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Study choices to maximise employability in automotive engineering

  1. May 14, 2012 #1
    Hi all,

    I apologise for the length of the post, but I thought it best to give all the details!

    I'm a 27 year old Mechanical Engineering student and will be going into my third year of my course in September. I'm currently looking for some advice as to the best route to take in order to maximise my employability.

    There are a number of options that I have been considering in order to take me to my goal of working as an engineer within the automotive sector, and ultimately becoming Chartered. These options are:

    1) staying on at my current university and graduating with an accredited MEng in Mechanical Engineering. There is no specialism available, nor is there an opportunity to get involved with the prestigious Formula Student competition.

    2) leave my current university with an accredited BEng in Mechanical Engineering and attend University A to specialise in Automotive Engineering by way of an accredited MSc. This university has the opportunity of Formula Student involvement as part of the MSc however it is quite far from our home and I would have to commute/stay away. Also, I would only have a short amount of time to save for the MSc (I don't want to take out a loan for it).

    3) follow the same route as in option 2, but stay on an extra year at my current university, gaining an MEng before leaving. The advantage of this over option 2 is the extra year to save in order to fund the MSc course.

    4) leave after graduating to specialise in Automotive Engineering by way of an MSc at University B. This MSc is not accredited so I would have to gain an accredited MEng at my university first. However, I would again have that extra year to save, and University B is much closer to us. There is the likelihood of Formula Student involvement, however not guaranteed as the main team is drawn from undergraduates.

    You'll notice that I mention Formula Student very often. This is because I recognise its value in simulating a situation not unlike those that I will experience in the industry, and I believe employers would value this highly. I have quite a lot of practical experience with vehicles, and currently work for a race team, however in a technician-based capacity and hence, there is very little engineering to speak of. I was also unsuccessful in attempts for an industrial placement, which is why I think Formula Student would be even more beneficial.

    Based on the aforementioned options, I would end up as one of the following:

    1) a 29 year old graduate with a good MEng in Mechanical Engineering and no Formula Student participation on my CV.

    2) a 29 year old graduate with a good BEng in Mechanical Engineering, an MSc in Automotive Engineering and a years Formula Student participation on ny CV.

    3) a 30 year old graduate with a good MEng in Mechanical Engineering, an MSc in Automotive Engineering and a years Formula Student participation on my CV.

    4) a 30 year old graduate with a good MEng in Mechanical Engineering, an MSc in Automotive Engineering, with possibly no involvement in Formula Student.

    With all these facts, which would you think to be most attractive to a potential employer in the automotive sector in order to maximise employment potential? I have specifically mentioned the age at each point as it would be interesting to know whether that would be a considered factor.

    Having discussed these options with my wife, we have agreed that we would make any of them work, so I'm not worried about chosing the easy option. I just want to chose the best.

    Any ideas much appreciated!
     
  2. jcsd
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