Honestly, finding an engineering job with a corner seat and mailroom would not be possible. Engineers, especially in the civil and mechanical fields, have a tough job life. And, this is one of the reasons engineers are looking for a career change or transition. A career transition in the life of an engineer implies using the old developed skills into new challenges in the new job. In this article, we will see the top 10 alternative jobs for engineers and why a career change for engineers necessary.
The Career Change for Engineers
The career change for engineers would require you to go through some phases, where you have to learn something new, forget something old and bring to use skills you have not used for a long time now.
The Engineering industry is not as simple as the simple area of employment. There are several other sectors that the engineers can step into once they decide to quit the typical engineering job they are in. The transition may sound difficult as it requires a person to move out of the comfort zone.
Preparation before Career Change
But career change happens in three major steps.
- Deciding to move further,
- and Doing it.
Skill-wise, thriving in the new environment, comes to answering three basic questions.
- What is valued?
- What new needs to be learned?
- What needs to be forgotten?
Hereunder is what an engineer should consider on before a career transition-
Have Most Valued Skill
Every sector, every industry will have a particular skill set that is valued more than the other. When you decide to move on, first find the skills that are most valued in the industry. Make a decent resignation from your present organization and identify which characteristics and practices are rewarded. Be flexible and open, and your step of career change would be successful.
Learn New Skills
Some industries see rapid changes. Some industries are slow. There can be a vast difference in your previous knowledge about an industry and what is working at the moment. It is important to research the industry thoroughly and then know what needs to be added to the skill set to meet the requirements.
By rapidly learning what you need to learn, you are moving a step closer to your desired phase of life. Find areas where you need to get up to speed and areas that can wait.
Always Fill the Gap
You would not land a new job without applicable skills, no matter how dramatic the change is. The trick to master the career change for engineers is to leverage the applicable skills and leverage the gap between new and old.
Engineers have the skill to adapt, learn, and change, and hence the transition period is smoother.
Clinging to some old practices does not make a lot of sense usually. Of course, it is not a blank state, where you can free yourself from the past, but the key here is to learn what to apply and to forget the rest.
Second Careers for Engineers
Engineers can try their luck in several fields. But some fields require a little fewer efforts than the rest. There are careers for engineers where engineering degrees can be used in non-engineering fields. Here are some second careers for engineers you can think about:
1. Research and development
Engineers can utilize their past experience and skills to do research and development. They can become a scientist to contribute to our society.
2. Technical writing
Everyone is not perfect for technical writing. Engineers have technical skills, so they can easily fit into technical writing.
3. Patent attorney
Engineers can clear the patent bar exam to become a patent attorney or agent. The responsibility of patent attorneys is to writes and prosecutes applications for patents at universities, corporations, law firms, or practices of their own. The internet is full of resources and you can easily take an idea about a career in patent law.
4. Business Leaders
There are many examples in the world where it has been proved engineers are great business leaders. They have the ability to run a business and make it successful. One must have a few qualities to become a successful business leader.
- Time management
- Project planning
- Attention to detail
- Good communication
- Data processing and numeracy
- Technical knowledge
- Computer skills
5. Software Product Management
Engineers are being hired for product management jobs in the software industry. They can become software product managers and assist as a technical program manager, customer support, sales engineer, or project manager.
Engineering colleges and universities hire only engineers to teach future engineers. Engineers can join these institutions as an assistant professor and can reach to professor position. Earning a Ph.D. degree or Fellowship is a must.
Engineers make good managers. They have all the necessary qualities that are needed to fit in a managerial role. The only requirement is to earn an MBA degree and developing managerial skills to get into management.
8. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is booming nowadays and engineers can be a perfect fit into it. Engineers can learn digital marketing and can start their own digital marketing agency.
9. Finance Management
Fields like treasury management and risk management are open to engineers.
10. Sales Manager
Yes, engineers are becoming sales managers. The sales field is where engineers can give a damn try.
Benefits of Career Change for Engineers
Engineers can be hired because of their past experience and knowledge in the new field. An extra skill from other candidates can be a reason for your selection.
It is required to ensure the advantages of a career change for engineers before step into a new career. What benefits should you get into a new career-
- A higher salary
- Appreciation for creative ideas
- Cutting-edge projects
- Scope for invention and experiments
- Contribution to society
- Helping others
Are You Ready for Career Change?
Before you take the final steps, here are some things you must keep in mind-
- Give yourself the time to understand the change. Put the inconsiderable amount of thought, time and investment during the transition.
- Know what you want to do and how you want to do it.
- Have a plan before you decide to move on.
- Identify transferable skills.
Engineers have many skills that are sure to help them in the transition phase.