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 Sarah Tenanty from Insurance to give some advice for people considering this job:
Work hard, push your boundaries, have belief in your abilities, set personal goals and seek feedback. For those who have not completed a college degree or third level education – seek a career path that will give you the opportunity to further your education and learning.
What are your interests?
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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’.