As a skilled materials science and engineering graduate, you'll be able to choose from careers in many sectors and will be at the forefront of technological developments
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- CAD technician
- Design engineer
- Materials engineer
- Product/process development scientist
- Research scientist (physical sciences)
- Technical sales engineer
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Biomedical engineer
- Geotechnical engineer
- Higher education lecturer
- Manufacturing systems engineer
- Patent examiner
- Project manager
- Quality manager
- Secondary school teacher
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Industrial placements are valuable and you should take up the option of completing one on your course, if it's offered, or arrange one independently.
Practical experience will enable you to apply your academic learning, demonstrate your interest in the discipline and prove that you're committed to a career in this field.
Voluntary work (fundraising, organising events, community outreach) or getting involved in university life (clubs, societies, your students' union) will help you to develop key skills, such as project management and multidisciplinary working.
Joining The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) gives you access to information, training and networking opportunities, as well as competitions and awards. A discounted rate is applied for students.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Materials science and engineering graduates are employed in a range of sectors, including:
- armed forces and defence
- nuclear industry
- oil and gas
More job opportunities are being created thanks to developments in the field of nanotechnology and in the use of biomedical materials, high-performance textiles, composites and sustainable materials.
You can also find opportunities in teaching and research, finance (e.g. accountancy, banking, stockbroking and consultancy), media and internet, advertising, the Civil Service and general administration.
Skills for your CV
Studying materials science and engineering gives you a good understanding of scientific structures and you'll be able to choose modules that relate to your areas of interest.
You'll also develop a strong set of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:
- analytical and problem-solving skills
- a high standard of numeracy
- IT competency and computer-modelling experience
- research and report-writing skills
- creative and independent thinking
- time management, planning and organisational skills
- commercial awareness and business skills
- strong oral communication skills developed through delivering presentations and engaging in group projects - particularly useful for many materials-based roles, which involve consulting, advising clients or colleagues.
Studying at postgraduate level (MSc, MRes or PhD) enables you to acquire specialist knowledge in a particular sector or material - such as offshore operations, the aerospace industry or working with composites or glass.
Relevant courses are available across the UK and you can find information about accredited university courses from IOM3.
You could also undertake additional training in appropriate software, such as Finite Element Analysis modelling. Or, if you wish to move outside the materials field, you could study for a professional qualification in law, finance or teaching.
What do materials science and engineering graduates do?
The skills developed during a materials science degree mean graduates go into a range of jobs including working as engineering professionals and in design and business roles.
|Working and studying||3.7|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Engineering and building professionals||33.7|
|Technicians and other professionals||12.9|
|Business, HR and finance||11.1|
|Marketing, PR and sales||7.1|
Find out what other graduates are doing after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.