5 key skills for careers in engineering and technology and how to get them | Top Universities

5 key skills for careers in engineering and technology and how to get them

User Image

Craig OCallaghan

Updated Jul 04, 2024



Develop the skills you need to work in engineering and technology at Cranfield University

Sponsored by Cranfield University 

When choosing where to study an engineering and technology degree, looking at the career outcomes for a university’s graduates can be a useful way of identifying which universities are equipping their graduates with the skills they require to truly succeed in this competitive field. 

92 percent of Cranfield University graduates find professional employment or further study within 15 months of completing their degree programme. We spoke to the university to find out more about how they support their engineering and technology students and ensure they develop the key skills required for a successful career. 

Problem-solving abilities

Engineering and technology careers revolve around identifying problems and developing efficient solutions. This could range from troubleshooting software issues to designing innovative machinery. Problem-solving is at the core of what engineers and technologists do daily. 

At Cranfield University, problem-solving is one of the personal skills that’s developed as part of the Cranfield Competency Framework, a structure that enables you to identify and reflect on your acquired skills and identify areas for development. 

The framework is broken down into four different groupings: personal attributes (which includes problem-solving), communications and relationships, leadership, and business. 

Engineering and technology students are therefore able to use this framework to identify skills that require development. For example, if a student was aware they needed to improve their personal attributes, including problem-solving, it might mean they look to participate in an internship or experiential learning opportunity that will allow them to try solving complex real-world problems. 

Technical proficiency

Mastery of technical skills is essential in engineering and technology roles. Whether it’s coding, understanding electrical circuits, or designing mechanical systems, technical proficiency forms the foundation of your career. 

The range of specialised postgraduate degrees available at Cranfield University ensures that graduates gain the specific technical skills required for various roles within engineering and technology. 

Muhammad Haad Shaikh is currently studying an MSc in Autonomous Vehicle Dynamics and Control and found the course’s high level of technical detail a key selling point when choosing where to study:  

“My course adopts a holistic approach to learning, providing a comprehensive understanding of autonomous systems, including their physical dynamics, controls theory, artificial intelligence, guidance, navigation, and more.  

“This emphasis on cutting-edge research is what drew me to the course as well as the state-of-the-art facilities which have further amplified my research work.” 

Communication skills

Engineering and technology professionals must effectively communicate their ideas and findings to colleagues, stakeholders, and clients. Good communication skills ensure that complex technical information is conveyed clearly and concisely. 

One of the best ways to improve your communication skills is to study within a diverse, international environment on a programme which encourages and promotes opportunities for teamwork and collaboration.  

At Cranfield University, you’ll study alongside students from more than 100 countries, providing you with the perfect preparation for a global career working for a multinational company.  

The university has 30 international alumni groups, in countries such as Australia, India and Japan.  

Teamwork and collaboration

Being an effective communicator won’t get you anywhere if you can’t also function successfully as part of a collaborative team. Engineering and technology projects often require a team effort, bringing together professionals with diverse expertise.  

Effective collaboration is crucial to the success of these projects, ensuring that all team members work harmoniously towards a common goal. 

Engineering and technology students at Cranfield University benefit from the university’s strong links with industry, providing opportunities to work as a team on applied research projects and internships with thousands of global companies and organisations, including Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Unilever and the UK Civil Aviation Authority. 

Adaptability and continuous learning

The fields of engineering and technology are rapidly evolving. New technologies and methodologies emerge regularly, and professionals must adapt to stay relevant. A commitment to lifelong learning and adaptability is crucial for career longevity. 

While you’re studying at Cranfield University, you’ll benefit from the work done within the Careers and Employability Service to research areas of growth within different industries and identify additional skills that may be useful, so that you can adapt your learning accordingly. 

After you’ve graduated, you’ll have free life-long access to a range of career resources to help you continue your education and enhance your career. The range of support offered through their careers continuation service, including face-to-face coaching and video tutorials, has been created to support you at different points in your career journey, ensuring you’re able to adapt to changes within your chosen industry.  

Preparing for a career in engineering and technology involves more than just mastering technical knowledge, but with Cranfield University’s assistance you’ll be able to develop the soft and hard skills required to succeed in this ever-changing field. 

saved this article

saved this article