Do you know you love engineering, but don't exactly know what you want to pursue for your career? We've compiled resources on the following topics to help you plan for your future job.

A great place to start is to learn about all of UMD's engineering majors. Watch an overview of majors in this video. All students must declare a major after their third semester, so we encourage you to explore resources for undecided engineering students provided by the Clark School advising office.

Assessments are a powerful tool in helping you figure out your career plan. Here are some tools to consider.

Research is a key element in identifying your career goals. Peruse these resources to determine your path.

Internal Resources

  • Compare majors and plan out your major, minor, or graduate program (see each department's website for more information).
  • Consult the advising department's four year academic plans.
  • See average salaries for engineering students and employment outcomes reported by recent graduates. Check PhD outcomes (At the top, sort by A. James Clark School, under the Degree College/Schoolsort dropdown menu).
  • Take career advancement courses, such as ENES181: Engineering & The Grand Challenges or major-specific courses, such as ENME 201: Careers in Mechanical Engineering or ENAE 100: Aerospace Engineering Profession.
  • Come into the Engineering Career Services office to read former interns' work reports.
  • Consider whether graduate school or a gap year could be right for you.
  • Read alumni stories from the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering (CMSE).
  • Explore industry information about engineering careers on FirstHand (formerly Vault), accessible through your C4E account.

External Resources

  • O*Net includes information on skills, abilities, knowledge, work activities, and interests associated with various occupations.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides summary data, including employment projections, for engineering occupations in its Occupational Outlook Handbook.
  • America's Career InfoNet (ACINET) shares toolkits for useful career information.
  • Careers.org outlines engineering occupation profiles.
  • DiscoverEngineering presents career information on various engineering fields.
  • Career Profiles lets you find detailed information on job opportunities, training requirements, earnings, and required engineering degress for your specialty.
  • Career Cornerstone Center lists resources for those exploring career paths in engineering fields.
  • MyPlan.com helps students and professionals plan more fulfilling lives by making well-informed decisions about their education and careers.
  • Careersoutthere offers informational interviews that help you find the right career fit.
  • Determine whether a postdoc is right for you.

As an engineering student, you have access to a wealth of information to help you prepare early for your job hunt. Take advantage of the resources below.

  • Familiarize yourself with our Career Resources & Handouts, which contain detailed information about every step of the job search process.
  • Explore career building workshops and events to learn more detailed information, ask questions, and begin networking. See our events calendar and sign up for sessions on Careers4Engineers (C4E).
  • Browse job listings on C4E to find possible employment opportunities.
  • Assess how you will include diversity and inclusion considerations in your job search.
  • Understand company culture terms and how to evaluate companies' cultures.
  • Learn about third-party recruiters:
    • Understand that these are agencies, organizations, or individuals recruiting candidates for temporary, part-time, or full-time employment opportunities other than for their own needs. 
    • Check that postings are for a single company and that there are no fees associated with applying to the job or completing training.
    • Beware of job posting frauds & scams
    • See differences between a headhunter vs recruiter.

Speaking about the opportunities available to you can provide clarity on what you want to pursue. Here are some ideas to get started.

Attending events is a great way to learn more about companies and develop your professional network. Review the following opportunities.

  • Not only can you check out the workshops Engineering Career Services organizes, but you can also attend workshops hosted by employers who help students navigate specialty topics like case interviewing.
  • Stop by employer information sessions, tech talks, and lobby tables to get helpful overviews and establish contacts at your target companies.
  • Attend UMD Career Fairs to meet potential employers and build contacts. Before you attend a fair, be sure to read Career Fair Success Handout and attend a Career Fair Success Workshop.
  • If possible, attend the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) conferences. Their career fairs have hundreds of employers attending each year. Check with the student branches of these organizations to learn more.
  • Find other events, like the Whiting-Turner Business & Entrepreneurial Lectures and Mpact Lecture Series to stay updated on relevant engineering topics and hear from leaders in the field.

How do you make sure you know about the latest career opportunities? Check out these resources to stay informed.

  • Read the ECS Career Engineer newsletter sent directly to your inbox. If you're not receiving these, email Deborah Vidmar.
  • Identify your top 20 employers and check their websites regularly. Make sure to follow their pages on C4E, LinkedIn, or other social media sites.
  • Set up search agents on various job boards.
  • Subscribe to emails and newsletters from engineering leaders or groups, such as the National Academy of Engineering, Black Engineer, Hispanic Engineer, and Diversity in Action.

There are many ways to develop the hands-on experience you will need to show employers the scope of work you ucan do. See some suggestions below.

Remember to diversify your experiences so that your application stands out. Opportunities unrelated to engineering will allow you to build transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, organization, and leadership.

Developing your skills will help you become a well-rounded job candidate. See our suggestions for improving your technical and soft skill sets.


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