I think my problem is social skills I'm just not the outgoing smooth talking CS genius they are looking for and never will be. Which is probably more worrying than bad A-levels.

    Nothing to do but keep trying.

    PS don't read the: "any point in living if you dont get a grad job? " thread .
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by INTit)
    I'm on the scrap heap too with a 2:1.

    Its not your fault the problem is too many graduates for too few jobs. They are spoilt for choice you can tell this just by the number of hoops you have to jump through these days just to get a CV read.

    I've been invited to loads of interviews and assessment centres so have had the practise of being grilled yet I still can't get anything. I think my problem is social skills I'm just not the outgoing smooth talking CS genius they are looking for and never will be. Which is probably more worrying than bad A-levels.

    Nothing to do but keep trying.

    PS don't read the: "any point in living if you dont get a grad job? " thread .
    Exactly my point.

    Sad but true. Unless you are brilliant in bull****ting, manipulating and charming your way in. Modesty is apparently not an admirable trait anymore. Whereas self-promotion will get you everywhere. So good luck if you are not aggressive, intense and hostile and have morals, values and integrity!!!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by slowhand87)
    Well Kingston isnt world renowned. However Cranfield accept students based on there degree grade.
    oh right. cranfield is an only postgrad one that makes sense
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MTR_10)
    Exactly my point.

    Sad but true. Unless you are brilliant in bull****ting, manipulating and charming your way in. Modesty is apparently not an admirable trait anymore. Whereas self-promotion will get you everywhere. So good luck if you are not aggressive, intense and hostile and have morals, values and integrity!!!
    This makes it sound like you are fishing for external excuses as to why you haven't got a job, so that you don't have to focus on your own flaws. Yes, you need to be able to sell yourself, but you don't need to be "aggressive, intense and hostile". Saying that people who get jobs must be lacking in "morals, values and integrity" is just ridiculous. In fact, if employers sense any of these traits, you will certainly be rejected.

    You need to be able to sell yourself and maybe exaggerate slightly without lying or boasting. There is a difference between being modest and being self-deprecating.
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    In fairness (and I don't know if this applies to engineering specifically) for students at a lot of 'non target' universities, networking is very very difficult if you don't have a family contact on the inside, because companies tend to be hostile.

    You get Economics/Politics students for instance who are trying to network their way in with think tanks, economic consultancies, political analysis consultancies etc. In those fields internships are a must so you can't avoid having to go for them. However I suspect there is a different approach given to a student who cold calls saying "I'm at Balliol College Oxford doing PPE...." than a student who says "I'm in my second year at the University of Leicester studying Economics and...." at which point the reaction is likely to be "sorry but we are already committed to students for this summer, goodbye". Neither does persistence pay off because that student will become "that bloody nuisance from Leicester who keeps ringing up and sending his CV".

    As with everything it comes down to how the figures of supply and demand stack up. If there are 1000 vacancies in an industry and 4000 people trying to get them, then networking, showing yourself to be keen etc, will probably be met by people on the other side being receptive. On the other hand if there's 30 vacancies in an industry and
    4000 people trying to get them, then those within are probably fed up to the back teeth of speculative approaches which will be a waste of time.

    I do agree that the online application route is always a lottery and most of the time you need some sort of 'in', however I do think most of the time when people have got an internship in a competitive field, its because either a family contact or at least the university name, has made the recipient open minded. Persistence particularly becomes nuisance when the employer doesn't have many vacancies.
    I'd say that from my (limited) experience, companies recruiting engineering students and graduates (at least for engineering roles) tend to have different attitudes to how you describe think tanks and economic consultancies etc.

    The way I've thought about persistence is that it shows that you are keen. And also, that if you hassle HR they will give in and pass on your CV so that they get some peace and quiet. I've heard of this happening often enough as to believe in it. I even did a little bit of it myself for my internship. It doesn't always work like that but I've always been advised to be persistent and since it worked for me I will always advise engineering students to be persistent, too.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Jelkin - spot on, this moaning, whiney, chip on shoulder nonsense is exactly what everyone hates.

    Employers are also analysing your ability to solve a problme - i.e. how to get this job...how to meet all the "core competencies" they are looking for.

    There is another thread just started by a med student applicant who has been rejected but is re-applying and has been in the meantime shadowing consultants, volunteering in disabled childrens home and so on.

    The pro-active people get the job.

    Classifying 7 years of retail as "work" is not really going to cut it against focused applicants who can evidence a real drive for the career and commitment...

    This is why I think the OP is sending out unfocussed and poor applications - like the majority of people who fail to get these jobs...as for everyone of them there is at least 1 who has really understood what the employer is looking for and how they can add more value than everyone else.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jelkin)
    This makes it sound like you are fishing for external excuses as to why you haven't got a job, so that you don't have to focus on your own flaws. Yes, you need to be able to sell yourself, but you don't need to be "aggressive, intense and hostile". Saying that people who get jobs must be lacking in "morals, values and integrity" is just ridiculous. In fact, if employers sense any of these traits, you will certainly be rejected.

    You need to be able to sell yourself and maybe exaggerate slightly without lying or boasting. There is a difference between being modest and being self-deprecating.
    Yes, he put it (ironically) in a rather aggressive and broad-brush way, but it's, of course, true that a lot of good people won't get into 'decent jobs', no matter how hard they try. Now that might not be an argument for not trying, but it's far from a perfect situation. If, however, you've got a decent degree and aren't especially unattractive, there's always hope (even if nothing else).
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: November 28, 2011
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?
Useful resources

Articles and guides:

Hands typing

Degrees without fees

Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

A-Z of careers Advice on choosing a careerCV writing helpCovering letter helpInterview tips

Featured recruiter profiles:

CGI logo

CGI is open for applications

"Offering a range of apprentice and sponsored degree positions."

Deutsche Bank logo

Deutsche Bank is recruiting

"Thrive in an international banking environment"

ICAEW logo

Merck

"Merck is a global leader in specialized pharma & chemicals – join us!"

Army logo

The Army is recruiting now

"With hundreds of roles available, there’s more than one way to be the best."

Bianca Miller, runner-up on The Apprentice

Handle your digital footprint

What would an employer find out about you on Google? Find out how to take control.

Quick links:

Unanswered career sector and employment threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.