Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Ruth Byrne from Chartered Accountants Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:
Take the time to truly understand the commitment you are making by taking the chartered route. The training is structured and gives you an insight into a variety of accounting fields. There are many advantages to the ICAI training contract including recommended study leave, excellent study support and guaranteed scope of experience. There are a variety of societies to join post qualification which are second to none. Studying to be a chartered accountant is very demanding and you may have to be willing to sacrifice something in order to complete it successfully. Be willing to put in hard work and the rewards are there to reap. My studies and training through ICAI were challenging, dynamic and extremely rewarding.
What are your interests?
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Career Opportunities in Electrical & Electronic Engineering
What are the main occupations in this sector?
Electronic engineering offers a wide variety of exciting career opportunities from design, to research & development, and production to quality.
As an Electronic Engineer, Technologist or Technician you can work for:
ICT and Telecommunications companies
Civil Service and Government
Network infrastructure companies
Radio and television broadcasters and developers
Electronic component manufacturers
Electrical power utilities
Research and educational centres
Electronics is a fast-paced, forward-looking industry, offering the opportunity to work on the latest technology. Electronics are everywhere in the modern world, so this industry encompasses many areas, including consumer goods, medical and communications equipment.
There are two main types of organisation:
Component manufacturers - the companies who make integrated circuits and semiconductors
Original equipment manufacturers - companies who produce equipment such as televisions, MP3 players and mobile phones.
Control systems and automation is another area within the electronics sector. Engineers develop equipment to aid transport and the control of automated systems in the industry, including robots, navigational control systems and radars.
What types of employment contracts are there?
As part of the electrical engineering team, you can play an important role in the future development of a sustainable environment. There is a wide range of challenging career paths available. As an electrical engineer, technologist or technician, you can work in:
Industrial research and development labs
Energy supply corporations
Software and services companies
Technical monitoring agencies
Research institutes and educational institutions.
As an electrical engineering graduate you can:
Design electrical systems for a wide range of devices including video game consoles and DVD players.
Create the systems that can operate industrial robots or control aviation machines.
Develop the latest in modern applications such as broadband modems or new wireless technology.
Employers of electrical engineering graduates include ABB, ESB, Analog Devices, EirGid, IBM, Siemens, BT, Eircom, Xilinx and Airtricity to name but a few.
What are the typical earnings of these occupations?
Engineers Ireland recently carried out a salary survey among its members. It revealed that engineers across all types of engineering enjoy excellent salaries. Members with less than one year's experience earn on average €32,000 with this rising €34,000+ in their second year.
How do you get a job in this sector?
Sector companies typically recruit directly via the company website - it is always worth visiting their careers area.
Larger engineering companies tend to approach academic institutions directly, through specific engineering departments or college career services, as well as attending recruitment fairs. You should make a point of attending recruitment fairs if one is held on your campus, and make a note of crucial milk-round visits from organisations that interest you.
Some companies will recruit by advertising in National Newspapers or with sector representative bodies.
A placement or work experience is not a requirement to get a graduate job in engineering, but it can help. Companies may specify for example, that applicants should have a minimum of one year’s relevant experience in a manufacturing environment or ‘consideration will be given to applicants with relevant industrial placements’.
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