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Employment in engineering after 3 year gap (1 Viewer)

Leon_V3

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Say I graduate with an engineering degree, but then not go into engineering and do something else for say 3 years.
Will that make it difficult to return to engineering without retraining? Or will there be no issue? Will the answer vary between the type of engineering (e.g. 3 year gap is a big deal for computer-based engineering but not really for civil)?

thanks!
 

Time&moretime

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Say I graduate with an engineering degree, but then not go into engineering and do something else for say 3 years.
Will that make it difficult to return to engineering without retraining? Or will there be no issue? Will the answer vary between the type of engineering (e.g. 3 year gap is a big deal for computer-based engineering but not really for civil)?

thanks!
Have you tried contacting your university or maybe the place you did your internship?
My best suggestion is to get your resume updated, account for the gaps & contact your old faculty. They may have industry nights where you could attend. This might help. Hope it works out for you. :)
 

jimmysmith560

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While the extent to which this will affect your employment may depend on the type of engineering you've studied/are currently studying, I can't say it will definitely not matter if you don't go into engineering and spend the next 3 years doing something else as there is a chance for developments in the particular field of study (technological advancements relevant to engineering for example), potentially leading to new knowledge (theoretical and practical) being required in order to work.

As mentioned above, you should contact your educational institution as well as people you know who are working in your field (if applicable) as they can most likely provide you with more specific information.

I hope this helps! :D
 

blyatman

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No it's not due to any advancements in the field. You only apply about 5% of what you learn in uni anyway, and the rest you learn on the job. 3 years is nothing anyway. If it was 30 years ago when computers weren't mainstream yet, then maybe.

The issue is why you chose not to get a job in engineering in the first place. You'd need to have to have a good explanation of why you did chose to do something else first, and are now deciding to change back into engineering. It gives the impression that you weren't interested in engineering to begin with. So why would u be interested in it after 3yrs? Is it only because your current job sucks? Etc. It'd make them uncertain about what you really want to do. If you were say, working part time for those 3yrs, you could say that you've been job hunting for an engineering job all this time. But if you were in another serious career, e.g. as a financial analyst or something, then you'd have to do a fair bit of convincing.

When it comes to graduate-level engineering roles, it's never about what you know, because grads know jack all anyway. The degree just shows that you're not a potato and show some signs of intelligent life. It's about whether you'll fit, and whether you seem like someone who will stay and contribute, or whether your someone who will just piss off after a few years. If I reviewed a CV and the applicant was in some random ass field for the last 3yrs, chances are I would toss it aside unless their CV was impeccable and/or their cover letter was able to convince me otherwise.
 
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D94

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The issue is why you chose not to get a job in engineering in the first place. You'd need to have to have a good explanation of why you did chose to do something else first, and are now deciding to change back into engineering. It gives the impression that you weren't interested in engineering to begin with. So why would u be interested in it after 3yrs? Is it only because your current job sucks? Etc. It'd make them uncertain about what you really want to do. If you were say, working part time for those 3yrs, you could say that you've been job hunting for an engineering job all this time. But if you were in another serious career, e.g. as a financial analyst or something, then you'd have to do a fair bit of convincing.
This is a very outdated view on career progression post university. It's not uncommon for people with 2-5 years experience post university to jump around roles or industries so this impression of uncertainty or lack of interest is quite unsubstantiated. Gone are the days where people spend 10+ years in a single team or company. Loyalty rarely pays well. You don't need to explain any of this as employers well and truly recognise this - after all, they are advertising a position asking for x number of years of experience. What is much more important is understanding that employers will see you with essentially no engineering experience, whereas your peers with similar years of experience are jumping into more senior positions. You are essentially a graduate again. This is what makes it difficult because there are thousands of graduates. The challenge is accepting you may need to take a step back in your career progression and start at a junior level again. This is OK.

As for tossing out a CV, that's fine if that person is applying for a role asking for years of relevant engineering experience. But more likely than not, that person is applying to entry level positions where that specific experience is rarely mandated. Someone who has worked in finance for 3 years may have some core competencies that a fresh graduate may not have. They should not be discriminated against simply because they have worked in a different field. This is why there are position descriptions so that those who do apply are aware of the requirements.
 

blyatman

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This is a very outdated view on career progression post university. It's not uncommon for people with 2-5 years experience post university to jump around roles or industries so this impression of uncertainty or lack of interest is quite unsubstantiated. Gone are the days where people spend 10+ years in a single team or company. Loyalty rarely pays well. You don't need to explain any of this as employers well and truly recognise this - after all, they are advertising a position asking for x number of years of experience. What is much more important is understanding that employers will see you with essentially no engineering experience, whereas your peers with similar years of experience are jumping into more senior positions. You are essentially a graduate again. This is what makes it difficult because there are thousands of graduates. The challenge is accepting you may need to take a step back in your career progression and start at a junior level again. This is OK.

As for tossing out a CV, that's fine if that person is applying for a role asking for years of relevant engineering experience. But more likely than not, that person is applying to entry level positions where that specific experience is rarely mandated. Someone who has worked in finance for 3 years may have some core competencies that a fresh graduate may not have. They should not be discriminated against simply because they have worked in a different field. This is why there are position descriptions so that those who do apply are aware of the requirements.
I'm not saying that they necessarily have a lack of interest, I'm just saying it can give off that impression. I'm currently looking to change jobs, and every interviewer asked me why I was leaving my current company, and this was in the same industry. Likewise, I wouldn't be surprised if someone was asked why they were changing careers, even though its entry level. If the job is a very generic entry-level engineering role with a high turnover (which I guess most are), then maybe they wouldn't care. I'm in a pretty niche industry which is pretty technical, so it takes a while to train people up. As a result, our company only hires graduates who they think will stay and provide value in the long-term and wants to pursue a career in this field. Consequently, they would immediately discard anyone who they think is just going to be there for a few years. In this instance, someone who's coming from finance would find it difficult since it doesn't give much confidence that they will stay.

I'm also not saying that it's bad to switch careers. I'm just saying that depending on the field you're applying for, it may be harder. That being said, I recognise that my situation is not the norm. I also agree with what you said about it being an outdated way view of career progression. It's not my view, it's just what I've seen from the niche industry in which I'm in. The place where I work has a pretty oudated mentality in a variety of other areas as well, which I'm not a huge fan of either.
 

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