International Study Centre

What can you do with an engineering degree?

Robot in Engineering lab

Engineering is a practical and varied subject which can lead to many different successful career paths. It is one of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and is highly valued by employers because of the critical thinking and transferable skills gained. Which type of engineering degree you study will depend on your interests and career goals. By studying engineering at the University of Sussex, you can focus on the area of engineering that is right for you. So, what can you do with an engineering degree?

What can I do with an engineering degree?

Once you decide you want to study engineering, you may choose your specialism. There are many engineering career paths to choose from, with different engineering degrees offering different job opportunities. The best engineering career path for you will depend on your interests. You may choose to study one of the following:

Automotive engineering

A degree in automotive engineering helps to will help you develop skills and knowledge in modern automotive development. After graduating, you will have gained the skills to work in design, production or research. Roles include automotive design engineer, vehicle development engineer and reliability engineer. You could also use these skills for careers in sectors including construction and manufacturing, security or defence.

Electrical and electronics engineering

A varied degree in itself, this subject area covers both the production of electricity and the development and testing of electrical systems. As well as working as an electrical or electronics engineer, a degree in this subject area could lead you to a career as a broadcast engineer or acoustic consultant.

Mechanical engineering

A degree in mechanical engineering is the ideal subject if you want to improve and develop mechanical work. As well as a career as a mechanical engineer, you could also work as a maintenance engineer or CAD technician.

Engineering transferrable skills

No matter which specialism you choose to pursue, an engineering degree can provide you with a number of transferable skills to help you in your career. The skills you gain from studying for a university degree may help you throughout your life, while the science-specific skills of an engineering degree are well suited to your future career. Transferable skills include:

  • numerical skills
  • problem solving
  • research
  • laboratory experience
  • data analysis
  • project management
  • teamwork
  • communication.

Career prospects in engineering

By combining the subject knowledge you develop on your degree with the transferable skills listed above, you may open up the doors to a range of other exciting careers. If you enjoy variety in your work, you could become a consultant, working with different companies to help find solutions to their problems. If you’re a skilled communicator, there are opportunities to work as a technical writer, bridging the gap between people inside and outside the industry.

The numerical skills you develop on an engineering degree can make you a good fit for a career in banking, whilst your experiences in project management can make you stand out if you pursue a career in business. Lastly, law firms often accept graduates from a variety of different degree backgrounds, providing training and qualifications on the job.

Mohsen’s story

With so many opportunities following an engineering degree, it is a great first step for someone looking for a successful career. Mohsen from Iran came to the University of Sussex International Study Centre to study an International Foundation Year, which provided him with the necessary language and engineering skills to progress on to his undergraduate degree and PhD at the University. Thanks to his academic journey, Mohsen now works for a start-up in Sussex.


Is engineering a good career?

Engineering is a thriving industry with many exciting job opportunities. As an engineer you have the possibility for an average yearly salary of £24,000 with this number increasing to anywhere around £50,000 - £80,000 with experience (National Careers Service 2023).

Is engineering hard to study?

As with all university degrees, engineering comes with its challenges. However, the high-level skills and academic knowledge you learn during this time, makes the challenging work more rewarding. 

Which engineering skills are the hardest to learn?

The skills you learn will depend on the branch of engineering you want to study. All engineering degrees will require you to have a deep understanding of mathematics and problem solving. These are skills that are worth developing.