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Engineering and business

Home officeEngineering doesn’t have to mean finding a job with a firm - you can also go to work in the world of business.

Starting an engineering business

There are lots of different kinds of business you could use your engineering skills in. Here are some examples.

  • Consulting: Consultancy firms offer their expertise to other businesses that need it but can’t get it from their own employees. This means it can cover a wide range of projects, from major public work to small private projects. Find out more with our guide to consultancy.
  • Product design: If you can design, make and sell a product, you’ve got a good basis for a business. This is how James Dyson became a billionaire - but it’s not easy. As well as designing a great product, you need to be able to market it and manage the finances. It also takes a lot of money to launch a new product - which means real risk.
  • Engineering firm: The idea of starting an engineering firm might seem daunting compared to joining an existing one, but all those huge firms had to start somewhere. You’ll have to deal with things like securing projects and hiring employees, but remember that starting a business doesn’t mean going it alone. A partnership makes it possible to start a business even if you don’t have all the relevant skills yourself.

Remember that your choice of getting a job or starting a business after you study isn’t set in stone for the rest of your career. Work experience can be valuable when starting a business - for example, when convincing clients of your expertise - while if you start a business and decide it isn’t for you, the skills you developed will be attractive to employers.

Find out more about starting a business.

Working in business

There are also more traditional business roles open to engineers. For example, the maths skills and attention to detail engineers need is also valuable in finance. This is likely to mean further study, such as an accountancy course, but this can often be done alongside work.

A more traditional career in engineering might also lead to a management position, allowing you to combine business with your engineering expertise. Many firms will offer extra training to help prepare employees for a move to management.

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