Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    I keep on hearing conflicting statements regarding the health of the job market for graduate engineers in the UK. Particularly with chemical engineering, I hear that there is large competition for jobs and there are generally just not enough jobs out there. I've also heard similar things for mechanical engineering. Is this true?, and are there statistics anywhere also painting this narrative? Employability was a large factor for me when deciding to look into engineering, but now I hear that it's not as good of a situation as it seems.

    Oppositely, there is the argument that we will always need more engineers with a growing population, and we will never stop 'making stuff'. This does seem to make sense of course, but the majority of people I have heard from have said the former.
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    (Original post by Productivity)
    I keep on hearing conflicting statements regarding the health of the job market for graduate engineers in the UK. Particularly with chemical engineering, I hear that there is large competition for jobs and there are generally just not enough jobs out there. I've also heard similar things for mechanical engineering. Is this true?, and are there statistics anywhere also painting this narrative? Employability was a large factor for me when deciding to look into engineering, but now I hear that it's not as good of a situation as it seems.

    Oppositely, there is the argument that we will always need more engineers with a growing population, and we will never stop 'making stuff'. This does seem to make sense of course, but the majority of people I have heard from have said the former.
    Who have you been hearing from?

    Statistically, engineering is a very highly employable degree. This is partly because there have been lots of vacancies within engineering, and also partly because the skills taught are appreciated by a range of employers, not just engineering.

    However, jobs are not guaranteed upon graduation. You still need to possess the knowledge and skills required by employers and there also has to be, as you have identified, positions that require to be filled. Depending on the popularity of the discipline of the available disciplines, there may be lots of people chasing them, making them highly competitive.

    Some disciplines are more widely applicable than others, and some industries are growing, or have lots of work going on, whilst others are more stagnant, or even declining. Things can change quite quickly, too - for example, the oil & gas industry.

    There are quite detailed statistics published via Unistats for each course at each university, which can be found on their website. These stats show how many graduates from that degree went into work, further study, etc. and also a rough breakdown of the type of occupations they went into - e.g. engineering, IT, etc. However at the moment these stats are for those who graduated in summer 2014, but they should be updated in the next few months for the 2015 graduating class.

    This doesn't answer your question too specifically, I know, but I can't really say for sure what the overall "health" of the engineering sector is in the UK, given it's breadth. From what I can see, the civil engineering, infrastructure and construction sector is very hot at the moment, whereas I know the oil & gas sector is struggling. I'm not sure about the various other sectors, such as defence, aerospace, power generation, etc., though. The overall health will be a sum of all the different sectors, and will vary by discipline, and what type of jobs you're willing to do.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Smack)
    Who have you been hearing from?

    Statistically, engineering is a very highly employable degree. This is partly because there have been lots of vacancies within engineering, and also partly because the skills taught are appreciated by a range of employers, not just engineering.

    However, jobs are not guaranteed upon graduation. You still need to possess the knowledge and skills required by employers and there also has to be, as you have identified, positions that require to be filled. Depending on the popularity of the discipline of the available disciplines, there may be lots of people chasing them, making them highly competitive.

    Some disciplines are more widely applicable than others, and some industries are growing, or have lots of work going on, whilst others are more stagnant, or even declining. Things can change quite quickly, too - for example, the oil & gas industry.

    There are quite detailed statistics published via Unistats for each course at each university, which can be found on their website. These stats show how many graduates from that degree went into work, further study, etc. and also a rough breakdown of the type of occupations they went into - e.g. engineering, IT, etc. However at the moment these stats are for those who graduated in summer 2014, but they should be updated in the next few months for the 2015 graduating class.

    This doesn't answer your question too specifically, I know, but I can't really say for sure what the overall "health" of the engineering sector is in the UK, given it's breadth. From what I can see, the civil engineering, infrastructure and construction sector is very hot at the moment, whereas I know the oil & gas sector is struggling. I'm not sure about the various other sectors, such as defence, aerospace, power generation, etc., though. The overall health will be a sum of all the different sectors, and will vary by discipline, and what type of jobs you're willing to do.
    Thank you very much for the detailed reply!

    This is what I did believe at first to be true, but it was from generally googling phrases such as "chemical engineering job prospects" which led me to believe that the field was declining and it was looking bleak.

    Since chemical engineering has large involvement with the O&G industry, I'd hazard a guess that it COULD be bad if I wanted to pursue a degree in O&G, but also the industry is cyclic and the oil prices will increase again, but still, it's hard to determine when, which makes it hard for me to consider which discipline to go into.
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    (Original post by Productivity)
    Thank you very much for the detailed reply!

    This is what I did believe at first to be true, but it was from generally googling phrases such as "chemical engineering job prospects" which led me to believe that the field was declining and it was looking bleak.

    Since chemical engineering has large involvement with the O&G industry, I'd hazard a guess that it COULD be bad if I wanted to pursue a degree in O&G, but also the industry is cyclic and the oil prices will increase again, but still, it's hard to determine when, which makes it hard for me to consider which discipline to go into.
    If you're interested in chemical engineering, I can't say much about what the job market is like overall (i.e. across all of the various engineering sectors in the UK), as I am not a chemical engineer. If those who are providing the info you are seeing via Google searches are chemical engineers or work in industries that hire chemical engineers, I am in no position to contradict them.

    I am ex-oil & gas, though, and my take is that although it's always been a cyclical industry, with peaks, troughs and bursts, the period between 2010-2014 was an unusually strong boom, attracting large amounts of people to the sector, as it was very "hot". I'm not sure what level of activity it will revert to when the price recovers. But that said, with a chemical engineering degree you are not limited to oil & gas.

    What stage are you at in your educational career, and how long do you have to go before you have to choose your discipline?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Smack)
    If you're interested in chemical engineering, I can't say much about what the job market is like overall (i.e. across all of the various engineering sectors in the UK), as I am not a chemical engineer. If those who are providing the info you are seeing via Google searches are chemical engineers or work in industries that hire chemical engineers, I am in no position to contradict them.

    I am ex-oil & gas, though, and my take is that although it's always been a cyclical industry, with peaks, troughs and bursts, the period between 2010-2014 was an unusually strong boom, attracting large amounts of people to the sector, as it was very "hot". I'm not sure what level of activity it will revert to when the price recovers. But that said, with a chemical engineering degree you are not limited to oil & gas.

    What stage are you at in your educational career, and how long do you have to go before you have to choose your discipline?
    I have just finished my AS Levels and am heading into Year 13 in September. I guess I could say that I have to have decided very soon as I need to have a personal statement draft before I go back to school.

    My only problem here is choosing between mechanical and chemical, and since I like both equally, all I can think of to set them apart is the job prospects.
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    (Original post by Productivity)
    I have just finished my AS Levels and am heading into Year 13 in September. I guess I could say that I have to have decided very soon as I need to have a personal statement draft before I go back to school.

    My only problem here is choosing between mechanical and chemical, and since I like both equally, all I can think of to set them apart is the job prospects.
    From what I recall, you don't have to have submitted your UCAS application until January. Don't be rushed into making a premature decision before you have properly researched your options.

    I studied mechanical and am willing to help out where possible.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Smack)
    From what I recall, you don't have to have submitted your UCAS application until January. Don't be rushed into making a premature decision before you have properly researched your options.

    I studied mechanical and am willing to help out where possible.
    Thank you for all of the help! I will PM you if I ever need some more guidance:yes:
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • 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

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