This month’s guest blogger is Jenny Karlsson from EngineeringUK who outlines what a career in engineering is all about and how to see if your teen is a budding engineer in the making.

Engineers are at the forefront of shaping the world we live in, helping to solve our biggest challenges. From dealing with cyber security 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.

A campaign called #ThisisEngineering was launched this month to bring engineering to life for young people and giving them the opportunity to explore how they could follow what they love into a varied and fulfilling engineering career across a range of industries from film, to sport, gaming, and music.

The campaign has found that 63% of young people (aged 13 to 18) think they will have a career that taps into their existing passions.

At the same time, research for Tomorrow’s Engineers, a programme giving young people the chance to talk directly to engineers and engage in hands-on engineering activities, shows that 90% of 9-18 year olds want a career that tackles social issues with almost half wanting to help animals (47%), two-fifths want to save peoples’ lives (37%) and a third want to help tackle homelessness (29%).

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 the future. To help parents understand the careers available and the routes into engineering careers, Tomorrow’s Engineers have developed a Parent’s Guide to Engineering Careers.

So, 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:

  • Curiosity
  • Open-mindedness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Collaborating with others
  • Problem-solving

 

The UK needs many more engineers and engineering is a solid career with great earning potential.

Like doctors and lawyers, professional engineers are well respected and professional registration is recognised 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 really 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.

To prompt conversations about careers in engineering with your child and to explore their future options you can start by trying some of the below:

  • Watch these inspiring films of engineers on a mission to help make the world a better place
  • Trips to exhibitions, shows and museums, such as the Science Museum
  • Science and engineering TV shows, radio programmes, podcasts, computer games and apps. A simple careers quiz – Whose Crew Are You? – helps identify potential areas of interest
  • Attending The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers 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