If you’re a problem-solver with an interest in technology, you’ve got a creative spark and the ability to see things from different angles, engineering could be your calling.
Engineering has had a monumental role in creating modern society. From cars and robots to electricity grids and running water – we owe a lot to the ingenuity of our past and present engineers.
Some students worry career paths from an engineering degree are too specific, but this certainly isn’t the case. Here are some of the ways graduates can use an engineering degree in the workforce:
Become an engineer
Okay, so this one may seem obvious, but there are many of different ‘types’ of engineers they don’t necessarily teach you about in school.
Electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, civil engineer, chemical engineer, process engineer, aerospace engineer, petroleum engineer, biomedical engineer, environmental engineer, industrial engineer, software engineer… the list goes on! Careers options in engineering are anything but narrow, and are applicable all around the world.
When you first start an engineering degree, you’ll get a little taste for everything. It won’t be later in your degree until you’re able to choose majors, and for some specialisations you’ll need to do postgraduate studies in order to qualify. While it’s hard to predict if you’ll do a postgraduate degree before you’ve even started an undergraduate degree, it’s worth looking into what postgraduate degrees in engineering are like, so you can keep the option in mind.
Explore how past students leveraged on their Engineering skills
Environmental engineering student Tom Wheeler recently returned from a six-month internship in Indonesia, where he worked with a non-ministry renewable energy organisation to provide a sustainable source of water to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
Studying at Murdoch isn’t just theory based. You are provided with opportunities to have real-life practical experiences that you can learn so much from.
Environmental engineering can also take you down different paths. In your career you might focus on waste management, water quality, air pollution or preserving natural environments. Working as an environmental engineer is an obvious choice but you could also find jobs outside of engineering, as a natural science manager, an environmental ecologist or an urban and regional planner. Because this is an evolving field, your dream job may not exist yet.
International student Sandra moved from Nigeria to Perth to study a Master of Renewable and Sustainable Energy at Murdoch. Once she has graduated, she plans on bringing her knowledge back home.
"I hope to use my knowledge and skills to help provide safe, clean, affordable and reliable energy in my country."
With renewable energy engineering you might advise and provide guidance on building energy-efficient homes, or conceptualise and develop wind, geothermal solar, or hydropower systems. Jobs not only exist as renewable energy engineers, but also in energy management, policy development and as a renewable resource analyst.
Don't want to become an engineer?
If you’re not sure you want to become an engineer, you may still want to consider an engineering degree. Many engineering graduates take the skills they have learned in their degree, and use them in other related industries.
Problem solving, numeracy, analysis and technical skills are all desirable strengths for a variety of industries, and they’re all skills that are strengthened and learned in an engineering course.
Engineering degree graduates have been known to take roles in industries like management consulting, banking and finance, data science technology sales, renewable energy and more.
If this is you, take a look at the Bachelor of Engineering Technology course. An engineer first conceptualises and designs a project, then the technologist takes the reins and brings the idea to life.
This degree gives you flexibility to learn about a range of engineering areas, such as electric power, renewable energy, and industrial computer systems. And if you decide you'd like to become an engineer after all, you can transfer into an engineering degree.
Ready to take the plunge?
If you think you might be interested in studying an engineering degree, it’s recommended you complete WACE Chemistry 3A/3B, Physics 3A/3B and Mathematics: Specialist 3C/3D in Year 12. If you haven’t completed these units or similar, don't worry - you'll have the opportunity to take make-up units in your first year.
If you think you’d be more interested in something like engineering technology, you won’t need to take chemistry, but we'd recommend you study advanced physics and mathematics subjects in school.
Of particular interest to students looking at engineering, science or technology degrees is the Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship offered at Murdoch. The scholarship is open to students who have recently completed Year 12 and who have a passion for technology and innovation. Recipients will receive up to $15,000.
Murdoch’s commitment to providing an excellent learning experience was recently recognised in the Good Universities Guide 2021. We ranked five stars for student support, learner engagement and graduate salary.
From the satisfaction of our students to our world-class facilities (including our Bayer Pilot Plant, which is the only one of its kind in WA), we pride ourselves on providing a learning environment that encourages new ways of thinking so you graduate job-ready.