Howard is regional director at Michael Page Hong Kong and oversees a number of disciplines including sales, marketing, digital, procurement & supply chain, retail & sourcing, finance, and HR.
Global prospects for mechanical engineering?
I am a mechanical engineer graduate. I graduated with a first class Honors. I completed my education in U.A.E. I have been trying to find a job for a graduate but everywhere I go, they ask for experience or for influence. I would like to get assisted regarding my field. Is there any country that is in demand of mechanical engineer with good academic credentials?
Howard Chan - Career Doctor
Posted Friday 14th February 2014 05:43:00 PM
High academic credentials are generally well regarded by companies, employers and hiring managers. However, it is important to note that with maturing job markets, the number of job candidates with advanced academic qualification has risen considerably and will only continue to rise. While solid academic credentials are great ways to get yourself noticed for a potential job placement, the reality is that in many industries, especially technically based ones such as mechanical engineering, market and work experience are valued more than academic achievements. When starting out in an industry such as mechanical engineering, it is important to identify the specific field which you would like to develop your career path in as the various focuses such as manufacturing, product development, research and development, each will empower your with different skill sets and work experience. This will also influence and impact your decision on countries to look at for job opportunities. For example, if your interest is in consumer electronics industry, you may consider applying for roles in China or South East Asia that may have a larger pool of consumer electronic companies. Additionally, to get a clearer understanding of the industry and various fields as well as to help make a more informed decision, I suggest that you speak to industry professionals. One great way do this is through interviews. While not every interview might result in a job placement, you can maximise each session by asking the interviewer questions about the industry that would help you make decisions on your desired career path in mechanical engineering. This is also a great way to leave a good impression with any interviewer and might lead to other opportunities in future. While companies in mechanical engineering typically look for experienced professionals, they also look at taking in trainees which would require your academic credentials. Other alternatives to get into the industry and build work experience would be to consider applying for internships or taking on contract roles. These roles will help build experience and specific skill sets which will complement your academic credentials when you look to progress your career in the industry. For now, focusing locally on your job search efforts will most probably be the best solution as overseas opportunities require a visa and companies may not be inclined to issue a visa for fresh grads. Additionally, language requirements from companies for such overseas opportunities might be limiting to your search as well. To surmise, while it might take some time, properly identifying your preferred area(s) of specialisation, managing your expectations and looking at the right type of entry roles will improve your chances of getting a job and building a career in mechanical engineering.