Is your child an engineer in waiting? Do you want to help provide your child with information about their career choices and what they want to be ‘when they grow up’ it can be a daunting prospect. With many resources available it can be difficult to know where to start.
Engineers are at the forefront of shaping the world we live in, helping to solve our biggest challenges.
From dealing with cyber security, enabling commercial space travel and minimising the impact of natural disasters to developing sustainable energy, food, housing and products; engineers help pave the way to a better future for everyone. Engineers use their creativity and problem-solving skills to improve the design and performance of everything we use today and to develop the products and processes of our future, or children’s and even our Grandchildren’s future.
Subjects and routes into engineering are largely based around math and science particularly physics, chemistry (for biomedical or chemical engineering). Design and technology, computing, electronics and construction and the built environment are also useful for engineering careers.
But how can you spot an engineer in waiting? There are some common signs that engineers will exhibit, even at an early age. A career in engineering could be right for your child if they do any of the following:
– Ask how things work
– Dismantle and re-assemble things
– Come up with solutions to problems
But it’s not just those who display these signs who could make great engineers. Common personality traits of successful engineers include:
– Collaborating with others
– Problem solving
If you notice your child shows any of these skills a future in engineering could beckon!
Engineering is a solid career with great earning potential.
Like doctors and lawyers, professional engineers are well respected and
professional registration is recognized around the world. The letters they can put after their name demonstrate academic ability, expertise and competence developed by workplace experience.
The employment prospects are good for engineers as it is one of the most in demand jobs globally. A recent survey found that 94% of engineering undergraduates had entered full-time work, were pursuing further study or a combination of both, three and a half years after graduating.
The average starting salary for engineering and technology graduates is around £26,000, which is approximately 10 per cent higher than the average starting salary for all graduates. With experience, average salaries can be between £35,000-£60,000 and for specialist roles and Chartered Engineers, they can be considerably higher. Many engineering employers also pay apprentices well above the statutory rate. To prompt conversations about careers in engineering with your child and to explore their future options you can start by trying of the some of below:
- Trips to exhibitions, shows and museums, such as the Science Museum
- Science and engineering TV shows, radio programmes, podcasts, computer games and apps. A quick internet search will point you in the right direction
- A simple careers quiz – Whose Crew Are You? – helps identify potential areas of interest. Find it on the App Store or at: thebigbangfair.co.uk/whose-crew-are-you
- Attending the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham.If your child’s school isn’t already planning a trip, ask them to consider it. Or come along as a family on Saturday 17th March 2018: www.thebigbangfair.co.uk
For any further information and to download the Parents’ Guide to Engineering and other free guides, visit www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk
Eleanor Eyre is Head of Careers at EngineeringUK which is behind Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, a campaign running from 6th -10th November to help encourage more young people to look at a career in engineering.