This page gives career information of relevance to Imperial Design Engineering students.
You can find out how the Careers Service supports Imperial students our services for students page, explore our career events, attend one to one appointments and sign up for our weekly newsletter, sent every Thursday (sign up by checking the relevant box on your personal profile on JobsLive).Whatever stage you are at with your studies, we’re here to help from first year undergraduates right through to PhD studies – you don’t even have to know what you want to do to make use of our services!
What can you do with Design Engineering?
Design Engineering graduates have a range of career options. Some require the specific academic and technical knowledge developed from your studies while others will utilise the wider transferable skills that you will have developed.
Around 1% of Imperial Design Engineering graduates choose to do further study and 83% go into employment at the end of their first degree. Use the resources below to help you start to explore and understand your options and to begin to develop your career plans.
Develop your skills
Wherever your career leads you employers will want to see evidence of the skills you have developed in your studies. These may include technical skills and academic knowledge if you’re seeking a job related to and ‘transferable skills’ like problem solving, resilience and intellectual curiosity that fit a broad range of roles within and outside of engineering related roles.
The typical skills developed by Imperial Design Engineering students during their degree are highly valued by employers and include:
- Select and apply concepts, methods, techniques, tools and technologies associated with design engineering with high levels of skill and imagination
- Evaluate systems that are complex or ambiguous with appropriate design engineering methods and approaches, assessing their potential social, environmental, technological and economic impact.
- Create innovative products, services and systems that challenge the understanding of design engineering practice and discipline, and deliver economic and social value
- Reflect critically on own work and peer review, to identify strengths and areas that need improvement
- Communicate effectively through oral presentations, graphical representations, and written reports
It’s good to reflect on your abilities and consider what skills you can evidence and which skills you may need to enhance. Use our self reflection webpages to help you understand and document your abilities.
During your degree you will have many opportunities to develop and learn new skills. Employers will want to see what you have been doing to develop your skills and knowledge outside your course while you have been a student. Experiences such as student societies, part-time work, volunteering and sports can develop your skills and will be valuable additions to your CV. Work experience can also help develop skills and help you decide what career direction you want to go in and become more competitive in future job or further study applications.
As an Imperial student you can participate, or take a leadership role, in a wide variety of Students’ Union activities where you’ll develop many skills. You also have free access to LinkedIn Learning and can use this to develop or improve your knowledge and abilities with software tools and skills through instructional videos taught by industry experts skills.
You can learn and develop the skills required to be successful in the job or internship market. For example, you will need to know how to create a strong CV, write a good cover letter and perform well in interviews. We can help you to learn these skills. Start with the applications and interviews section of our website, and by attending our skills training and workshops.
Explore career areas
When you understand your skills through self reflection it’s a good idea to then learn about the range of career areas that might be of interest. You could work in areas such as infrastructure, the energy sectors and water.
Our what do Imperial Graduates Do? contains our Graduate Outcomes data which gives examples of employers and further study options of previous graduates. You can search the data to find what Design Engineering graduates went on to do immediately after graduation and you may also find it useful to explore Imperial College Linked In 'Design Engineering' where you can explore the career paths of our Design Engineering alumni as their careers develop over time..
However, don't feel limited by what others have done, but instead, follow your own interests.
For Design Engineering students it is helpful to consider whether you want to use your Design Engineering knowledge in a job. To help you begin we have listed some of the career areas that Imperial Design Engineering students often go into which is taken from our what do Imperial Graduates Do? Graduate Outcomes data. Our how to research job sectors and occupations resources can help you to learn more about these sectors including desirable skills, responsibilities, professional development and salary expectations across different roles and industries. You can also meet employers from many of these areas through Careers Service events and fairs which are advertised on JobsLive and in our weekly newsletter.
If you are interested in continuing to use your Design Engineering knowledge you could consider graduate roles in some of these areas:
- Design consultancy
- Product design
- Industrial automation
- Academic research
- Electrical engineering
- Electronic engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Software engineering.
If you are interested in continuing to use your engineering knowledge but not in industry, you might like to explore career areas such as :
- Patent attorney
- Technical Consultancy
Here are some of the typical careers outside engineering that design engineers can go into:
- Graduate management roles
- Management/Strategy consulting
- Investment Banking
- Business/Technical analyst roles
Through your research you’ll see that there’s a very wide range of options open to
Design Engineering graduates. Some of these are directly accessible from a first degree while others may require additional further study. This can create many questions that you’ll want to answer and speaking to a Careers Consultant through one of our one to one appointments may help after your initial research.
In addition to our resources you may also find the national resource Prospects – Design Engineering to have a similar but alternative commentary to the resources we’ve specifically curated here for you.
A professional body, association or society seeks to further a particular profession and the interests of individuals engaged in that profession. The body maintains an oversight of the knowledge, skills, conduct and practice of that profession and can offer accreditation or chartership. You can often use professional bodies to access training or networking events and explore related career options.
Below are some links to professional bodies that deal with various areas related to Design Engineering. Many offer student membership which can give you access to job listings and careers information while offering great networking opportunities. Some memberships may even allow you to register your CV to vacancy matching services or to be viewed by other members of the community.
- Institute of Engineering Designers -https://www.ied.org.uk/
- Royal Academy of Engineering - www.raeng.org.uk
- The Association of Consulting & Engineering - www.acenet.co.uk
- Chartered Society of Designers - www.csd.org.uk
- Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) - www.theiet.org
- Women’s Engineering Society - www.wes.org
- Engineering Council - www.engc.org.uk/
- Institute of Mechanical Engineers - www.imeche.org/
There are many well-known Multinational Companies (MNCs) offering graduate level jobs but Small or Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), defined as organisations with fewer than 250 employees, also offer a wide range of interesting and unique graduate level roles. Due to a smaller marketing budget SMEs can be harder to find and they often rely on you approaching them speculatively to show motivation and interest. They will sometimes engage with universities through incubation hubs to help them grow skills and expertise. The Imperial Enterprise Lab often run events to help students understand and network with SME and start-up communities.
- The Association of Consulting & Engineering ‘find a consultant’ page allows you to search for engineering consultants by specialism.
- Dexigner can be used to find interesting companies to approach.
- The Design Directory can be used to find specialist design engineering companies. Work in startups is a jobsboard, however, it can be used as a research tool to find names of SMEs which can then be used on other websites like LinkedIn to explore further.
- Angelist gives information about tech and start up roles.
Career planning often takes time and can sometimes feel overwhelming. It’s a good idea to set aside a small amount of time on a regular basis to maintain momentum. Below are some things to get you started:
- Sign up to the Imperial Careers Newsletter by checking the relevant box on your personal profile on JobsLive
- Learn about the timescales for applying for further study, work experience and graduate employment
- See our what's on pages to find out about the different types of events that we run, including: workshops, careers fairs, career talks - and hear from alumni and employers about different types of work.
- Learn the skills that will help you succeed on the job market in the applications and interviews section of our website, and by attending our skills training and workshops
If you feel stuck with your career planning, you could book a one to one appointment to talk it through with a careers consultant. Victoria Sood is the careers consultant for Design Engineering but you can see any of our consultants for your first appointment.