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Want to finally use my engineering degree, but don't know if it's too late??

(10 Posts)
JellyQuivvers Tue 25-Apr-17 09:57:05

Looking for any useful advice/words of wisdom/harsh truths! grin

Graduated 20 years ago with an engineering degree (mechanical related, don’t want to give too much detail away) but have never actually worked in an engineering role, instead fell into consultancy work (different sectors and different types of consultancies – management, marketing and economic consultancies). Long story short, I’m very bored with my job and would love the opportunity to move into a more ‘technical’ role if that makes sense. However, I’m not really sure what I could apply for - or more pertinently, if any employer would be interested in my background, skills and experience.

Does anyone have any experience of this, or do any employers/HR people think I’m barking up the wrong tree, and that engineering ship has sailed?? Feel a bit sad that I’ve wasted my degree if that doesn’t sound too dramatic, and at the grand old age of 47, wonder if I’m going to struggle with ageism?

All feedback welcome smile - have also posted this in chat for more traffic

unfortunateevents Tue 25-Apr-17 11:54:50

Is it still relevant? Don't engineering degrees have a very short shelf life because things move on so much in that field?

Notlostjustexploring Tue 25-Apr-17 12:18:51

Depends on the type of degree and what industry you want to work it, but I don't see why not.
I've worked in places where some of the plant is so old having a degree acquired twenty years ago could almost be an advantage!

MIT publish their coursework etc online, which you might find useful before any technical interviews. And reinstate a professional membership and maybe go along to a couple of events/lectures to brush up on current developments and demonstrate interest.

I think, not that I'm in charge of these things, where I work you could easily end up with an interview. They always like to recruit people who want to be engineers, iyswim.

If you want it, go for it!!! Nothing to lose!!

CMOTDibbler Tue 25-Apr-17 12:40:30

It might be a bit late to do direct engineering, but someone with good management skills and a technical background is a great addition to the team. In my teams currently we have people with engineering degrees doing technical writing (they work directly with the eng team during development), project management, risk and hazard analysis, human factors engineering (they did a masters in this), technical marketing, regulatory compliance and program management. There's probably a lot more roles, but this is just in my little area.

Is there an area you are particularly interested in? I guess as a highly regulated industry we have more people around the engineers than people making/operating stuff that isn't subject to that level

Ellypoo Tue 25-Apr-17 13:05:08

There is a massive skills shortage in Engineering but your lack of direct technical experience might be an issue and you might need to start quite low down in the food chain, but might there be some CPD/update courses you could do to bring your knowledge of current standards & techniques up to date and offer to work for free/low wage just to build your experience up?

daisychain01 Tue 25-Apr-17 13:46:27

The Equality Act is there to prevent ageism in the workplace.

A candidate is more likely to have difficulty with securing a role If their skills and experience don't match the requirements for the job, than because of age. I would focus on ensuring your skills are relevant, and that you can evidence transferable skills. And a positive can-do attitude.

JellyQuivvers Tue 25-Apr-17 14:09:50

Thanks for all your comments - went for an interview the other week and felt it went really well and got great vibes off the interviewers, but didn't get the job. Think I'm feeling a bit dejected, and its knocked my confidence........don't know that I necessarily want to be employed as an engineer - but would be better suited to some kind of technical support role, just not sure what?? Sorry for rambling!! grin

EBearhug Thu 27-Apr-17 01:27:25

Did you ask for feedback from them?

Atenco Thu 27-Apr-17 03:28:35

Could you take a diploma or refresher course somewhere?

UppityHumpty Fri 28-Apr-17 10:09:04

My brother is an engineer - he said nowadays to get most technical roles, companies prefer technical experience over degrees. Also a mechanical engineering degree by itself is no longer enough -- need a masters or phd too. You could try a business dev role in an engineering consultancy like Schneider, Siemens or BAE - and then see about opportunities to move into a technical role from there?

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