Engineering is a fast-growing field, but it’s also a competitive one. This means that there are plenty of jobs but also many people who want those jobs. To have a successful job search, there are a few things everyone needs to do, but you also need to take some steps that will help you stand out from all the other new engineers in the New York area.
Choose Your Focus
There are several ways for engineers to make a living so if you’re only at the beginning of your engineering career, meaning that you’re at or near the start of your formal education, one of the first things you’ll need to do is decide what kind of engineer you want to be. You may have been primarily thinking about one type of engineering, but there are many different roles within this profession.
It’s worthwhile to learn a little about chemical, mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering even if you’re positive about what you want to focus on because you may learn something about one of the other areas that makes it seem more attractive to you. While these are the broad categories, there are many different industries and specific niche careers you might pursue. You might work in aeronautics or petroleum, with computers, on environmental issues, or in designing safety systems, to name just a few of the many possibilities.
Get Your Degree
You probably already know that you need to get a degree to be an engineer, but what you might not know is how you’re going to pay for it. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities for financial aid, starting with filling out the FAFSA. You can also apply for scholarships and take out private student loans. In addition, refinancing student loans is always an option after graduation. This can help give you more favorable terms and lower your monthly expenses as you’re getting established in your new profession.
This could be one of the most important things that you do to land a great first job. It isn’t that you can get by sheerly on who you know or that your skills don’t matter, but the ability to make personal connections can help you get your foot in the door at places where you might not otherwise or could set you apart from other candidates. Networking can start while you’re still at school. You should absolutely try to get an internship if possible.
You can also work at making professional connections both online and offline, through social media, alumni, and student or professional organizations, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. You never know who might prove to be a valuable connection, either, your parent’s neighbor or someone you are talking to casually at a party might be someone who could be pivotal in your career, so don’t be shy about sharing your ambitions with people if it’s a subject that comes up naturally.
There are many things you can do to ensure that you are better prepared for your job search. Creating a career portfolio that employers can browse online gives them the opportunity to find out more about you. Information you put here can include much of the same information you’d put in a resume but fleshed out more, including experience, references, recommendations, an overview of your technical and nontechnical skills, and a brief bio.
When it comes to job interviews, one way you should prepare is by researching the company you will be interviewing with. This can help you determine whether the company is one that you want to work for. It also enables you to ask smart and specific questions during the interview, which can make a good impression. You may need to dig a little more deeply to get information about private companies than those that are publicly traded, but this research will be worthwhile.