- Studying: 9%
- Employed in graduate job: 52%
- Employed in non-graduate job: 25%
- Unemployed: 9%
- Average graduate salary: £19,895
- Average non-graduate salary: £15,280
A materials science/technology degree course covers a combination of engineering, scientific and mathematical disciplines. It may be studied as a single honours degree or as a joint/combined subject with a range of other subjects. During the course you gain an understanding of manufacturing, processing and the fabrication of materials, their properties and performance in different environments, and learn to design using different materials to meet particular specifications.
Consider the skills developed on your course as well as through your other activities, such as paid work, volunteering, family responsibilities, sport, membership of societies, leadership roles, etc. Think about how these can be used as evidence of your skills and personal attributes. Then you can start to market and sell who you really are, identify what you may be lacking and consider how to improve your profile.
View the best universities for materials technology degrees.
A 2010 HESA survey of 2009 graduates indicates that six months after finishing their course, 62% of materials science graduates were in employment in the UK or overseas. A further 4% were combining further study and work.
Of those entering employment, around 10% went into professional engineering-based roles. A further 15% branched out into the art and design sectors and 10% took management roles in the private and public sector.
Where are the jobs?
Opportunities for materials graduates are available in the manufacturing sector related to materials science and engineering. As well as materials companies (e.g. paints, steel), employers may be in oil and gas, aerospace, utilities, pharmaceuticals, the nuclear industry, the armed forces and defence. Opportunities are also available in teaching and research.
There are also many emerging and growth areas where materials graduates can find career openings, including nanotechnology, biomedical materials, high performance textiles, composites and the development of sustainable materials.
Jobs directly related to your degree
Studying materials technology will equip you with the skills to succeed in a range of jobs, such as:
- Materials engineer
- Research scientist (physical sciences)
- Product/process development scientist
- Technical sales engineer
Jobs where your degree would be useful
You could also put your materials technology degree to good use working as a:
- Biomedical engineer
- Manufacturing systems engineer
- Patent examiner
- Quality manager
- Higher education lecturer
- Secondary school teacher
Although some of the jobs listed here might not be first jobs for many graduates, they are among the many realistic possibilities with your degree, provided you can demonstrate you have the attributes employers are looking for. Bear in mind that it's not just your degree discipline that determines your options. Remember that many graduate vacancies don't specify particular degree disciplines, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
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