I want to be an engineer

When someone utters the sentence: I want to be an engineer, and at the age that one makes this decision, I doubt he/she knows how it may affect him/her. It is indispensable that this person knows about the society, how it moves forward and towards which direction, and, above all, this person must think of which studies will be more in demand once he/she has finished the degree. All of this will prove a big headache, considering that the different kinds of engineering are continually adapting to the market and persistently renewing themselves by even changing their study topics.

The word engineer encompasses a wide range of disciplines and terms and is currently the example of several tasks and performances that have been varying since the word’s first usage, deriving from the Latin term chigüi (source: Wikipedía).

Engineering was one of the professions taking on different kinds of names throughout history and that, nowadays, is one of the most demanded profiles in the labour market.

Today’s engineers have gone through quite a lot of changes, one of them being the deep specialisation that has resulted in several engineering subcategories, ranging from economic, to data and mathematical engineering.

So, engineering is one of the most attractive and modern fields, reason why it is appealing for youngsters who have just started their degree or who get the famous question “What would I like to be when I grow up?” buzzing around their head.

Even though society and culture head generations toward other kinds of concerns as a reflect of what we see on tv or in the social media causing a decrease in the number of engineers and other sector professionals, a lot of people still go for a degree.

It is becoming more common for companies to seek employees at schools and universities before they finish their engineering studies.

We also see professional migratory tendencies from countries that are talent creators, where, as a consequence of sloth, or because of generations too used to being in their comfort zone, people don’t make the effort of studying any kind of Engineering Bachelor or Master’s Degree.

Luckily, the labour market offers a lot of opportunities to youngsters who would like to become engineers, and they are given the chance to attend academic advising sessions, job fairs and career guidance conferences. Some universities take part in all these events in order to find talent among the thousands of youngsters who decide to start a degree.  

After high school, ¿which engineering degree should I choose

The LOMCE law, implemented by minister Wert and very criticised, rules in Spain since 2013.

Spanish educational system.


In the following chart, obtained from Sistema Educativo’s website, we can see the teaching diagram currently in force in the national territory and that we may use as a guide for understanding how the educational system is organised. You can learn more about it by clicking on the image.

Organisation of spanish educational system.

It is at this stage where, after completing high school, one must choose what to study next, whether an undergraduate or a bachelor’s degree.

The state also offers information on formal education by means of the publication of relevant information in its web portals, such as, for example, this PDF file on VOCATIONAL TRAINING, where we find detailed information on how students’ talent is channelled towards several fields of competence. Be that as it may, what we are sure about is that talent is an innate ability among students who have decided to take an engineering degree or any other higher education.

 Choosing an engineering degree is not easy.


Furthermore, the student, along his/her career path, must face several issues, being one of them having to choose which degree he/she will take and, afterwards, deciding whether to go for a master programme or a PhD. These decisions will affect both the student’s career path and pocket.

The engineer-to-be must look for private funding (loans) or scholarships offered by schools or companies interested in the student’s talent.

Rovira i Virgili University has published a chart that helps us be aware of the broad range of options we get once we are done with high school studies.

 The system of Rovira virgili's University.

Globalisation has also influenced education, as we can see in any of the student fairs where international universities, besides from offering engineering studies, also collaborate with companies and give engineering talented students the opportunity of being granted a scholarship or getting discounts.

TODAY’S engineer

Today’s engineer must be a professional every day more specialised in more specific fields

Today’s engineer must be a professional every day more specialised in more specific fields, he/she must be innovative and eager to be continuously learning in a technological market where any degree becomes obsolete in a short period of time. This professional must stay alert to all kinds of engineering and the market and see how they evolve to be able to provide innovative solutions which will make the company be continuously on the cutting edge of technology. Also, the engineer must be in contact with other professionals. LinkedIn allows you to enlarge your professional contact network, hire other professionals, get hired by companies, look for business opportunities and look for new projects in which to take part. If you are an engineer and you would like to have a perfect profile in this network, we recommend that you read the following guidelines and that you apply them to your profile.

In this globalised world, the junior engineer is less subject to a comfort zone, he/she is restless and wants to belong to the experienced workforce, which makes his/her future be quite unpredictable. This results in a high demand of engineers, who move from one company to another one with the aim of gaining skills and expertise. On the other hand, companies find hard retaining such a rich talent, what obliges them to constantly reinvent themselves in order to retain these employees in their workforce.

Testimonials of an engineer:

  • What motivated you to study Engineering?

  • How is the engineering labour market doing?


In the modern world, technology moves faster than approved education, and engineering studies have had to update themselves to provide the market with a specialised, tech, IT engineer who is in the loop and who knows how to meet the demands of sectors that are still growing and that have required engineer migrations towards countries where the demand is higher.

This employee profile that is now continuously renewing itself is no longer that of the engineer who only had a few job opportunities after finishing his/her degree. Now engineers share common modules during the first years, and later on they choose in which area they would like to specialise.

The common subjects all engineering studies share, such as mathematics and physics, provide the engineer with the tools to:

  • Automate processes.

  • Design products.

  • Design processes and/or systems.


What does an engineer do? 

The engineer’s role within a company will be to provide both technological solutions (every day more common in IT companies) and industrial ones. Identifying the processes and knowing how to pick up on a problem, isolating it and optimising the process, requires the previously listed subjects. This knowledge makes the engineer be able to offer cost reduction in the manufacturing of the product.

When an engineer designs a product, he makes possible its manufacturing process in assembly lines, which are part of a system developed, optimised and implemented by engineers too. When we talk about design, the engineer relies on his/her skills and knowledge to recreate in computers mathematic models that simplify those designs.

In time, the engineer must assume a high degree of responsibility, hoping to be the last link of a chain of something so simple as a pen, avoiding that the manufactured product causes damages to third parties and making the company obtain benefits out of this product.

The engineering of the future faces great challenges: designing better cars, innovating in very different sectors such as nanomedicine, creating new super resistant materials, or developing batteries for cars and aircrafts designed for travelling to other planets.

How does Engineering contribute knowledge?

The engineer is responsible for giving shape to dreams or impossible projects with the aim of improving the security, the quality and the technology of products and, overall, improving a society which is immersed in constant change, either in the fields of electronics, medicine or constructions.  

 Traveling abroad is a good way to get professional experience.

This is the reason why the labour market has been focusing on this kind of profile, which results appealing for youngsters who start their working life and choose to be an engineer, their dreamed job, hoping to be the next genius of modern engineering.

So, after all this process, the new generations of engineers face the most difficult decisions to make: which kind of engineering they should choose, where they should study it, and in which field they should specialise. We live in a globalised world where, due to the way technology production is conceived, today engineers are needed in Europe, but tomorrow India could be the focal area of the world’s engineers.   

Just in one web portal, we have found more than 2.500 job offers related to the engineer profile, ranging from Systems Engineer to Industrial Engineer, required for several positions, from management to mechanical designers.

Wikipedia, in its engineer definition entry, says: “he/she must be the person in charge of applying both science and technology”; every day, the dividing line between these two fields is blurrier, and engineers in both sectors collaborate with each other swapping ideas with the goal of overcoming obstacles that some time ago were thought to be unachievable but that nowadays, thanks to brilliant engineers, are surpassed challenges, even though they may seem to have come out of science fiction.

So, what should I study? Engineering?

The decision between vocation or future stability can be a vital dilemma.

The student must choose between vocation or future labour stability, something which may pose a vital dilemma to the person having to make this decision.

What wage will I be on, depending on the engineering degree I choose? 

In Spain, engineers have always been thought highly of, but it’s true that with the crisis there has been an engineering brain-drain that has led to a lack of engineers in exact sciences such as:

  • Mathematics.

  • Logic and Formal Logic.

  • Astronomy.

  • Biology.

  • Physics.

These are the main engineering fields, which are subdivided into a wide range of sub-fields where nowadays’ engineer is in high demand and well paid.

The most demanded sectors (Engineering studies with more job prospects)

The so-called technological sectors, where the engineer is required a greater specialisation, are the most sought-after:

1. The energy sector

  • Industrial Engineer.

  • Process Engineer.

  • Engineering Management.

The median wage ranges from €46.000 to €50.000 per year. The energy sector is one of the most demanded in the current moment of market liberalisation in Spain, and it includes the renewable or environmental resources, such as wind and solar power.


2. BSc in Industrial Engineering

Due to its ambiguity and adaptive capacity in different sectors, it is one of the most valued engineering degrees, being its median wage over €48.000 per year in most cases for senior engineers (more than 5 years), probably having the opportunity as well of offering his/her talent out of the Spanish boundaries. 


3. Analytical Data Engineer

  • Mathematician.

  • Statistician.

  • Physicist.

Business Intelligence are one of the most sought-after engineers. Their median wage can reach up to €85.000 per year. They are recruited because of their talent and they are very coveted in IT and high technology companies dealing with data usage, Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data. They have a great analytical capacity, and a very qualified engineer might end up being the Core of a Start-up tech.


4. Aeronautical Engineer

This one is another prevailing engineering field that, in the era of low-cost flights and competition of spatial/special, electric and flying vehicles, high-speed trains or even drones, needs engineers who know how to understand the modern times, overcoming the challenges presented to them.

The degrees with more job prospects

These are the degrees that get more job prospects:

  • Industrial Engineering.

  • Computer Engineering.

  • Business Administration.

  • Engineering Degree in Telecommunications.

  • Engineering Degree in Mathematics.


In the new era, an engineer with mathematical knowledge will know how to resolve the complexity of the massive use of data by means of implementation algorithms that ease understanding at work stations. This was something inconceivable for this kind of engineer a decade ago, when the career offered very few job prospects, and most engineers ended up in the education sector.

The digital era has completely transformed minority degrees, most of them offering very few job opportunities, forcing companies to recruit foreign talent for covering important positions.

Many of the current degrees have had to gradually adapt themselves to the IT sector advances and have had to be restructured in order to provide the world with engineers more in line with a market demanding a specialisation that usually runs late into schools.

Google and many other Palo Alto companies have taken a step further and they no longer hire their employees focusing on their academic title, now they focus on their TALENT. They know that that is the key to getting them to give off aptitudes and abilities that their competitors don’t take into account.

Recruitment companies have two main aims: the first one is to help companies cover the vacancies that, by their own means, would demand a great time investment. The second one is to provide good job opportunities to talented youngsters.

But let’s keep finding out what we need to do to find the best engineering degree for us!

Things to keep in mind before choosing an engineering degree

 The majority of students choose degrees related to engineering.

The university entrance examination time has arrived, and we need to decide what to study, even though engineering degrees end up being chosen by 87% of students.

Which questions should I ask myself before picking an engineering degree over another one?

Which engineering degrees will offer more job prospects during the coming years?

Who could give me advice on the engineering degree I should choose?   

Which financial aid could I get for paying university?

  • University scholarships.

  • State’s scholarships.

  • Sports scholarships.

  • The possibility to study while practicing a given sport.


What do today’s engineers think of education?

Towards where does nowadays’ education go?

Is still engineering a company’s engine?

Talent over college degree.


Companies give advice to future engineers:

Seeking talent before finishing the degree.

Private grants for students.

Projects, students showcases for companies.

What do companies offer for attracting talent?

Experience, the first junior engineer’s issue.


Think before making a choice 

The first thing you need to do is to sit down and think about the following:

What am I good at?

  • What am I good at studying and what am I bad at. I can dismiss being an engineer if what I would really like is to study a Degree in Humanities, or if geometry and maths are hell to me.

What do I like?

  • If I’m passionate about planes, I will study something related to this field, like, for example, Aeronautical Engineering. However, if crosswords are my preferred hobby, maybe maths or something related to data would be my thing. It is very important to relate hobbies with training.

Evaluate yourself

  • Create a profile in a job portal that allows you to see with perspective your current knowledge and skills and focus them towards the most adequate engineering field.

Find out what’s behind the curtain of the degree

  • With the huge number of engineering degrees there are today, the first thing you should check is the kind of subjects every degree is made up of  and at which universities they are taught. You should also visit the university or school (we recommend that you visit at least two of them, so that you can check if everything you have read or heard about is true). All in all, you should find out which of the main subjects are common to the different engineering degrees, in case you change your mind and decide to pick another one, just to make sure you still have time to do it. 

Where to study a university engineering degree.

Seek advice from a career counsellor

  • When you are pondering whether or not to take an engineering degree, bear in mind that there are professionals whose job is to give counselling and advice who can help you make the right choice. It might be very useful listening to experienced people in these areas. As we said before, there are also fairs and/or conferences aimed at helping the engineer-to-be, where companies give advice based on their own employees’ experiences.

Trends, a reflection of what you should study

  • We have all allowed ourselves to be seduced by television series and we may have even dreamed of being Steve Jobs in our home’s garage, launching our own Tech company. That’s why we must stay true to ourselves and always think of our hobbies and strengths.


  • Today’s engineer must learn languages, it’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. It is very likely for an average company in the present day to have its manufacturing, technical or development headquarters out of our boundaries. Chances are that the engineer will have to visit clients or factories abroad, that’s why languages must be part of the modern engineer’s training. The more languages we know, or the more subjects we are taught in foreign languages, the better. Taking an engineering degree abroad is a good idea to improve and perfect a language.

Career prospects

  • Think of the career prospects the engineering degree you want to study can offer you. Despite this should not be a priority factor, we do have to consider it and give it a think.

We hope that this small guide is useful for the engineer-to-be and that he/she can take advantage of the advice for choosing the university degree he/she is about to start.

What can I study?

 It is important to talk to experienced engineers before choosing a degree.


Advice for knowing what to study 

One of the ten things you should know before choosing a degree is crystal-clear: you must be willing to study in order to be ready for everything that’s about to happen.

The world is changing fast, both degrees and companies’ needs evolve, so our advice for choosing a given degree are:

1. Being active

It is essential to have a short-term vision of the labour market that allows us to understand the engineering needs of the moment, and to see towards which direction the market is going.

Attending fairs, conferences and contests where young or well-known novice engineers participate, start-ups where the best of the IT TECH market is exhibited. These are the key things to do for finding out how the labour market is and what your own and companies’ needs are.

  • You will find a list of tech events (fairs and conferences) taking place in Spain that will help you learn more about universities.

  • How can I get a scholarship for engineering students?

  • Which companies bet on training? Which sectors get financial aids for engineering students?

2. Vocation or Salary? What do I prefer?

The other main question is: what you wanted to be when you were young, does not always no siempre coincide lo que uno quería ser, cuando era pequeño con lo que o debería se planteaba una ingeniería moderna que antes no existía

We don’t usually get to being so close to what we had been willing for regarding our studies; when the time comes, our environment, friends and relatives may influence our final decision, which is one of the most important choices we will make in life.

One must come to a decision by asking himself/herself: WHAT WOULD I LIKE TO STUDY? WHAT WOULD I LIKE TO DO? Following trends or choosing a degree depending on your grades are not good options, since they may take you to studying an obsolete engineering degree or a degree that you don’t like at all, and you will probably give up in a short period of time

3. Is the salary a key factor for choosing an engineering degree?

 The salary shouldn't be the only factor to choose a degree.

Never. The aim of picking one engineering degree over another one should always be studying what you like, we shouldn’t make it an economic choice. We must be able to fully understand this concept. An engineering degree that 5 years ago had no job prospects, is probably one of the most sought-for by companies nowadays. [LINK BIG DATA, ESTADISTA] Technology moves forward at a blistering pace and probably, while one is studying for a given specialty, another specialty springs forth. (link, a carreras de última generación)

So, if somebody chooses to study any kind of engineering degree and has a good attitude, nowadays there are thousands of companies focused on talent recruitment that know how to identify these qualities, and that offer a wage according to the candidate’s experience and the market’s supply and demand law. Furthermore, since we are all linked by chains of acquaintance (as the Six degrees of separation theory proves, the candidate ends up having a wide range of professional opportunities within reach.

Picking up one engineering degree over another one must not be turned into an economic choice, but it’s true that it may be hard to obtain the money needed to pay for the first years of the degree, depending on where we would like to study it. However, if we can’t afford going to study where we had originally planned, we must never lose the feeling of self-realization because, in the end, we have chosen the correct engineering degree, no matter where we take it.

4. Now you’re starting to be interested in it…, where can I find out what to study?

Attend engineering conferences and fairs where projects are exhibited, or even engineering contests where each University shows its most cutting-edge projects. Getting to know both the environment of each kind of engineering and the way engineers-to-be are trained, is something that will awaken your curiosity, will help you decide WHAT TO STUDY and will make you be eager to start this new stage as an engineering student.

Do you know what to study?