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    So I am coming towards the end of a BTEC level 3 course in Engineering at college.

    With me being 23 and Apprenticeship opportunities limited but not out of reach I have been looking into alternatives of what to do after college.

    So if I was to go to University to do a course in Engineering what are the job prospects like afterwards?

    Are Uni courses mainly theory based with maths etc and with very little hands on experience?

    Are you pushed towards white collar type jobs with a degree?

    Anyone know of many people gaining jobs within engineering after graduation and with what grade?

    Any personal experiences?
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    Job prospects depends entirely upon how hard you work during and after graduation, during your university education engineering serves to provide you with a basic understanding of the whole concept. Learning doesn't stop after finishing engineering, you will have to continue to learn just as hard as when you were in university. University also just helps you to know where to find the right information once you start working on real engineering jobs. This is from a structural engineering perspective, however I am pretty certain it applies to the whole range.
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    (Original post by hihoho)
    Job prospects depends entirely upon how hard you work during and after graduation, during your university education engineering serves to provide you with a basic understanding of the whole concept. Learning doesn't stop after finishing engineering, you will have to continue to learn just as hard as when you were in university. University also just helps you to know where to find the right information once you start working on real engineering jobs. This is from a structural engineering perspective, however I am pretty certain it applies to the whole range.
    just out of curiosity did you recently just graduate?

    From your post im guessing you're a civil
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    (Original post by a10)
    just out of curiosity did you recently just graduate?

    From your post im guessing you're a civil
    Yes & Yes. These are some tips passed on to me by senior structural engineers. What is your discipline?
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    (Original post by hihoho)
    Yes & Yes. These are some tips passed on to me by senior structural engineers. What is your discipline?
    mechie wannabe
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    (Original post by a10)
    mechie wannabe
    Love mechanical engineering, if I won't find any civil job then I will probably consider working as a finite element analyst doing analyses on mechanical components. Are you skilled in 3D software?
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    (Original post by hihoho)
    Love mechanical engineering, if I won't find any civil job then I will probably consider working as a finite element analyst doing analyses on mechanical components. Are you skilled in 3D software?
    Not yet, but I would like to be (in fact when the time comes I shall take options in FEA and CFD).

    Just completed an engineering foundation, will be a mechie officially in Sept.
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    (Original post by a10)
    Not yet, but I would like to be (in fact when the time comes I shall take options in FEA and CFD).

    Just completed an engineering foundation, will be a mechie officially in Sept.
    These skills will be very demanded once 3D printing comes in full force! Many opportunities will open up for design engineers. I haven't done any CFD, but it is fun too!
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    (Original post by hihoho)
    These skills will be very demanded once 3D printing comes in full force! Many opportunities will open up for design engineers. I haven't done any CFD, but it is fun too!
    Yeah it is my goal to be a design engineer of that sort. What software did you use mainly in your civil degree? Abaqus?
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    (Original post by a10)
    Yeah it is my goal to be a design engineer of that sort. What software did you use mainly in your civil degree? Abaqus?
    I used Abaqus for my thesis, now I am teaching myself the rest of the functionalities. The software I love most though is Autodesk Inventor probably because I spent most time working with, SolidWorks is a favourite too with its clean and straightforward GUI. During my second year I considered getting into industrial design engineering so I dappled in couple 3D design programs, some of them taught me new modelling techniques. I think SolidWorks is used very heavily by mechanical engineers, very well supported and there's extensive tutorials/help online.
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    The job prospects for Engineers are generally very good, however an engineering degree is not necessarily the only way in. It is important to get work experience/ internships/ placements in order to get a job after graduation, and they can be very competitive to get, particularly if you don't get into a 'top' university/ have poor grades/ aren't very good at the whole job application/ interview process. And then after you graduate if you don't get a 2:1 your job prospects can be very limited. The advantage of the university route is that if you do well you can enter the profession at a higher level and it may open up more careers/ potential promotions in the future.
    For many people, an apprenticeship is probably a better option - you get paid (admittedly not much, but it's better than a growing 9k+ debt each year) and get real hands on experience. Also, a company is already investing in you - so you are very likely to be offered a job at the company afterwards.
    There is always the option to go on and do a degree later on in your life - my dad didn't start his engineering degree until his late 20s and it is not uncommon to see older students around uni. There is the possibility that your company could sponsor you through your degree if it is in their interests as well.
    If you are not a fan of the maths/ theory side, then university may not be great for you - engineering courses are generally VERY mathematical and at some unis there is pretty limited hands-on content.
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    (Original post by hihoho)
    I used Abaqus for my thesis, now I am teaching myself the rest of the functionalities. The software I love most though is Autodesk Inventor probably because I spent most time working with, SolidWorks is a favourite too with its clean and straightforward GUI. During my second year I considered getting into industrial design engineering so I dappled in couple 3D design programs, some of them taught me new modelling techniques. I think SolidWorks is used very heavily by mechanical engineers, very well supported and there's extensive tutorials/help online.
    Nice, what did your thesis actually cover? Ahh yes at my current uni they use Solidworks and then for FEA they use Ansys I think. I take it you're working from what you've mentioned; which company are you with if I may ask (you can pm me if you wan't to keep it private).
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    (Original post by a10)
    Nice, what did your thesis actually cover? Ahh yes at my current uni they use Solidworks and then for FEA they use Ansys I think. I take it you're working from what you've mentioned; which company are you with if I may ask (you can pm me if you wan't to keep it private).
    My thesis was a problem in geotechnical engineering, it was about optimizing the design of a concrete block (thrustblock) to hold up a retaining wall. I honestly dreaded Abaqus at that time due to it's poor design of GUI, previously having only used Inventor & SolidWorks. Currently, I am unemployed but have had several times where I got paid to help out civil engineers/mechanical engineers etc. using Abaqus for their projects/thesis, and it paid really well! Once Abaqus is mastered, ANSYS will be a breeze. I will also probably start up some kind of service to help students/researchers using Abaqus/ANSYS since it's widely used throughout the industry!
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    (Original post by hihoho)
    My thesis was a problem in geotechnical engineering, it was about optimizing the design of a concrete block (thrustblock) to hold up a retaining wall. I honestly dreaded Abaqus at that time due to it's poor design of GUI, previously having only used Inventor & SolidWorks. Currently, I am unemployed but have had several times where I got paid to help out civil engineers/mechanical engineers etc. using Abaqus for their projects/thesis, and it paid really well! Once Abaqus is mastered, ANSYS will be a breeze. I will also probably start up some kind of service to help students/researchers using Abaqus/ANSYS since it's widely used throughout the industry!
    I see, so are you considering going back into academia or are you just going to look for a job that in co-operates the different software's. Ohh btw did you graduate with a bachelors or the masters?

    p.s. I guess in due time when I'm stuck on Ansys I will know who to ask for assistance :lol:
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    (Original post by a10)
    I see, so are you considering going back into academia or are you just going to look for a job that in co-operates the different software's. Ohh btw did you graduate with a bachelors or the masters?

    p.s. I guess in due time when I'm stuck on Ansys I will know who to ask for assistance :lol:
    I have a BEng but will most likely do a Masters once I have gathered enough funds to specialize in the structural side of civil engineering because it hugely advances your job prospects especially if you want to reach the higher levels of structural eng.

    Happy to help. Finite element is really heavy mathematics which they haven't taught at my university, I need to read couple maths/FE books this year to get the most out of these softwares, since rubish in, rubish out!
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    (Original post by hihoho)
    I have a BEng but will most likely do a Masters once I have gathered enough funds to specialize in the structural side of civil engineering because it hugely advances your job prospects especially if you want to reach the higher levels of structural eng.

    Happy to help. Finite element is really heavy mathematics which they haven't taught at my university, I need to read couple maths/FE books this year to get the most out of these softwares, since rubish in, rubish out!
    I heard though to become a chartered engineer in the structural side of engineering (with the IStructE) a really tough exam has to be taken and apparently it's only a 30% pass rate or something ridiculous like that!

    I quite like the structural side of things, though I'm not so sure on what industry I would like to be in (would like a taste of building services/aerospace/marine engineering) but I suppose it will become more clearer as I progress so no rush indeed
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    (Original post by a10)
    I heard though to become a chartered engineer in the structural side of engineering (with the IStructE) a really tough exam has to be taken and apparently it's only a 30% pass rate or something ridiculous like that!

    I quite like the structural side of things, though I'm not so sure on what industry I would like to be in (would like a taste of building services/aerospace/marine engineering) but I suppose it will become more clearer as I progress so no rush indeed
    That's true, the chartered structural engineers I talked to have so far been incredibly intelligent people. I prefer the examination to be tough since structural engineers bear a lot of liability when designing buildings/bridges etc. and could potentially harm many people like this guy did - http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2..._collapse.html. Some suggested that once a building is structurally completed you become an insurance company. With a mechanical degree, you can dive into many oceans!
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    (Original post by hihoho)
    harm many people like this guy did - http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2..._collapse.html. Some suggested that once a building is structurally completed you become an insurance company.
    Wow that is catastrophic. Speaking of Canada, apparently engineers there upon graduation receive silver rings with writing on it made from a famous steel bridge that collapsed some several years ago to remind them not to be such careless engineers lol!
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    Can't you two private mail each other rather than take over my thread having a conversation of no relevance to what I asked?
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    (Original post by a10)
    Wow that is catastrophic. Speaking of Canada, apparently engineers there upon graduation receive silver rings with writing on it made from a famous steel bridge that collapsed some several years ago to remind them not to be such careless engineers lol!
    Haha, that's the first time I hear this, that's great! In this case, it seems the client was intimidating the engineer to report the structural stability as "OK", we have a thing in structural engineering called CYA - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_your_ass - which is essentially being slightly ambiguous when writing reports about structures to minimize liabilities, this makes us lawyers too. This sport is very often practiced by Geotechnical Engineers because soil is highly inhomogeneous from one point to the next, from one plane of stress to another.

    Here's a sample letter I have saved from a senior:

    Spoiler:
    Show
    As you requested we have conducted a structural survey and analysis of your facility and this report outlines our findings. As you mentioned in our first phone conversation, you were looking for an overall assessment of the plant as you might be looking to sell it and needed a letter stating that your plant was OK. This report attempts to do so.

    We visited the site on February 3, 2014, and walked around the outside and looked inside a bit. The place is fairly old and we didn’t have any original design drawings to go by. Based on what we saw, the building was in pretty good shape considering its age. We did see some spalling concrete here and there and some exposed rebar sticking out in places but thought you’d kept it up nicely. I would say that any potential buyer of the property would be getting a steal at any price.

    We noted the following:

    1. The building isn’t leaning.

    2. Some rusting of the beams had occurred along the roof in the south end. From the ground below we could only see one or two areas where the webs had rusted through so we don’t think it’s too bad.

    3. One column had been bent a bit (probably from a forklift impact) but when we pushed on it we couldn’t wiggle it so again, probably OK.

    4. There was a precast concrete mezzanine on the west side which was supported mainly by block walls and in one place the wall had been opened up for some plumbing. We only saw one plank that wasn’t supported so with 97% of the others not affected – we’d call that good.

    5. Some of the planks had spalled off on the bottom and had a couple of silver cable‐like thingys hanging down – but again – only 3 to 4% of them so no problem that we see.

    6. In the restroom in the back we saw that a new toilet had been installed and the plumber had to cut through a diagonal steel angle running down inside the wall behind it. This was a double angle but only one angle was cut through so we still have a full steel angle serving to brace the building back there. With this city, we know that it doesn’t get too windy here – at least not the 90 mph wind speeds you see in the codes. This might be an issue if you want to raise it but it might just get the city inspectors all excited. I’ll leave that monkey on your back to deal with it if you see fit.

    So from all of the above, we think the building is in pretty good shape and as an owner you can be proud that after all these years it is still standing. Tell your prospective buyers that we here at Brand X Engineering think that the building looks great.

    Professionally yours,
    Brand X Engineering
 
 
 
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