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Engineering Consultancy: Graduate Area of Work
Graduates pursuing careers in engineering consultancy will use their technical expertise to advise clients on complex engineering matters.
Engineering consultants are responsible for providing sector-specific and project-specific advice for clients. They are usually hired by companies to assist in conceptualising and managing projects in circumstances where in-house expertise is lacking.
A rail company that wishes to adopt new tunneling technology, for instance, may want to enlist an engineering consultancy to assess the suitability of this new technology and the company’s capacity to use it in their future projects.
Engineering consultancies vary widely in scope and size. Bigger consultancies, such as Surbana, Arup, and Mott MacDonald have more than 40 engineering consultants working with them and cater to multiple areas of expertise – from airport crosswind monitoring to urban planning.
A smaller- or medium-sized consultancy in Singapore, in contrast, may only focus on one or two highly-specialised engineering areas instead.
Skills graduates need for a job in engineering consultancy
As with most consulting jobs, the basic requirement to finding work as an engineering consultant includes having a good academic background, relevant work experience, and strong theoretical knowledge in your area of specialisation.
Some employers may appreciate postgraduate qualifications as well, but that is not an immediate prerequisite.
Graduate schemes are not always obligatory, and some consultancies do not offer them. In fact, upon joining, you may be assigned as an apprentice to an experienced “mentor” consultant instead.
Graduates typically start off as analysts, working on an assortment of small areas within bigger projects. This will help give you an overall understanding of the roles and responsibilities involved in projects as a whole.
The highlights of a career in engineering consultancy
A big part of working as an engineering consultant is about maintaining your credibility and the standards of your work. Clients can be very particular about this, seeing as they are paying a substantial amount for your services – which they themselves are unable to provide.
For this reason, it can sometimes be quite a stressful affair to live up to all these expectations.
The opportunity to work on a variety of projects, however, is probably the biggest highlight of this career. You will constantly be picking up new competencies, skills, and knowledge, and this will keep you on your feet.
Some consultants also relish how their work allows them to work with the latest technologies across multiple engineering areas! As you continue to gain relevant experience and skills, you can also work towards chartership and a higher managerial position.
Postgraduate study may also be a requirement if you wish to progress further along certain engineering specialisations, too.