How Can Universities Prepare Civil Engineering Students For The Real World?

Many graduates will know that having a degree often isn’t enough to secure a job in the sector they’ve studied in – employers want to see real-world experience and evidence of skills that can be transferred to the workplace.

There is obviously a lot of theory that goes into studying civil engineering – after all, it wouldn’t be feasible nor possible for every student to see a practical project through from design to completion.

But what can universities do to provide their students with a better service?

Time to adapt

There are hundreds of universities in the UK alone and each year they are competing for students from a single pool.

The institutions that ensure their offering stays relevant in an increasingly digital workplace will be the ones that thrive. Instilling students with an understanding of how they can impact wider society through their work – and doing so with the latest technologies – is crucial.

Those that do it the best will prosper because their students are more likely to have successful careers. Planning for future shifts is also essential – those left responding to changes risk being left behind.

Five skills civil engineers should get from uni

  1. CAD: Most project designs are created using CAD software. Entering the industry without experience of using a range of different platforms will only hold students back.
  2. Maths: Strong mathematical skills are pivotal for civil engineers. Incorrect calculations or lacking the knowledge to make them in the first place could end up having massive consequences.
  3. Industry experience: Perhaps most importantly, students need real-world experience to be prepared for the real world. Whether that’s providing a sandwich course or greater exposure to leaders in the industry, nothing is more important than experience.
  4. Leadership/communication: While it may not be an essential theory element, students could eventually be leading projects as full-time civil engineers. Knowing how to lead a team and communicate their ideas will be key.
  5. Organisational skills: In a similar vein, organisational skills are a vital part of a civil engineer’s make-up. This will help ensure projects remain in compliance with regulations, meet deadlines and remain within the budget.

In conclusion…

Universities that provide greater practical opportunities to students and do more to prepare them for the job market are likely to attract the top students.

Of course, institutions with high-profile lecturers and impressive facilities on campus will still be tempting for students. However, those that adapt and try to keep ahead of the curve are likely to see increased success.