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Topic Title: Credible employability following military engineering career?
Topic Summary: Are there change in career potential options for me...
Created On: 23 October 2013 02:13 PM
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 23 October 2013 02:13 PM
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richgreeny

Posts: 2
Joined: 25 July 2008

Hello all,

First post on this forum although I've been a member of the IET for a while and enjoy the wide variety of engineering specialisations it covers. As a result I apologise for the selfish nature of this topic, though I would appreciate any other members opinions.

Having graduated with a first class in Aeronautical Eng (MEng) and joined the military as an aircraft engineer, I have served for 5 years and am beginning to reach a psychological fork in the road.

Without submitting my CV to companies and wasting their time, I'm curious as to whether I have credible employability in core design/test engineering. My professional experience from the Services has mainly been limited to engineering management and risk management specifically within the airworthiness arena, but how interested might companies be in this skill set if I was to apply for specific engineering areas? I would clearly need to re-read my university notes and get comfortable with the basics, but I lack any professional experience in these fields.

Many thanks in advance.
 25 October 2013 01:22 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Really good question, and I think you've done exactly the right thing asking it.

Let's be honest, it is not going to be easy for you to get started. What employers want is experience, experience, experience in exactly the field they are recruiting into. They will sometimes waive this requirement for recent graduates because they are cheap and perceived to be "mouldable".

BUT plenty of people have managed to achieve this - I know, I've employed a few! The challenge is finding that first job, adn I expect you've already worked out the trick is to use the experience you do have to your advantage. You mentioned testing: well, to the right open minded company someone with real forces experience is ideal to add value as a tester, and it's then a case of worming your way in. Similarly it should be possible to start off in design risk management and then move sideways. The key is often to find a job which is broadly similar to the area you are already working in, but in a department (or at least company division) which has the type of work you are aiming for.

From my experience I would suggest that it is not worth worrying about brushing up on your university notes too much at this stage. A half decent interviewer will work out pretty quickly that that is what you have done, and whilst it will earn some points for effort it can also emphasise the (usually inevitable) patchiness of your memory / refresh. Although, as you say, do make sure you understand the absolute basics of the technical content of whichever job you manage to get an interview for. Read any job description thoroughly, and then think about how your services experience covers the areas they are looking for.

I would also suggest finding a mentor, ideally in the area you are planning to move into, who can give you honest feedback on how you come across. The IET mentoring schem should be a good start.

And don't give up if you struggle to find the right role - keep on plugging away at it!

Good luck,

Andy

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 25 October 2013 02:26 PM
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richgreeny

Posts: 2
Joined: 25 July 2008

Andy,

thanks for your response, I appreciate your candidness. I will also take your advice on the mentoring scheme.

I'm grateful for your advice.

Regards

Rich
 28 October 2013 03:01 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Also see PM

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 04 November 2013 04:01 PM
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EmilyHopkins

Posts: 2
Joined: 06 March 2013

It might be worth you getting in contact with us here at IET Connect. As an IET member we can provide you with a free outplacement programme. This would be able to help with your career planning and also help with your CV, interview technique, networking, identifying skills gaps etc if you need it.

If you are interested either give us a call on 0845 685 0685 or email ietconnect@theiet.org.

Emily.

-------------------------
Emily Hopkins

External Relations Manager
IET Connect

www.ietconnect.org
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