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Engineering What do you think about graduate schemes?

  1. Oct 5, 2016 #1
    I'm about to finish my Production Engineering master studies and I'm planning my next move. I do have some previous working experience but don't feel like I've developed specific skill-set yet. Not sure what I want to do ether but I kinda like product development.

    My main requirements for the job are:
    Travelling (I enjoy dynamic environment, tasks, people etc.)
    Sufficient salary (just enough at first)
    Do you think some graduate scheme is a good option for me? Let me know if you have any experience with graduate schemes?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2016 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Could you elaborate on what you mean by "graduate scheme?"
  4. Oct 6, 2016 #3
    I think it's the same thing as graduate program or traineeship (probably picked up that 'scheme' word while looking up the topic).
    So the program is meant for fresh graduates and usually lasts for >1 year in a selected field afterwhich you are supposed to have well rounded knowledge of the company activities and basically are guaranteed a job placement in that company. Depending on the program you are assigned with various challenging tasks but probably do some day to day typical employee work too. Of course you are paid throughout but there's a salary increase after you end the program.

    To me it sounds appealing that one gets to see different aspects of work and kinda try themselves a little on everything. Not all programs are the same so I first have to find the right one.
  5. Oct 6, 2016 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    That sounds like what we would call an "internship" in the US, but here those are usually done while still a student, during the summer, at least in scientific and technical fields.
  6. Oct 6, 2016 #5
    Often, getting the first employment in your field is the hardest step - all employers want experience... After completing a programming course I did a three month unpaid placement which led to a full time job. Without that, there would have been little chance of breaking into the market in a specialized field. I would certainly enter a graduate program if the opportunity is there - if nothing else it will widen your work experience and help you decide on the career path to focus on.
  7. Oct 7, 2016 #6
    I agree that it's a way to decide on a career path to focus on.
    I could easily land a job back in my home country but abroad only speaking english it's tough. Of course having the skills like programming would help penetrate those markets even without the language.
    Lastly, I'm simply afraid to settle after graduation so this ~2 year dynamic commitment is appealing.
  8. Oct 7, 2016 #7
  9. Oct 7, 2016 #8


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    Science Advisor

    Those aren't compatible at all.
    I work in product development, there's no travel and I rarely meet new people.

    I think some sales, applications, project, contract, field engineer roles would fit your requirements better.

    As for graduate programs, as the link above says, generally only large corporates offer them so you're reducing your options right off the bat if you only aim for the companies that offer them.

    I had a class mate who went through one, after the two years there were no openings in
    the department he wanted to work in so he left. he was then applying for graduate roles in his newly preferred area and was competing with new graduates who had about the same amount of experience as he had in that area (~6 months, 2 internships).
    So while he found out what he liked he ended up a year and a half behind.
    It sounds like you have little idea what different engineering roles entail so a few hours in google may help you decide and get you where you want faster.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
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