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Engineering Engineering career after MSc applied physics

  1. Mar 19, 2016 #1
    I have a MSc in engineering physics / applied physics, but i decided to not continue with a PhD, and instead try out my luck as an engineer in the industry. I'm currently working with structural analysis, but I feel somewhat overqualified for most of the work I do, so I feel like switching to another job. I kind of like this field though, so I wouldn't mind continue working with mechanical design / finite element analysis and so on, just in another company.

    My grades are slightly above average I guess, but not so great that any company would hire me just based on that. I feel I really need to have some relevant courses / relevant degree to show. I really had to struggle to find the job I currently have, and I feel I could have a landed a much better job with my grades if I just had a more "practical" engineer education.

    I've considered quitting my job and taking mechanical engineer courses for a year, just to have some relevant courses to show on my resume, and then try to apply for something better. It would be one year without my normal income, but I think it could be manageable and worth it in the long run.

    Has anyone here done something like this? Any thoughts in general? I've never heard about anyone taking engineering courses, at least full time, after already completing a MSc.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2016 #2


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    I don't think anyone gets hired based on their grades. IMO/E good grades might help you get an interview but that's it.
    Even then, when I interviewed for R&D/ product development jobs out of university it was made pretty clear it wasn't there because I had 1st class honours, it was my portfolio of engineering projects that got my foot in the door.

    What are the jobs you want looking for? Do they ask for a portfolio? Academic transcript? ANSYS or solidworks certification? Identity what you need to get the job you want.
  4. Mar 19, 2016 #3


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    Where are you located ?
  5. Mar 19, 2016 #4
    I'm located in Norway. Five years ago everyone who could present some kind of MSc would get a job offer from the oil industry, but now things have completely changed. I think only civil engineers have a decent job marked now.

    The jobs I typically want ask for people with a MSc in mechanical or civil engineering. I was thinking maybe I could get myself into interviews if I had some engineering courses in addition to my physics degree. At the place I work they were originally very skeptical hiring a physicist to do engineering work, but it turns out I perform at least as well as the other ones with a "normal" engineering degree :)

    I'd love to have a great product portfolio and software certificates, but I don't think it's possible to obtain that in my current position. I had to learn Solidworks by watching online tutorials.
  6. Mar 19, 2016 #5


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    It is not your qualifications that are the problem - it's your address . How about relocating ?

    In UK there are still many companies that have graduate apprenticeship schemes for engineers .




    Search on 'graduate apprenticeship schemes UK' will return a long list of others .
  7. Mar 20, 2016 #6
    These are not apprenticeships, and their entry requirements will more than likely specify an engineering degree.
  8. Mar 21, 2016 #7


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    Well that's incredibly vague. Most engineering job ads are pretty specific ie Must have X years experience in XXXX industry with a focus on XXXXX and familiarity with ISO standards XXXX and test procedures XXXXX. Must be proficient with XXXX & XXXXX software and XXXXX & XXXXX hardware etc etc
    IME most engineering companies are much more interested in skills than qualifications, an average engineering job ad might have one single line on qualification requirements and paragraphs on skill requirements, and almost all of those skills can only be learnt in the workplace. You are already gaining actual engineering experience at your current job, you don't know exactly what the job you want requires so who's to say going back to university is even taking a step forwards? The opportunity loss could mean a step backwards.

    Well, are they even relevant to your prefered career path? I just used those as examples, the point is to:

    Why not at least look at the links instead of dismissing them off the bat?
    From the first link I clicked on:
    ""To join us on the GDF you must have a minimum of a 2:1 bachelors degree. This can be in any subject for our business opportunities and must be in an engineering, numerical or scientific subject for our engineering positions""
    While the term "apprenticeship" is more often used for trades (electrician, fitter/turner, carpenter etc) it is still also used for professional engineering graduate programs.
  9. Mar 21, 2016 #8
    I'm not dismissing them off the bat, just trying to inject some realism. These positions are the most competitive ones due to the huge numbers that apply to them - they're the first stop for virtually all engineering graduates seeking engineering work after graduation, in my experience. And whilst the odd one or two might be open to more than just engineering graduates, you'll probably find, as I did, that the vast majority want an engineering degree, and preferably an MEng too so that they can put you through your chartership.

    Given that the OP has some experience, but not the correct paperwork, I would think the OP would have better success trying to leverage his/her experience to move into another position of the same level than start out on a graduate scheme. In fact very few of these graduate schemes are open for applications at the moment anyway (they typically open in September/October time to start the following summer/autumn).
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