January 16, 2011

Who Engineers Most Want to Work For and Why

The list of the world’s most attractive engineering employers for 2010 (according to Universum) include: 1. Google; 2. Microsoft; 3. IBM; 4. Sony; 5. BMW; 6. Intel; 7. GE; 8. Siemens; 9. Procter & Gamble; and 10. Apple Computer. The September 2010 report by Universum is based on a survey of 130,000 career seekers across the globe. The IT-sector is out on top with Google, Microsoft and IBM keeping their position from last year as 1,2, and 3 on the list. Apple Computer, number 10, is the newest entry to the list.

There is a reason why these companies are attractive to job seekers. Highly sought after technical candidates are concerned about their professional growth and development. Companies that provide professional training and development fared much better. Workers desire managers and corporate leaders who will support their career growth, according to Universum.

Companies are increasingly aware of the diminishing supply of top candidates with highly specialized skills and abilities. According to Universum, "Companies that are innovative and produce exciting products and services" are the companies that are most interesting to technical professionals. This is especially true for new graduates, the group most targeted by the top companies on the list.

What should you look for in a job? Patience is very important as you decide who you will allow to employ you. Time is precious. You don’t want to waste your time or your talents working in a job that takes you nowhere. Find a job that allows you to thrive. It is much more difficult to untangle yourself later when you find you are in the wrong place.

The most important thing you can do in analyzing a potential job and employer is to focus on what you will learn. You want to find a company where you will get excellent training and an opportunity to continue your education. The training you receive in the first years after graduation sets the tone for your career growth and development. The training and development you receive throughout your career is the difference between obsolescence and relevance. Are you still current?

Check out the web sites of companies you are considering, and see if there is any information on their training and education programs. When you are interviewing for a position, ask about the training program and the company’s policy on support for continuing education. You want to know that you will have the opportunity to continuously update your knowledge and skills. An engineer or computer scientist who becomes obsolete is worthless.

Second, make sure that the job is going to push the limits of your expertise. You want an opportunity to stretch yourself and to be challenged. An engineer who is not challenged quickly becomes bored. Seek a company that is at the cutting edge of its industry like the ones on the list above. Companies that are growing and expanding are usually doing so because they are industry leaders.

You will want to find a manager who will empower you, not micro-manage you. Having a boss who mentors you and helps you adapt to your new job and new work environment is absolutely critical. A manager who respects and values you over time is priceless.

Invest in yourself; take the time to do it right. Don’t short change yourself by taking a job you will regret taking later. Find the job that gives you what you need to thrive and that will challenge you to do your best. Take the time to research the companies in which you are interested. Make contacts and explore your options so that you can make a good decision. Be patient and do your homework. It will definitely pay off!