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What can you do with an engineering degree?

UK EngineerHere are some great suggestions from UK-based guest blogger Sam Gatt, a writer on all things business and career related. 

In the UK it’s rather difficult to find well paid work at the moment, so when you finally graduate from university with an engineering degree, you’ll need to put extra effort into researching possible employment solutions. You might not realise it at the moment, but the skills you’ve gained over the last three years are desirable to employers in a wide range of different industries. This means your options are vast when it comes to finding a good job that you truly enjoy with ample prospects for promotion in the future. With that in mind, this article will give you a few ideas that you may wish to research before contacting relevant businesses and asking about vacancies.

So, if you’re due to finish your course this year, spend a couple of minutes reading through the suggestions I’ve made below, and hopefully you’ll be in the best position to find employment in a timely manner. At the end of the day, the quality of work you find will depend heavily on the amount of effort you’re willing to put in, but the jobs listed below will give you some new ideas that could assist you along the way.


Most firms that deal with deliveries of any kind will have a dedicated logistics department that deals with ensuring things operate in the simplest and smoothest way possible. The skills you’ve obtained during your degree course will come in very handy in this kind of role, as you’ll be required to create methods and processes in much the same way you would when designing a machine.

Supply Chain Management

Most manufacturing companies will need to employ a professional supply chain manager to oversee production lines, the sourcing of raw materials and manufacturing processes. This means they require people with a logical mindset who are capable of drawing up plans and making sure all requirements are met. In most instances, they look towards engineering graduates because their talents are usually very similar to those needed for successful completion of the role.

Traditional Engineering Jobs

Of course, we mustn’t overlook the type of job you’re been specifically trained for, and so becoming a traditional engineer and working for companies like Fastec Engineering might be suitable. The great thing about this kind of employment is that your days will be varied, as most engineering firms specialise in custom projects for clients all over the world. So, you should never get tired of performing the same old tasks over and over again.

Teaching / Lecturing

Anyone interested in pursuing this form of employment will obviously have to also complete a basic teaching course, but so long as you can afford to stay out of work for an extra year, this could be a great way of giving something back and making a real difference in the lives of new students. The benefits of a role like this are many, but the most prominent is that you’ll spend most of your working life comfortable and warm, which is something that can’t be said for most engineers.

After reading through my suggestions, I hope you now understand a little more about some of the most lucrative opportunities open to you on the UK job market at the moment. That wasn’t an extensive list, and there are many other routes you could take, but I’m sure the ideas presented will serve to point you in the right direction.

Good luck with your search, I’ll see you back here again soon!

Sam Gatt


What do employers love and hate to see from candidates?

Job-InterviewMelissa from Lindenwood University asked:

I’ve seen numerous job search websites that offer advice like “employers love this…” or “employers hate it when you…” but employers are people too, and all people have individual personalities. Some may prefer traditional cover letters, others might want shorter and more casual e-mails. One hiring manager might appreciate a career summary at the top of a resume, another might feel that it wastes space. Is it appropriate to contact the office before applying and ask about these preferences? Or would that be seen as trying too hard to get on somebody’s good side?

Hi Melissa –

This is a fun question to answer.  Far too often, people offer advice on this topic that is really bad.  It’s not intentionally bad.  It’s just offered in ways that come across as universal.  The only thing I can tell you for certain is that . . .

No two employers are completely alike

You are correct!  Employers are people, too; so you should not approach them all the same way.

What one employer might love to hear, another might abhor!  Craft your resume in manner that markets you most effectively to the kinds of employment you are seeking, not to address the whims and preferences of an individual recruiter.  Your goal should not be to “get on someone’s good side.” Rather, it should be to present your relevant qualifications as professionally and effectively as you can.

When you are looking for a job, two things have to happen for you get a job:  An employer has to make you an offer, and you have to accept.

Just because someone offers you a job does not mean you have to accept it.  Just as the employer is evaluating you as a potential employee, you should be evaluating that employer to determine whether or not you want to accept a job if one is offered.

Be consistent in the way you present yourself to employers and in the way you assess employment opportunities, and you will have a much better chance of landing a job that suits you well.

Now back to your specific question:  I have conducted a lot of interviews, observed a lot of interviews, and met with a lot of recruiters.  Based on that experience, here is my general advice regarding what employers love and hate to see in candidates.  I think the following observations hold up well, regardless of the employer.

Employers love authenticity

Be who you are, not who you think the employer want you to be. Seriously, if you change your behavior and your responses to “tell them what they want to hear” just to get the job, who are they considering for employment? You or your interview “alter ego.”?

By the way, most savvy employers can see through BS answers and nervous posturing.  Be cognizant of your surroundings, be professional, and be authentic.  Employers love it when candidates are authentic.  When you are authentic, they know who they are talking to.

Employers love confidence

Be confident in what you offer, just not overconfident. Don’t be ashamed of what you have accomplished. It is possible to be proud, humble, and confident all the same time.  Your confidence show the employer that you are not easily rattled; that you can hold up under pressure.

Employers love candidates that don’t waste their time

Make good use of the time you and the interviewer are investing in your interview.  Don’t waste your time and don’t waste theirs.  Show up on time. Dress appropriately for the interview. Don’t ramble when answering questions. Don’t overstay your welcome.  Don’t make them wait to hear back – return calls and emails promptly.

Employers love candidates that are prepared

Do your homework.  Do as much research as possible before applying for (and interviewing for) a job. Be ready to tell the employer why you want the job, why you are a good candidate for the job, why you’re interested in working for their company, and why you’re interested in working in their industry.  Be ready to tell your story, and be ready with questions so you can learn their story.  Follow the Boy Scout Rule:  Always be prepared!

Employers hate stock answers

Leave the stock, rehearsed answers at home.  Most recruiters have heard them all before.  No one learns anything from a stock answer. Offering up a stock response is never “telling them what they want to hear.”    Stock responses are usually express passes to the front of the “thanks but no thanks” line.

Employers hate kiss-ups

Don’t pander – you’re better than that (or at least you should be!).  Recruiters know their companies are not perfect and that the job they have to offer is not perfect.    If you are a kiss up in the interview, you are telling them you will be a kiss up on the job.  Do you like working with kiss ups?  I don’t.

One caveat: If you want a job that requires you to be a kiss up, go for it! When you get that job, just remind yourself that it is the job you wanted.  Be careful what you wish for.

Employers hate arrogance

If overconfidence is bad, arrogance is outright laughable; and they will laugh about you after the interview if you come across as arrogant.  If you honestly feel a job or company is “beneath you.” why did you apply, let along accept the interview? Get over yourself; drop the  attitude.  Arrogance is rude, bad form, and just distasteful. In most cases, arrogance will NOT get you the job.

Still uncertain?  Follow the advice of Dr. Seuss:

When interviewing for a job, be the best You you can be!

Good Luck,


Invest wisely in your college degree: Consider your earning potential

Concept of expensive education - dollars and diplomaIf you are a college student having a hard time choosing a major, perhaps you can use earning potential as a factor in narrowing down your options.

Money is a motivator. While it may not be your primary motivator in getting a college degree, it certainly is a factor to take into consideration.

Why? We all have bills to pay, and eventually you are going to have to pay off those student loans!

The time and money you are spending on your college degree is an investment. Invest wisely if you want a good return on that investment.

AdviserOne offers rankings based on data collected from 1,000 universities that highlight top highest-paying majors. Eighty-eight percent of the schools surveyed had more than 5,000 students. If money’s on your mind, you’ll probably want to avoid Child and Family Studies, which had an entry-level salary of approximately $37K, or roughly $18 per hour.

For more than $18 per hour, the following highly paid jobs may interest you and your future bank account:

Nurse Anesthetist

  • Average Hourly Pay: $67 per hour
  • A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is responsible for administering anesthesia to patients. They work with dentists, podiatrists and anesthesiologists to safely administer anesthesia and other related medications.

Electrical Engineering

  • Average Hourly Pay: $42
  • Pay for Top 10 percent: $63K
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics describes electrical engineers as professionals who design, develop and test the manufacturing of electrical equipment. This includes radar, motors, navigation systems and power generation equipment. Electronics engineers design, develop and test electronic equipment, including communications systems, such as global positioning (GPS) and satellite systems.

Mechanical Engineering

  • Average Hourly Pay: $40
  • Pay for Top 10 percent: $59 per hour
  • In this engineering discipline, engineering professionals apply principles of physics and materials science in order to analyze, design and develop mechanical devices and systems. It may also involve the production and use of heat and mechanical power.


  • Average Hourly Pay: $37
  • Pay for Top 10 percent: $60 per hour
  • Accountants keep track of an individual’s or company’s money and often provide tax preparation services. Most accountants focus on a specialty area. Accounting specializations include government accountants who assist enterprises conducting business with the government, internal auditors who validate the financial records within a company, management accountants who keep track of earnings and cash flow and personal accountants who keep track of tax and financial information for individuals and small companies.

Political Science

  • Average Hourly Pay: $33
  • Pay for Top 10 percent: $57 per hour
  • Two popular political science concentrations include American Politics and International Politics. According to North Carolina State University, American Politics courses help develop skills for students passionate about professional education, law school, political or administrative careers, and business careers in companies that work with the government. Students interested in the legal profession, advocacy, international corporate organizations and careers in government would be suitable for a concentration in international politics.

Computers and IT

  • Average Hourly Pay: $36
  • Pay for Top 10 percent: $56 per hour
  • This category includes database designers, computer programmers and computer security professionals. As our continued reliance on computers grows, so will the need for professionals in this industry.

Business Administration and Management

  • Average Hourly Pay: $32
  • Pay for Top 10 percent: $52 per hour
  • Business Administration professionals require a business administration and management degree as well as good organizational skills and communication abilities.

Management Information Systems and IT


  • Average Hourly Pay: $28
  • Pay for Top 10 percent: $49 per hour
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics communications category includes media and content writing, editing, photography and broadcasting.


  • Average Hourly Pay: $31
  • reports a high national demand for nurses. Many hospitals and other health care institutions are reimbursing nurses up to 100 percent of their tuition costs. Not only does nursing pay well and offer job security, it also provides personal job satisfaction because you’re helping ill patients in need.


Nuclear Power With No Degree: Top Jobs for Undergraduates

Hidden Gem Jobs for the Unemployed or Underpaid | Brought to you by
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What can I do with a Psychology degree? Should I get a graduate degree overseas?

humanitarian-jobs-200Kayla from Wisconsin-La Crosse had two questions:  

I’m currently a sophomore majoring in Psychology and wish to do humanitarian type work after college.  Are there any jobs in that field that pay decently?

Also,  I’ve been thinking that I would like to go to graduate school in the UK.  Would it then be possible to work in the U.S. with that degree? Or would it only be valid there?

Hi Kayla –

There are a lot of aspects to your questions. I’ll do my best to address them.

First, you ask if there are any jobs in humanitarian fields that pay decently.  That depends upon on you define the word “decently” as it applies to compensation.

People don’t go into helping professions to make a lot of money

They do so to make a difference.  For some people, an entry-level  job with a salary in the mid- $20s to mid-$30s pays decently; for others, it is far too low.  For some, an entry-level job with salary in the mid-$50s to mid-$60 pay decently; for others it is far too low. It is all a matter of perspective.

If you want to go into a helping profession (social work, non-profit work, education, social services), do not expect to make a lot of money.  If you do, you will be disappointed.

Employers won’t pay you what you think you deserve, they will pay what the market will bear

As you explore and consider your career options, you have to take your lifestyle expectations into account.

You aren’t going to work in a helping profession and drive a fancy car, live in a big house and take expensive vacations unless you marry well, have a trust fund or win the lottery!

The NACE Salary Calculator is a good tool for helping you understand the earning potential in a variety of career areas.  I strongly recommend you spend some time using it to do some salary research.

To your second question about studying overseas . . .

I am a big proponent of study abroad programs!  I just responded to another question about study abroad a short time ago:  Does studying abroad give you an edge in the job market?

That said, your question contains one big question with a lot of very important sub-questions:

Should you get a graduate degree at all? And if so . . .
In what field?
What universities offer that field of study?
Are any of those universities in the U.K.?
What graduate degrees do these universities award?
What do graduates with these degrees do after they graduate?

More educated does not necessary mean more qualified or more marketable.

Read my response to the question: Will getting an MBA help me advance in my field?

Degrees from accredited and recognized universities outside the US are typically recognized by employers in the US (and vice-versa), but as you can see – it is not just about the degree, it’s about what the degree qualifies you to do.

It is very good that you are thinking about all of these things this early in your college career!  I commend you for that.  Keep asking questions and keep exploring your options, and you will do well regardless of the career path you end up taking.

Good luck,


myCNAjobs Predicts College Students May Help Alleviate the Impeding Caregiver Shortage

Chicago, IL – September 25, 2012 — Caregiver turnover combined with the retirement of 8,000 Baby Boomers each day are ingredients for a major worker shortage over the next decade, according to a recent study by Service Employees International Healthcare. One factor driving high turnover, especially in states like Washington, is the inability for caregivers to secure enough working hours due to budget cuts. Another major factor is decreasing caregiver loyalty and employment satisfaction.

“Being a caregiver is a tough job and even tougher in today’s economy,” says Brandi Kurtyka, Chief Marketing Officer for myCNAjobs, a caregiving and CNA recruiting vehicle used by senior employers across the country.
By 2050, over 20 percent of the U.S. population will be age 65 or older. Although professional caregiving careers are growing at a tremendous rate, nursing school enrollment isn’t growing fast enough to meet projected demand, according to the American Association of College and Nursing.

“With the looming caregiver shortage, we’re focused on building relationships with a variety of partners, including colleges and universities,” adds Kurtyka. ”We believe that smart, savvy, and compassionate college students may help alleviate the impeding shortage while also offering a platform to build more successful careers post-college.”

Today, nearly half of all undergraduates work while enrolled in college and approximately ten percent are employed at least 35 hours per week. As more students turn to employment earlier to pay for school, college students may find caregiving careers as the perfect complement to a busy life on-campus.

“Many college students appreciate the flexibility of a caregiving career and money to help pay for school. In addition, caregiver careers offer invaluable experience and are mutually beneficial for both the student and senior,” comments Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of, the leading job board for college students searching for internships and recent grads hunting for entry-level jobs and other career opportunities. – myCNAjobs currently has active university relationships in select states and is rolling out a national partnership program in the coming months. myCNAjobs is the world’s most comprehensive resource to find rewarding work and hire caregivers and certified nursing assistants effectively. To learn more, visit or contact info(at)myCNAjobs(dot)com.

About & Steven Rothberg – Steven Rothberg is the President and Founder of, the leading job board for college students searching for internships and recent graduates hunting for entry-level jobs and other career opportunities. features well over 100,000 internship and entry-level job postings and 25,000 pages of articles, Ask the Experts questions and answers, blogs, videos, and other career-related content. Steven regularly keynotes and presents at regional, national, and international conferences and trade shows related to online marketing, online recruitment and the recruitment of college students and recent graduates.

— Article written by Steven Rothberg and courtesy of

1.8 million more people working in July 2012 than July 2011

There were 3.7 million job openings on the last business day of July, little changed from June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The hires rate (3.2 percent) and separations rate (3.0 percent) were also little changed in July. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the nonfarm sector by industry and by geographic region.

Job Openings

The number of job openings in July was 3.7 million, little changed from June. The number of openings was little changed in all industries except health care and social assistance, where the number decreased. The number of openings was also little changed in all four regions in July. The level of total non-farm job openings in July was up from 2.4 million at the end of the recession in June 2009. (Recession dates are determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research.)

The number of job openings in July (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the year for total non-farm, total private, and government. Job openings increased over the year for several industries but fell in mining and logging and arts, entertainment, and recreation. Three of the four regions – Midwest, Northeast, and South – experienced a rise in job openings over the year.


In July, the hires rate was unchanged at 3.2 percent. The hires rate was little changed in all industries and regions. The number of hires in July was 4.2 million, up from 3.7 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

Over the 12 months ending in July, the hires rate (not seasonally adjusted) was unchanged for total nonfarm and total private but increased for government. The hires rate was little changed in all industries over the year but increased in state and local government. The rate was little changed in all four regions over the year.


The total separations figure includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is also referred to as turnover. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations include separations due to retirement, death, and disability, as well as transfers to other locations of the same firm.

The total separations rate was essentially unchanged for total non-farm and total private, and unchanged for government in July. Over the year, the total separations rate (not seasonally adjusted) was unchanged for total no-nfarm, total private, and government.

In July, the quits rate was unchanged for total non-farm, total private, and government. The number of quits was 2.2 million in July, up from 1.8 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) in July rose over the year for total non-farm and total private but was little changed for government. Quits also increased over the year in several industries and in the South; quits declined in finance and insurance.

The layoffs and discharges rate was little changed in July for total non-farm and total private and unchanged for government. The layoffs and discharges rate was essentially unchanged in all four regions in July. The number of layoffs and discharges for total non-farm was 1.6 million in July, down from 2.1 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

The layoffs and discharges level (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for total non-farm and total private but decreased for government over the 12 months ending in July 2012. The number of layoffs and discharges was essentially unchanged over the year in all four regions.

In July, there were 344,000 other separations for total non-farm, little changed from the previous month. The number of other separations (not seasonally adjusted) was also little changed over the 12 month ending in July.

Net Change in Employment

Large numbers of hires and separations occur every month throughout the business cycle. Net employment change results from the relationship between hires and separations. When the number of hires exceeds the number of separations, employment rises, even if the hires level is steady or declining. Conversely, when the number of hires is less than the number of separations, employment declines, even if the hires level is steady or rising. Over the 12 months ending in July 2012, hires totaled 51.4 million and separations totaled 49.6 million, yielding a net employment gain of 1.8 million. These figures include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

This post was written by Steven Rothberg and first appeared on on September 11, 2012.


Welcome to – a service of CSO Research Inc. 

This blog provides career advising and coaching resources and information to benefit the students of CSO’s 600+ client colleges and universities across the US and around the world.

Content is provided primarily by me –  Matt Berndt, CSO’s Director of Communication & Career Services with additional content provided by  Mason Gates, CSO’s Director of Employer Engagement,  and other of our colleagues at CSO and friends in career services and recruiting. 

I have been described as a “career evangelist because of my passion for helping college students proactively explore their career options and pursue careers paths that match their skills, interests, goals and aspirations.

My philosophy of career planning and management is simple:

Life is short. Work somewhere awesome! 

Yes, I know that “working somewhere awesome” is not easy to achieve.    Why is that?   Well . . . 

Consider this:

According the the US Bureau of Labor Statistics,  most of us will have more than 10 jobs over the course of our careers

And this:

Many of the jobs and careers  that will drive economic development in the future don’t even exist yet.  Remember, social media didn’t exist ten years ago!

Kind of makes the whole “what am I going to do with the rest of my life?” question college students ask sound a little bit silly, don’t you think.

See, it’s not about about knowing what you are going to do with the rest of your life RIGHT NOW.

It’s about learning how to navigate your career journey through its unavoidable changes, peaks, and valleys in a way that will allow you to live the life you want to live, meet your obligations, and make decisions according to your personal and professional priorities.

The content of this blog – and my philosophy in general – is centered on helping college students  explore their options and navigate their career paths from the minute the step on campus for the first time to long after they graduate and progress through their careers, because no one else will do this for them.

You may not always agree with the advice and commentary I offer.

That’s okay! There is not one specific career planning and management “recipe” that will work for everyone.  

My goal with this blog to to get students thinking about how they can best use their skills, gifts, talents, education, resources and relationships to forge a work life that suits them well and meets their wants and needs.

Welcome aboard – put on your seat belt – enjoy the ride!