Is a Mechanical Engineering course worth it?

Is a mechanical engineering course worth it?

Yes, pursuing a mechanical engineering course can be worth it for several reasons:

  • Career Opportunities: Mechanical engineering offers a wide range of career opportunities in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, energy, manufacturing, and more. The demand for mechanical engineers remains strong.

  • Job Stability: Mechanical engineering is a field with a high demand for skilled professionals, providing a level of job stability and security.

  • Versatility: The skills and knowledge gained in a mechanical engineering course can be applied to different industries and roles. Mechanical engineers are often involved in design, analysis, manufacturing, and project management.

  • Hands-on Problem Solving: Mechanical engineering involves practical problem-solving skills, allowing you to apply mathematical and scientific principles to real-world challenges.

  • Competitive Salary: Mechanical engineering is known for offering competitive salaries and potential for career advancement.

  • Innovation and Creativity: Mechanical engineering allows you to contribute to innovative and cutting-edge projects, pushing the boundaries of technology and design.

  • Transferable Skills: The analytical, technical, and problem-solving skills acquired through a mechanical engineering course are valuable and can be applied in various fields.

  • Professional Network: Studying mechanical engineering allows you to connect with industry professionals, participate in internships or co-op programs, and build a network that can be beneficial for future career opportunities.

Ultimately, the worth of a mechanical engineering course depends on your interests, career goals, and passion for the field.

Career options

Natural career paths following a mechanical engineering degree:

  • Design Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Research and Development Engineer
  • Quality Engineer
  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Automotive Engineer
  • Energy Engineer
  • HVAC Engineer
  • Robotics Engineer

Career paths using transferable skills:

  • Technical Sales Representative
  • Management Consultant
  • Operations Manager
  • Supply Chain Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Data Analyst
  • Research Scientist
  • Patent Examiner
  • Entrepreneur/Startup Founder
  • Engineering
  • Educator/Instructor

Many employers will accept applications from students that have studied various degrees. 

Work experience

Having work experience before applying for a role is valued highly by employers, especially experience directly related to a mechanical engineering role. Some mechanical engineering courses may even include a year’s work placement, where you’ll be able to learn industry skills, develop your commercial awareness and gain insight into what a career in mechanical engineering would look like. 

If your university course does not offer a year’s work placement, then you may want to consider applying for voluntary work or a summer internship – this will show that you are passionate and committed to your chosen career. This will also provide you with the opportunity to network and build a list of contacts who may become useful in the future. You may also have the chance to shadow engineers in different parts of a business,

Typical employers

There will be many opportunities available to you in various sectors. Some of these include:

  • Automotive industry
  • Aerospace industry
  • Energy sector (including renewable energy)
  • Manufacturing industry
  • Construction industry
  • Robotics and automation industry
  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) industry
  • Oil and gas industry
  • Defense and military sector
  • Research and development organisations

You could even be involved with tackling some of the biggest issues that the world is facing such as climate change, cyber security, ageing populations, food, clean water and energy. You could also work in some unique settings such as oil rigs, deserts, the Antarctic and the deep sea – the possibilities really are endless.

How to enhance your CV

A degree in mechanical engineering will develop a variety of your skills including maths, science, technology, business and management.  Once completing your mechanical engineering degree, you will be:

  • Strong technical knowledge in mechanical engineering principles and concepts.
  • Proficiency in using engineering software and tools for design, analysis, and simulation.
  • Ability to solve complex engineering problems using analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Proficient in computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) software.
  • Knowledge of manufacturing processes and materials selection.
  • Understanding of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer.
  • Skills in project management and ability to work effectively in teams.
  • Excellent mathematical and computational skills.
  • Familiarity with engineering codes, standards, and regulations.
  • Strong communication skills for effectively presenting and conveying technical information.

Further study

Mechanical engineers have lots of options available to them for career progression. 85% of engineering graduates go on to study further because with more experience and qualifications comes more responsibility and higher salaries.

Most will enrol on an MEng programme for their first degree. These are enhanced Masters’s programmes of study which are over four years. Others will enrol on an EngD which is an industry-based PhD which combines Doctoral-level research with training in practical skills. This is a popular alternative as you will usually be placed with industrial sponsors and the possibility of being employed by that sponsor after completing the programme is high.

What are mechanical engineering graduates doing?

You will likely find employment fairly quickly with a mechanical engineering degree – an impressive 35% are employed as engineering professionals just 15 months after graduating. Other mechanical engineering students have chosen career paths in IT (5%), science, engineering and production technicians (3%) and metal machining, fitting and instrument-making trades (2%).

Related Courses

MEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering 

MEng (Hons) / BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering focuses on industry-relevant topics to reflect the needs of today’s employers, allowing you to build a successful career in the design, engineering and manufacturing sectors.

You will gain knowledge of scientific and engineering principles and take a flexible approach toward new ideas and developments. You will hone your practical skills by using our industry-standard equipment and software for computer-aided engineering design, manufacture and analysis and failure investigations. Increased emphasis is placed on sustainable engineering – establishing you as an attractive candidate to prospective employers.

MSc Mechanical Engineering

Our MSc Mechanical Engineering is intended for mechanical engineering graduates (and engineering graduates from related disciplines, e.g. aircraft, aeronautical, product design engineering) and will deepen and widen your knowledge and understanding of mechanical engineering specialist topics.

In addition to enhancing your technical skills and knowledge, the MSc in Mechanical Engineering will allow you to develop your interpersonal and transferable skills further. These will allow you to function in an advanced engineering environment as a senior engineer and manager.