The basis to making good career decisions comes from knowing yourself and knowing your environment. At some point, you'll want to take a moment to assess your personality and preferences. When you have a solid foundation of knowing your values, interests and skills, you can be selective about the information you look for. The following resources will help give an overview of working in the Engineering, Science and Technology fields. They are, by no means, exhaustive or comprehensive, but will give you a fairly good sense of the skills and options available in these fields.
Jump to a section:
Engineering, Science, and Technology can cover a number of different options at varying levels. However, most of the positions and industries associated with this career community tend to have overlapping themes. Here are some interests, themes and skills that lend themselves well to work in Engineering Science and Technology:
- Problem solving (abstract or with tools or machines)
- Inventing or repairing things
- Conducting research
- Learning or working with facts or principles
- Collecting, organizing, and interpreting data
- Working independently
- Working with quantitative data
- Producing tangible results
- Computation and Computer Literacy
To be clear, these interests and skills can be utilized in a variety of industries and in many settings (commerce, labs, museums, universities, hospitals), but the motivators for many who find themselves interested in Engineering, Science, and Technology are often based in inquiry, research, discovery, innovation and invention. Below are some sample jobs that relate to Engineering, Science, and Technology.
- Aerospace Engineer
- Architectural Drafter
- Biomedical Engineer
- Industrial Engineer
- Materials Engineer
- Nuclear Technician
- Wind Energy Engineer
- Atmospheric and Space Scientist
- Biological Science Teacher
- Conservation Scientist
- Genetic Counselor
- Industrial Ecologist
- Molecular and Cell Biologist
- Physician or Allied Health Professional
- Technical Writers
- Application Developer
- Business Intelligence Analyst
- Computer and Information Systems Manager
- Computer Programmer
- IT Project Manager
- Web Administrator
- Database Architect
- Graphic Designer
- Software Developer
- Video Game Designer
- Web Developer
It's also important to remember that there are opportunities in Engineering, Science, and Technology for those who do not necessarily have coursework in those areas. The opposite is true as well, studying science or engineering doesn't keep you from pursuing opportunities in areas like business, education, law or arts and entertainment. This interactive graphic from the Census Bureau illustrates the point.
The links and tools below will help you dive more deeply into specific areas of Engineering Science and Tech that might interest you. Be sure to visit the Resources by industry page to get even more tailored insight and information.
The Vault Career Insider is available to all UVA students via Handshake, under the "Resources" section. The Vault guides are a versatile tool that allow you to conduct research on a particular occupation or industry. Career Insider can help you understand key organizations, search for related internship, and learn more about industries of interest. Vault Guides that might be of interest include:
- Guide to Energy Jobs
- Guide to Information Technology Jobs
- Career Launcher: Computer Software Jobs
- Guide to the Top Tech Employers
- Guide to Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Jobs
- Guide to Biology and Life Science Jobs
- Guide to Automotive Manufacturing Jobs
O*Net is a resource that allows users to search for specific occupations or groups of occupations by interest, skill, or industry. The information provided by the summary profiles in O*Net is extensive, covering the skills, tasks, level of preparation and work environment associated with each occupation. O*Net is a great way to learn about the number of options available to those with an interest in Engineering Science and Technology.
The Career Cornerstone is a resource that focuses specifically on opportunities in Engineering, Science, Technology, and Healthcare. There are over 185 profiles of various fields with comprehensive information on education requirements, salaries, professional associations and overall career resources. The site also has resources focusing on diversity in Engineering Science and Technology.
Similar to O*Net, the Occupational Outlook Handbook allows users to search for specific occupation. The information focuses more on pathways to reaching certain occupations, as well as salary information, and information on preparation required for entry into a field. The Occupational Outlook Handbook also provides excellent information on the potential growth of an occupation relative to the United States Economy.
LinkedIn is an online networking tool. Beyond connecting to other professionals in similar fields, LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for conducting research about specific occupations or industries. You can also use LinkedIn to learn about UVA alumni and their destinations after graduation.
Each Friday, Alumni Career Services hosts a webinar on a career-related topic. These webinars often serve as introductions to various career fields, or provide tips for job searching and networking in general.
Students in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have access to comprehensive career development services for all engineering students from first year through graduate level, including engineering alumni. CECD is open Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm. If you need career-related assistance outside of office hours, take advantage of several 24-hour resources: Drop by Thornton A115 during walk-in hours, or Rice 107 on Tuesdays between 3:00pm and 5:00pm for a resume or cover letter review or for quick tips and advice! Stop by Thornton A115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a 30 or 60-minute appointment.
The job market for Engineering Science and Technology is a promising one. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2013, occupations in Engineering Science and Technology accounted for 13 percent of total national employment. Health related professions contributed to a large share of that number, with technology related occupations coming in second. As of 2013 the average salary for these types of occupations was $79,640. However, it is important to remember that the overall range of salaries is wide, with entry level positions starting at around $42,000 and advanced or managerial positions at over $100,000. Geographically, most opportunities can be found in areas with technology or energy centers and research parks.
- Life, Physical and Social Science Occupations
- Computer and Information Technology Occupations
- Architecture and Engineering Occupations
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational choice often depends on skill and availability of that skill in the marketplace. For anyone considering entry into this field it is important to conduct research on the level of education necessary for entry into a field. There are occupations which often require advanced study, or specific technical training or certification. For those interested in these fields, practical experience can be as important as a solid academic foundation. See the "Find Opportunities" tab for ideas on how to gain experience.
- Break into the Tech Job Market With a Non-Technical Background - Brook Laughlin (CLAS, '08) Describes how she parlayed her background in the social sciences to a position as a systems analyst.
- So You Want a Career in Sustainability? - Kristyn Clayton (BS in Electrical Engineering, '81) Provides invaluable tips on how to sustain a career in sustainability.
- Rishi Singh (CLAS, '11) - holds a B.A. in Echols, Interdisciplinary, Quantitative Modeling. Founder of Tiingo, Rishi has experience as a trader and analyst on Wall Street.
- My Advice to the Next Generation of Tech Women - Michelle Somerday (SEAS, '98) offers wise words for women trying to succeed in the tech industry.
- Anna Garwood (CLAS, '01) - A former Spanish and Anthropology major, Anna works towards sustainable solutions for water and energy in Latin America.
- Kate Clopeck - 2006 SEAS alum working on solving the global water crisis