See the world while working: Job opportunities in Europe for engineering graduates

Careers Advice
16 September 2019 | Careers Advice | Guest Author

Engineering is a truly globe-spanning career choice. You can take your knowledge just about anywhere on the planet and find something to use it for – a problem to be solved or a structure to be built. So if you’re entering the final year of an engineering degree course or you’ve just graduated, you might be struggling to decide where to head to next, even if you’re set on a specialism.

The good news is that right across Europe, changes in industry are heralding huge numbers of emerging and exciting opportunities to put your engineering skills to use. So don’t assume that post-university travel plans and a promising career start can’t go hand-in-hand. Here are a few places you could head to…

Growing air freight hubs in Spain

A recent study published by CP Cases makes for surprising reading when it comes to which airports are handling the most freight in Europe. You might expect that the major global passenger hubs like Heathrow and Frankfurt are also where the majority of freight passes through, but unheard-of airports are taking on more freight every year.

None of the top ten for freight growth across the last five years are major passenger airports, meaning that minnow airports across Europe are increasing their freight-handling apace, and opportunities are growing with them. Spain has six out of the top twenty biggest growers, more than any other country, making its airports the place to look for jobs in the air freight industry.

Road improvements in Eastern Europe

The EU’s current list of major engineering projects includes numerous road improvement works in countries like Bulgaria, Romania, Czechia and Hungary. Upgrading important and historic cross-country and even cross-continental routes – as well as creating brand new road links – has become a growing priority for countries in this region. Works of this scale require world-class expertise to ensure they’re built to last. The vast scope and long duration of the projects means they present numerous opportunities for civil engineers.

Oil and gas in the North Sea

The North Sea has more offshore rigs than anywhere else in the world, meaning that there is always a plethora of opportunities for qualified engineers in the oil and gas industries. If you’re serious about a career in the energy industry and are interested in the exciting opportunities and challenges that living offshore presents, it’s well worth keeping an eye on job listings. Many of the recruitment firms representing the industry are based in Aberdeen, so you don’t have to venture too far afield for the application process.

Transport upgrades in France

The Grand Paris Express calls itself Europe’s largest transport project (although it’s probably tied with Crossrail for that title at the moment). Due for completion in 2030, it is a large-scale reconfiguring of the public transport network across the entire metropolitan area of Paris. It will bring 200km of railway lines and 68 brand new stations to the area, designed to handle 2 million passengers per day. A project of this size requires engineers at all levels, so look into job openings if you fancy moving to the other side of the Channel.

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