With the global economy still sluggish and jobs growing increasingly scarce, the decision of which course to choose while studying at a university has become more important than ever before. In a stronger market, students in fields such as journalism, fine arts and history can hope to find at least somewhat relevant work to their interests, but nowadays they are more likely to be spotted serving coffee at the shops or in unrelated office jobs. So, with approximately 20% of UK students leaving their universities with no immediate or near future prospect of employment - the question becomes one of basic economics: What sort of graduate is more likely to find a good job upon completion of a Bachelor degree? The resounding answer is anything with engineering attached to its name. Engineers build societies, from software engineers typing away in a California cubicle to civil engineers guiding the construction of the tallest skyscrapers in Dubai. One of the most expansive and lucrative engineering fields is mechanical engineering, which could be described as the applied science of forces and movement.
A mechanical engineer is something of a jack-of-all-trades. He or she has a working knowledge of computer applications, electricity, structures, mathematics, physics and drafting, plus bits and pieces from nearly every other type of engineering. For this reason, a degree in mechanical engineering can be used to land a job nearly anywhere an engineer is needed. It is, consequently, also considered to be one of the most challenging undergraduate degree courses available. Once students have pushed through the core curricula, they are usually able to branch out into their own interests, as offered by the university. Some go into aerospace engineering, HVAC, engine design, robotics, manufacturing or even theme park ride design. There are hundreds of fascinating careers open to an individual who has been inspired by and achieved through those three or four years at university.
And, when it comes down to it, jobs are what really matter. The average mechanical engineer in the UK earns a salary of 40,000 pounds, with the potential to earn a six-digit income. Typically, an engineer peaks his or her salary about ten years after entering the job market. To keep increasing income after that, the best strategy is to return to school and earn a graduate-level degree in business. Engineers are highly sought-after for management positions thanks to their creative and logical capabilities, history of leadership and proven dedication. A business degree can boost most experienced engineers into upper-level management, giving them easier work for a higher salary. Whether an individual chooses to use mechanical engineering as a stepping stone or as a lifelong career, he or she will no doubt live comfortably off the wages garnered by an engineering degree.
Engineering is a valued trade because it isn't for everyone. It requires the ability to perform complex computations quickly, grasp the forces working on 3D structures, take responsibility for the safety of others and compromising on a wild social life. However, mechanical engineers are some of the best-equipped workers in the world, and the degree is certainly worth consideration by anyone with a passion for physics, creative thinking and the opportunity to really make a difference in the world.