In a survey reported by the Evening Standard, Iron Man was found to be more influential than the nineteenth-century engineering giant Isambard Kingdom Brunel in inspiring London students to consider an engineering career.
Most of these students also reported not receiving sufficient advice about working in engineering. However, Sara Killelay of Icon Aerospace Technology has shared various pieces of advice…
Women should not be deterred from engineering work
As a young female engineer, Sara is unusual in the profession, but insists: “Never give up on something you want to do, just because it doesn’t “fit” the stereotype.”
Over a third of students in the survey deemed engineering dirty, outdoor work most appropriate for men. “Girls face pressures to conform to gender stereotypes,” Helen Fraser, the Girls’ Day School Trust’s chief executive, has conceded.
Consider studying a degree
The engineering sector has various entry paths. For example, it’s possible to obtain on-the-job qualifications and complete an apprenticeship or something similar.
However, Sara, who studied product design at the University of Lincoln, points out in an interview with The Engineer that “if you want a more lucrative, high-end job and to make it to the top more quickly, higher education or a degree is often a requirement.”
Learn how to use various CAD packages
One of the merits of studying engineering at university is the option it could give you to learn about a broad array of CAD software on which you could later rely when working in engineering.
Sara recalls using 10 different CAD packages during her university years – among them Rhino, Key Shot, Draft Sight, Maya and SolidWorks. Her experience in using these meant that, at Icon, “I didn’t need to be trained up, which of course is great news for any company.”
The more on-the-job experience, the better
Sara has also reported her personal discovery that engineers with more on-the-job experience are likelier to find work. Employers want people who are passionate about engineering and seeking to further their achievements in this area. Therefore, these employers will look favourably on people who have volunteered for engineering work and shown their appetite for it.
Indeed, it is not just engineering in general, but also the specific strand of engineering in which you wish to work, about which you should be knowledgeable.
Don’t rush engineering work
There’s no escaping that the world of engineering is very fast paced and comes with crucial deadlines to be met. For this reason, you should resist rushing an engineering project to get it finished in half the time which you have actually been allocated for the project.
Doing so can often leave slight errors in the work. Therefore, use all or most of the time you are given and deliver the work to the best possible quality. This holds true with engineering jobs in Manchester or elsewhere in the UK.