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Engineering, Design and Technology skills and careers

Engineering, Technology and Design are subjects that have a tremendous impact on society as a whole, as you can see from the following examples.

Engineering is important to the growth of the low carbon economy and there is a current skills shortage for all types of engineers in the renewable energy sector. Onshore and offshore wind, wave and tidal energy currently support around 30,000 direct and indirect jobs. The offshore wind workforce alone is set to grow to two-and-a-half times its current size by 2030, from 11,000 to 27,000 (Prospects).

Humans use technology to travel, to communicate, to learn, to do business and to live in comfort (SOURCE: Use of Technology).

Design can help by making it easier to live up to our aspirations: by making stairs a more accessible and enticing option than escalators, for example, or creating open spaces where people want to gather instead of being trapped in their cubicles. By shaping the objects, interactions and environments we live around and within, design literally changes the world (SOURCE: Design for Mankind).

Skills you can develop

As well as the specific knowledge gained from studying for an OU degree, you'll develop many transferable and work-related skills that are highly valued by employers and which will increase your employability.

For Engineering and Technology students the employability skills you will develop include:

  • solving problems with creative and innovative strategies
  • being logical and pragmatic, interested in the process necessary for a concept to become a product
  • having the ability to design and develop economically viable products
  • being conscious of global social, cultural and environmental issues in relation to engineering and technology
  • attention to detail, numeracy and high levels of computer literacy
  • being effective communicators, capable of team working and able to take on responsibility.

For Design students there are a range of skills that you will develop including:

  • communicating design outputs using appropriate forms of representation
  • recognising and integrating the expertise of others when designing
  • being independent and self-motivated, and managing your workload to meet deadlines
  • making use of appropriate online environments for the purpose of research, communication and learning, both individually and collaboratively.

To see specific learning outcomes related to OU degrees in this area have a look at OU Engineering, Design and Technology courses.

To check which skills valued by employers can be developed from studying a particular subject, look at the Advance HE - Student Employability Profiles. You will also find information about employability skills developed through study of specific degree subjects on the Prospects website.

The OU Careers and Employability Services define student employability as: A set of capabilities and achievements that support students in developing their careers, raising their aspirations and enhancing their contribution to society.

Whatever your motivations for study, your goals and career aspirations, you are entitled to supported personal development planning either as an intrinsic part of your programme of study or through signposted optional activities. You can view our full Student Employability Policy Statement on our website.

If you’re a registered OU student, you can find further careers information tailored to your qualification at your Study Home site, under the Succeed tab.

Student stories

Employers respect an OU degree.

Steve Rowell

I felt I wanted to be an engineer, but I also wanted to be somebody who could guide people.

Rachael Johnson

OU qualifications

Find out more about undergraduate study in EngineeringTechnology and Design.

Find out more about postgraduate study in Engineering, Technology and Design.

Learn more about all undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications at OU courses.

Last updated 1 month ago