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Career Options in Energy & Utilities: Graduate

University is over (sad face) but gone are the days when you’ll have to scrimp or save in order to make sure you can pay the next utilities bill. Indeed, if you’re planning on getting yourself a swanky graduate job in the energy and utilities industry, your employee bonus may even be a discount on the ol’ utilities bill. So not only will you be living more comfortably, you’ll also be paying less in bills… and who said graduate life was rubbish?

Graduate opportunities

- Graduate internships

- Graduate schemes

- Entry level jobs

- Postgraduate study

Internships are usually advertised to penultimate year students but there could be some opportunities for graduates. If your CV is lacking in work experience but you’ve picked up loads of transferable skills from your degree course such as research, analysis and communication skills, a graduate internship could be a worthwhile stepping stone to a permanent job. Whether you’re assisting in renewable energy research or working in the marketing department for an energy service provider, internships help you expand your skills and experience of working in the industry.

Graduate schemes are also available in the energy and utilities and these could see you electronic or design engineer. Additionally, all the large energy and utility companies are likely to have their own graduate schemes, meaning you could become part of a huge firm and work on ground-breaking and innovative projects straight after graduating. The deadline for graduate schemes are always relatively early in the academic year though, so be sure to make a note of deadlines.

Alternatively, if you’ve got some interning experience on your CV and have graduated with a decent degree, you may fancy your chances in applying for some entry level jobs. With the industry so vast, you could be anything from an engineer to an environmental consultant.

However, there are some roles, particularly those which conduct scientific research, where employers look for candidates with master’s degrees or sometimes even doctorates. Therefore, you may want to consider postgraduate study.

Will my degree do?

Employers in the energy and utilities sector expect to hire the best, and therefore will rarely consider candidates without a 2:1 or first class degree. As mentioned, some jobs may also require the candidate to have postgraduate qualifications, so even if you aced your undergraduate degree, this still might not be enough. It’s best to research the typical requirements are for a job in the area you’re looking to break into, just to make sure you know what you need to get your foot in the job market door.

Is postgraduate study necessary?

For some areas of the energy and utilities industry, yes. If you were aiming to break into marketing at a large utility provider or perhaps work in IT, your undergraduate degree coupled with some internship experience is likely to be enough for you to make a competitive job application. However, if you were looking to become an engineer, research scientist, geologist or ecologist, postgraduate study is necessary. 

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