Like every other prospective engineering student, you’re probably super-focused on where your Engineering degree will take you and what the job market will look like when you graduate.
But if you’re keen to increase your employability you’ll need to think about the bigger picture. Employability is more than just getting a job. It’s the wider range of skills and personal attributes that’ll make you stand out from the crowd. Employability is that special something that’ll enable you to thrive in any workplace and adapt to changing technology and industry demands – so you’ll have a successful engineering career your whole life.
Where to begin?
Getting a degree from a recognised uni is a great start. But even if you’re a high-achieving student and graduate with top grades, you’re still going to have to compete against others who have similar academic qualifications.
Here’s your action plan to enhance your engineering employability…
Get stuck in from the get-go and make the most of your time at uni, whether you volunteer, join clubs or mentor newer students. Not only will you have more fun and find it rewarding, but you’ll also be building useful skills you can apply to develop a successful future career.
Enhance your employability while meeting likeminded friends and connections in our many student clubs and societies, such as The UWA Young Engineers' Club (UWAYE), Engineers without Borders, UWA Motorsport or The University Engineers' Club (UEC). UWA’s Engineering School has a really strong student scene with a wide range of clubs that offer different things from developing technical skills to networking, so there’s something for everyone. Many of the clubs actively try to connect students to industry through events and mentoring projects. So get out there, meet people and try something new! You can find out more about all our student clubs from the UWA Student Guild.
We’ve worked with Industry to develop our Engineering courses and we know industry wants graduates who have strong technical capabilities. That’s why we offer additional hands-on intensive workshops where you can develop practical skills in 3D printing, welding, soldering and other tools relevant to your chosen career path. All you need to do is sign up and bring enthusiasm!
A key part of your engineering studies is the 12-week practicum and professional-development experience you’ll complete. This can be achieved by spending at least eight weeks in an engineering environment of your choice. It’s a great opportunity to connect with potential employers and explore careers you might be interested in. Make the most of this time to sharpen your networking skills, set personal work goals, be proactive and reflect on any feedback you receive.
You’re responsible for liaising with employers to organise your own work experiences – great practice for when you graduate and a chance to flex your initiative when it comes to job hunting. Be organised and start planning early for this by checking out the multiple resources and services available at UWA to help you build the skills needed to find and secure opportunities.
Take full advantage of the career services we offer such as Careers Mentor Link – a great opportunity to be matched with professionals and get insider industry knowledge from people with real career experience. Having a mentor can really help you grow in your profession and allows you to expand your professional network and practise relationship-building. Being directly linked with top engineers will also help you stay ahead of emerging trends and new developments in your chosen field.
By doing all these things you’ll be growing your communication, teamwork and leadership skills without even realising it. Being adaptable and open to new opportunities and increasing your employability will seem like easy work!
At The University of Western Australia – WA’s #1 uni for graduate employability* – we’ve made employability our top priority and it’s a key part of all our degrees and programs.
All of our degrees include the option to take internships or Work Integrated Learning units, and, along with mentoring and volunteering opportunities, these can enhance your standing in your future employers’ eyes.
Visit our employability website for more info and services to help build towards your future career.
*(QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2020)