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Career Options in Manufacturing & Production: Graduate

You thought the day would never come but the undergraduate days are finally over. They were great, no doubt about it, and you now feel like you’re out in the wilderness looking for a job in the manufacturing and production industry. Even if you haven’t graduated with an engineering degree, there’s loads of job roles available in marketing, research and management also, so don’t be deterred if you haven’t got an engineering degree.

Graduate opportunities

- Graduate schemes

- Entry level jobs

- Postgraduate study

Graduate schemes are popular for engineering or manufacturing based roles, but are very competitive, particularly for larger companies and manufacturers. Graduate schemes will allow you to train on the job for about two more years and they pay a pretty decent salary whilst you’re at it. Deadlines for applications are early in the academic year though, sometimes even before Santa Claus is climbing down your chimney. Make sure to work on your application and get it checked over by a tutor or your university careers service – even though you’ve just graduated I’m sure they’ll be prepared to help you out with a scheme you’re passionate about. There’s opportunities in engineering, design and marketing.

Entry level jobs are also an option for graduates. Armed with your specialist knowledge and skills from your degree and the transferable skills gained during work experience placements or internships such as the ability to work under pressure and within a team, you can send off applications as soon as you finish your final exam (or finish celebrating).

Postgraduate study is a further option and will help you stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for jobs as you will learn a whole set of new skills and it demonstrates your commitment to the industry. Be warned though, you will have to fund a postgraduate course yourself, unless you get a scholarship, as there are not student loans available for postgraduates.

Will my degree do?

There are many different roles available in the manufacturing and production industry, meaning that graduates from a range of disciplines have opportunities in the industry. Of course, it’s likely that you’re going to need a 2:1 or a first as the job market is so competitive. At the same time, if you apply for an engineering job with a law degree, you’re unlikely to be shortlisted for an interview as you don’t have the necessary skills and knowledge. However, if you did a media studies degree but have an abundance of work experience in marketing, then there’s nothing stopping you from succeeding in an application to become a marketing assistant or manager.

Is postgraduate study necessary?

Whether you study for a postgraduate qualification is entirely up to you. They can help you stand out from the crowded job market or they can make you eligible to apply for a role you couldn’t have before, such as a management graduate scheme. A postgraduate qualification is an option rather than a necessity and should complement rather than form the base of your job applications and CV. 

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