26 October 2018

Five things you didn’t know about engineering careers

Five things you didn’t know about engineering careers


Engineering is at the core of every fundamental aspect of our daily lives.

From our iPads, to our smartphones, and even our cars, fashion, and sportswear, the common thread running throughout all these seemingly different sectors is engineering.

Thanks to its inherently innovative nature, which offers endless career diversification potential, over five million of the UK’s total workforce are employed in engineering roles, with the sector generating over £1.23 trillion of the country’s total turnover.

Despite the vast numbers already employed in these specialist fields, the industry is facing a widely reported skills shortfall, with up to 186,000 workers required annually until 2024.

In a bid to combat this, the Government has named 2018 its Year of Engineering with a focus on encouraging greater uptake of skilled jobs throughout the industry.

Businesses have also united in their mission to plug the skills gap, with leading Welsh manufacturing facility Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) among those championing enhanced engineering recruitment.

Gerald Kelly, Director of Professional Services at Sony UK TEC in Pencoed, which is a division of Sony Europe Limited, said engineering roles were far more “enriching, challenging, and rewarding” than many realise.

Mr Kelly said: “With the UK facing a concerning shortfall in skilled engineers, it’s time that we educated people about the far-reaching benefits of undertaking a career in engineering.

“Our manufacturing facility is focussed on championing engineering recruitment and advancing the next generation of technological innovation. As such we’ve launched a nationwide recruitment drive to give engineers of all skill levels, from graduate to expert, a chance to make an impact with a world-renowned manufacturer.

“We believe this underlines our commitment to the continued success of the engineering profession, but also highlights just how vital these roles are to the advancement of economic progression of the UK.”

In a bid to shed some light on the surprising benefits of working across the sector, Mr Kelly at Sony UK TEC reveals the five surprising facts about careers in engineering…


Incredibly diverse


Engineering roles are not simply confined to traditional factory settings.

Roles in the engineering sector are incredibly diverse and offer scope to work across wide-spread industries globally.

Construction projects, theme park development, active wear, interactive technology and virtual reality are just some of the varied areas which are driven by engineering.

Those with an interest in enhancing infrastructure could play a pivotal role in the construction industry, designing and maintaining some of the world’s leading builds.

Equally, an interest in marine engineering could lead to designing, building and maintaining more robust vessels, which could help the navy or commercial businesses navigate challenging sea conditions.

Whether engineers are transforming the face of smartphone technology, or attempting to transform the world we live in, it is evident that engineering career is anything but uninteresting.


International travel


Many engineers are afforded the opportunity to travel thanks to the international demand for skilled workers in this sector.

With engineering industries located worldwide, skilled workers may frequently be required to travel to share their expertise with various clients, businesses, and government departments.

Thanks to this, an engineering role is not only constantly enriching from a professional perspective, it also offers greater job security and the opportunity to constantly diversify and progress within challenging fields.

Frequent travel may be required to carry out vital investigative work or research to advance a project. This is particularly likely if the engineer is working in a global company, such as Sony UK TEC, where teams are tasked with working collaboratively to produce world-leading products.


Life-changing innovation


Engineering has the potential to significantly change lives.

Throughout the sector engineers are working tirelessly to create ground-breaking medical technology which could transform the health and wellbeing of millions of patients globally.

Bioengineers, for example, are merging their engineering backgrounds with a passion for advancing medical innovation to help enhance the diagnosis and care of patients with complex illnesses, utilising VR technology to reconstruct facial birth defects, and creating mobile diabetes management systems which allow patients to control their treatment.

Alongside advances in healthcare, engineers are also making vital advances in helping to reduce the impact of climate change and moving towards incorporating greater sustainability into their projects.

Many engineers are working with experts in the agricultural, construction, and manufacturing industries to find eco-friendly solutions to modern climate change issues.  

Design engineers may be exploring methods to reduce energy or water consumption in modern building projects, while manufacturing industries may be working to eradicate the excessive use of plastic in their operations.

Sony UK TEC’s specialist teams have been working to reduce their environmental footprint, with the 26,000 sq m state-of-the-art facility now sending zero to landfill and utilising almost 900 on-site Solar Panels.


Job satisfaction


Engineers experience some of the highest rates of job satisfaction.

According to a Guardian survey, engineers have the happiest job in the world. In fact, Cabinet Office findings show that electrical engineers are leading the way for job satisfaction, coming in 14th place in a survey of 274 professions. This is followed by civil engineers ranked at 55, and mechanical engineers in 68th place.

This elevated level of satisfaction could be down to the direct role their work has in supporting the development and advancement of industries globally.

Creating new designs that resolve technical issues, developing technology that exceeds expectations, and researching ideas that could significantly benefit thousands of people, are all contributing factors.

Once developed, engineers then get to witness their designs being utilised to their maximum potential by experts across numerous sectors, another factor that is cited by many as the reason for this level of professional fulfilment.

Equally, gradates entering the field have also rated engineering among the most satisfying career choices.

According to Target jobs, graduate engineers highlighted that the profession offers a more appealing work/life balance, is interesting and engaging in the work it allows them to undertake, and allows them to use their skills and passion to direct improve real industry situations.

Cecilia Fritz, Strategic Head of HR at Sony UK TEC said: “We at Sony UK TEC recognise the importance of job satisfaction in motivating our talented team of over 600 team players. As such, we have frequently been recognised by our teams who feel that the rewarding and industry leading work they produce, combined with our facility’s emphasis on wellbeing and professional development, provides them with greater job satisfaction.”


Span all industries


Engineers are not limited to a specific industry.

Instead engineering spans numerous world-renowned industries, with different skillsets grouped by the sector they support.

These include Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Chemical, Petroleum, Aerospace, Biomedical, Structural, Agricultural, and Software, with each having countless sub branches supporting greater innovation.

Categorising engineers in this way provides a greater focus for graduates looking to specialise within a specific engineering area throughout their career. Equally, it enables engineers to truly hone their expertise and flourish within sector specialisms, ultimately providing them with the ability to affect significant change across all areas of society.

Among the most sought-after roles are software, mechanical, electrical, electronic, and chemical, thanks to their highly innovative abilities, with science and pharmaceutical experts also utilised in businesses worldwide to support the advancement of medical technology and treatments.

With engineers able to be highly beneficial across the worlds of fashion design, automation, sustainable development, entertainment, and cutting-edge technology, the possibilities are seemingly endless.


Sony UK TEC, which produces thousands of high specification HD broadcast cameras for worldwide distribution, is searching for 10 engineering talents, from graduate to experienced, to join its world-renowned team.

Successful candidates will get the opportunity to work with one of the industry’s most progressive manufacturers, supporting production of Sony’s industry-leading products and innovative third-party technology.

Applications will open from Friday October 26 with graduates and skilled engineers encouraged to apply.

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