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

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

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.

Typical employers

Materials science and engineering graduates are employed in a range of sectors, including:

  • aerospace
  • armed forces and defence
  • automotive
  • manufacturing
  • nuclear industry
  • oil and gas
  • pharmaceuticals
  • telecommunications
  • utilities.

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.

Find information on employers in engineering and manufacturing, energy and utilities, science and pharmaceuticals and other job sectors.

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.

Further study

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.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do materials science and engineering graduates do?

Almost two-thirds of materials science graduates are in employment six months after graduation.

The skills developed during a materials science degree allow graduates enter a range of sectors, including working as engineering professionals and in design and marketing roles.

DestinationPercentage
Employed60.4
Further study24.5
Working and studying5.1
Unemployed4
Other6.1
Graduate destinations for materials science and engineering
Type of workPercentage
Engineering and building23.9
Marketing, PR and sales11.9
Business, HR and financial11.7
Technicians and other professionals10
Other42.5
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

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