Finishing university and entering the world of work can sometimes feel like you’ve been thrown in the deep end. Education can feel like a safety blanket for some and when it suddenly stops, it can be a shock to the system. But you have worked so hard to get where you are now and the first step to getting a job in your chosen industry is to focus on your successes. It can feel like you are starting from scratch at the beginning, but there are loads of employers out there ready to hire you and start preparing you for your great engineering career. Graduate schemes are one way of entering the workplace and there are always engineering employers that have these schemes available to you. This article explains what a graduate scheme is and why you should consider this when you’re fresh out of education.
What is a graduate scheme?
A graduate scheme is usually a very structured training programme run by employers to help develop talented engineers and future long-term employees of their company. Employers usually look for talent that is new and fresh and can offer a new perspective on ideas and ways of working.
Graduate schemes can offer a huge range of different prospects. Employers will search for new engineers and allow them to learn on the job, obtain new industry skills and have the chance to work with professionals that have been in the industry for a long time. You’ll be given the chance to learn from a hands-on experience and really get to know yourself as a professional.
Whether you decide a graduate scheme is good for you or not, as a graduate you have a lot to offer and it’s important to know your worth when applying for jobs and schemes. Graduates have just gone through a rewarding 3-4 years of higher education and businesses want to hire you for a reason. You will have some highly sought-after skills and don’t forget that.
Embrace that you have come a long way
One thing most recent engineering graduates can agree on, is that learning and earning their degree were some of the most enjoyable but difficult years of their life. It’s not easy and employers will appreciate all of the hard work you have done in this time.
Although it can be a very difficult time, the benefits engineering has to offer in a career, seems to be worth all of the work. You should be proud of everything you have achieved so far, with an engineering career ahead of you, there are so many more achievements to look forward to. Your degree is something that will back the skills you will have mentioned on your CV and your experience at university is a great thing to talk about in interviews, especially if you don’t have much work experience. Typically, companies offering graduate schemes will be aware of any industry and knowledge gaps you may potentially have. This is where their training comes in.
Employers give you the time to learn
Employers that offer graduate schemes know about the potential gap in knowledge, but they also know the value that graduates can bring. Schemes are put in place to help support you, learn on the job and help you get the experience you want and deserve.
Most businesses are open to training new starters with the skills you will need to complete the role with competency and skill. You’ll find that employers offering graduate schemes are open to the training because you often get paid a little less than employees with more experience.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be paid fairly for your time. Ensure that you are treating this like any other role and ensure you are being treated fairly and in line with industry salaries.
Benefits to hiring graduates
Employers are seeing the huge benefits that hiring graduates has on the business and the teams within. Training schemes may allow you to feel more comfortable accepting a new job and keeps they try and keep you full of motivation to learn whilst you are at work. Take full advantage of these learning periods and really explore what they have to offer, you’ll enjoy the probation time in your job a lot more with an open mind. Explore all of the benefits your workplace may provide. Take a bit of initiative and if you feel like you would benefit from a programme they offer, just ask!
You are able to provide a fresh perspective
Compared to employees that have been working for several years, a new person, fresh out of university is bound to bring a new perspective to the team. Bringing fresh and new creative ideas into the workplace opens up room for unique and important developments to be made in the industry. This isn’t to say older professionals can’t do this, but graduates may tend to come equipped with new ideas and enthusiasm to try new things.
The key to engineering is to keep innovating and producing new ideas at a good speed. Without it, nothing new would be developed and things would start to become out-of-date. Businesses need all kinds of workers, from all stages of life, to lead a successful work environment. You should understand that as a graduate your ideas and opinions are valued just as much as anyone else’s. New ideas bring new successes to any business, don’t be afraid to share the ideas you have.
You may have less responsibility to begin with
This statement can always sound a little negative. However, the beginning of your career can be a very difficult and busy time. You are constantly learning new processes, systems, and ways of working at a new company. As an engineer, you will more than likely have a very busy schedule and coming up with good ideas may be crucial. But you are still learning and depending on your job role, people shouldn’t expect everything you do to be flawless at the beginning. Strive for improvement, not perfection. Afterall, practice makes permanent. Mistakes are important to make. They strengthen your abilities and more often than not, actually drive you to be better.
Benefits of your industry
Engineering can open so many doors and as a graduate you can often wonder if you made the right career choice. However, engineers have a list of never-ending options. You could go into design or research elements or even push on with further education, engineers can do anything they believe to be possible, it will always be a very exciting industry and the opportunities are endless. Not to mention the shortage of qualified engineers. You can become a chartered professional and the job opportunities are just as plenty. As well as the jobs, the location opportunities are not restricted, engineers are needed all the time and everywhere. Every day will be different and the work you do, no matter what sector you chose will be both challenging and rewarding. You may even decide to explore multiple sectors to find the one for you, you have that opportunity! A huge bonus to an engineering career is the financial aspect– if that’s what you’re after in a job, engineering staff are often very well paid.
University is a very popular choice with young people, however it’s not the only choice anymore. When applying for a graduate scheme, you may be in competition with some very strong applicants. It’s a field with so much passion built around it and the community are very open to inviting people in. You need to understand the benefits you will have on this community one day, if not already. You are needed by employers as well as highly desired. They want graduates to come in and show them what you’ve got. Fight for your position and show them why you decided to be an engineer.
It’s important to understand how valuable you are as a graduate because some people tend to link this time with an uneasy feeling. You have so much to offer and the achievements you have made so far are worth being proud of. It’s only the beginning. The engineering community has so much to offer, and it can be hard to hold onto this when things may get tough. Remember why you wanted to be an engineer in the first place!