So, you want to be an engineer? Well then, you've got some decisions to make.
If you have a talent for maths and science, chances are that a teacher, a careers advisor, perhaps even an employer, has suggested that you might make a good engineer.
And it’s certainly true that people who excel in these subjects often possess the skills needed in engineering - problem-solving, innovation, critical thinking, meticulous attention to detail, and curious perseverance are just some examples of these skills.
What you might not realise is that to be an engineer can mean many, many things. If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an engineer is a middle-aged man, wearing a hard hat, standing on a building site, then you might be surprised to learn that engineers work in nearly every sector and industry across the world.
Step 1. Deciding on what engineering qualification you want
Engineers Australia categorises three kinds of engineers. The kind of engineer you’ll be categorised as depends on which degree you choose.
A Professional Engineer
In Australia, Professional Engineers must hold an accredited four-year professional engineering degree or an Engineering Masters. At CDU, we have three courses that enable students to graduate as Professional Engineers.
- Bachelor of Engineering Honours.
This is a four-year degree full-time. You’ll learn both the fundamentals of engineering and have the opportunity to conduct your own research project in your final year.
- Bachelor of Engineering Science/Masters of Engineering.
This is a five-year program full-time - three years for the Bachelor, and two years for the Masters. This course is EUR-ACE accredited.
- Masters of Engineering.
This is a two-year program, however, students must already hold an undergraduate degree in a related discipline.
An Engineering Technologist
To qualify for a job working as an engineering technologist, you must hold a three-year degree. CDU’s Bachelor of Engineering Science degree qualifies graduates to work as Engineering Technologists.
An Engineering Associate
If you’re looking to work as an engineering associate, you’ll need to complete a two-year diploma or associate degree of engineering. CDU’s Associate Degree of Engineering qualifies graduates to work as engineering associates.
Step 2. Deciding on your specialisation
One of the best things about engineering is that while all engineers have a universal set of skills, you’re able to choose an area of specialisation that best suits you. At CDU, students choose from:
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Electrical and Electronics Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
Step 3. Deciding on a career
Upon graduation, it’s worth considering how you want to use your degree. It might seem obvious as a graduate of an Engineering degree to seek an Engineering role. However the scope for employment as an engineering graduate is incredibly broad, and your skills will be valued across sectors and industries of all kinds.
In Australia alone, Engineers are employed across sectors including agriculture, construction, defence, electronics, education, energy, health, IT, mining, transport, and telecommunications - (just to name a few!)
The skills that engineers possess are well suited to many careers outside the scope of traditional engineering - from banking, consulting, humanitarian work, sales, and design. Or, in the case of former electrical engineering graduate Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr Bean) - even acting!
An engineering degree can take you nearly anywhere. Find out more about CDU’s engineering courses.