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So, you want to be an engineer?

This article appears in: Engineering
Lego engineers standing among engineering plans

Well then, you've got some decisions to make. Here's how to decide on whether Engineering - and which course - is right for you.

If you have a talent for maths and science, chances are that a teacher, a careers advisor, perhaps even an employer, has suggested that you might make a good engineer.

And it’s certainly true that people who excel in these subjects often possess the skills needed in engineering. Problem-solving, innovation, critical thinking, meticulous attention to detail, and curious perseverance are just some examples of these skills.

What you might not realise is that to be an engineer can mean many, many things.

If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an engineer is a middle-aged man, wearing a hard hat, standing on a building site, then you might be surprised to learn that engineers work in nearly every sector and industry across the world.

At CDU, we have Engineering courses that start at Diploma level, and go through to Masters and PhDs. 

Three CDU engineering students in a laboratory environment

Step 1: Decide what engineering qualification you want

Engineers Australia categorises three kinds of engineers. The kind of engineer you’ll be categorised as depends on which degree you choose. 

A Professional Engineer

In Australia, Professional Engineers must hold an accredited four-year professional engineering degree or an Engineering Masters. At CDU, we have three courses that enable students to graduate as Professional Engineers. 

An Engineering Technologist 

To qualify for a job working as an engineering technologist, you must hold a three-year degree. CDU’s Bachelor of Engineering Science qualifies graduates to work as Engineering Technologists.

An Engineering Associate

If you’re looking to work as an engineering associate, you’ll need to complete a two-year diploma or associate degree of engineering. CDU’s Associate Degree of Engineering qualifies graduates to work as engineering associates.

Step 2: Decide on your specialisation

One of the best things about engineering is that while all engineers have a universal set of skills, you’re able to choose an area of specialisation that best suits you. At CDU, students choose from: 

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
Female CDU IT student working on a switchboard

Step 3: Decide on a career

Upon graduation, it’s worth considering how you want to use your degree. It might seem obvious as a graduate of an Engineering degree to seek an Engineering role. However the scope for employment as an engineering graduate is incredibly broad, and your skills will be valued across sectors and industries of all kinds. 

In Australia alone, Engineers are employed across sectors including agriculture, construction, defence, electronics, education, energy, health, IT, mining, transport, and telecommunications (just to name a few!) 

The skills that engineers possess are well suited to many careers outside the scope of traditional engineering - from banking, consulting, humanitarian work, sales, and design. Or, in the case of former electrical engineering graduate Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr Bean) - even acting!

An engineering degree can take you nearly anywhere. Explore CDU’s engineering courses.

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