Use your subject


Think about what 'using your subject' means to you and what you're really looking for. Do you want to apply your subject-specific knowledge or skills to the real world? Or maybe you want to continue to practice and develop these skills? Maybe it's a broader interest in your subject that you want to keep alive by working in a relevant type of organisation?

As a start, use the resources below to create your own list of career ideas to research.

Remember that the vast majority of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any subject.

  • Look at what alumni from your department have done using the DLHE data we collect and through the University of Sheffield alumni page on LinkedIn.
  • Search for and contact alumni in your subject through our Graduate case studies database.
  • Browse the career ideas for Bioengineering graduates on Prospects and Targetjobs but keep in mind that these are not a comprehensive list of all the careers related to your subject.
  • Search the Engineering Council for more information and careers resources related to your subject.
  • Brainstorm ideas and do some initial investigation to find out about research, organisations, start-ups, government bodies and freelancers connected to your subject.

Some career options

Our information resources - Occupations section is a good place to start to explore the following occupational areas. However you are not restricted to these and you should also consider any other additional factors which are important to you for your future career using our Understand yourself and your options section.

Here is just one example of the diverse range of careers you can enter. Hera is an engineering graduate, now working for Aecom.

Bioengineer / medical engineer

Graduates recruited into engineering roles within the medical technology sector do not necessarily have the job title bioengineer.

It is not a term commonly used in the UK at the moment. Job titles may include medical engineer or simply mechanical engineer, control systems engineer, electronics engineer, materials scientist etc employed to work on medical applications. It is therefore necessary to be flexible when looking at job titles related to jobs in this sector.

Use our Occupations section Medical engineer for more information and links to useful websites.

Business analyst

This role may suit you if you enjoy evaluating and analysing data, creating solutions and communicating with a variety of people. As a business analyst, you'll work with an organisation to understand their products, services and the industry sector they operate within.

You'll identify their future needs and challenges and help them to plan for the future and manage change in line with their company goals often in relation to information and software systems.

Use our Occupations sections Business, administration and public sector and Data science for more information and links to useful websites.

Clinical scientist training

The NHS Scientists Training Programme (STP) provides on-the-job training and a Masters qualification for individuals who aim to become future managers in the healthcare science team. Specialist areas include biomechanical engineering, rehabilitation science, clinical bioinformatics, and medical physics.

Depending on the specialism pursued, this can be a practical client facing role. If you’d prefer something more hands-on then technician or healthcare science associate roles may also be appropriate.

Use our Occupations section Scientific research and development for more information and links to useful websites.

Consultant engineer

A consultant engineer will research and prepare a solution to a technical project assigned by a client. You may specialise in a specific industry sector eg rail, aerospace, health/medical (Bioengineers) and work with a variety of different clients within that sector.

In this role you will need to manage projects, work to project plan timescales, enjoy developing specialist knowledge and liaising with clients, often visiting or working on site at the client’s work place.

Use our Occupations section Engineering for more information and links to useful websites.

Design engineer

Using your technical knowledge, mathematical and design skills you will create innovative solutions to technical problems working from initial concept, through to design, prototype, testing and development.

Projects may focus around software, components, machinery and vehicles to name a few. In this role you will need strong technical knowledge, CAD design skills as well as problem solving, communication, leadership and project management skills.

Use our Occupations section Engineering for more information and links to useful websites.

Engineer (mechanical/electronics/materials scientist etc)

Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the Bioengineering degree, you have had chance to study a range of engineering specialisms. You may have enjoyed or developed a professional interest in particular subject areas through projects or assignments and although not having studied these individual subjects to the depth of students on these separate degree courses, you can still consider these specialist routes and potential career paths.

Your applications would need to be tailored to emphasise the specific discipline relevant content of your degree and projects but your understanding of the connections between these areas can be an asset especially when working on cross disciplinary engineering projects.

Use our Occupations section Engineering for more information and links to useful websites.


Away from technical roles, you can apply your numeracy, business awareness and analytical skills to a more commercial role in finance. This could vary from investment management and banking to financial management or accounting roles.

Use our Occupations section Finance for more information and links to useful websites.

Manufacturing engineer

In this role you will design and control the manufacturing process in order to ensure production is efficient, timely and cost effective. You will evaluate the potential effectiveness of new processes, technologies and systems and present justification for your suggested changes and developments.

You may also design, install and commission new manufacturing equipment and assembly processes. Lean processes that maximise production levels, quality and efficiency and reduce cost, time and wastage are central to the process.

This role creates lots of opportunities for practical, creative thinking graduates who enjoy improving processes and systems, who can work well with other people, manage change and implement new ideas.

Use our Occupations section Manufacturing for more information and links to useful websites.

Patent attorney / patent examiner

If you have an interest in law, a methodical and meticulous attention to detail and excellent written communication skills you may enjoy applying your technical background and engineering degree to this area of work.

In this role you will assess whether inventions are eligible to be patented by searching through existing records of patents that have been approved and assessing whether the new product is sufficiently new and innovative. You will develop extensive knowledge of intellectual property law and have highly honed skills in drafting patents.

You may also advise companies and individuals through the process of gaining a patent or enforcing infringements.

Use our Occupations section Patents for more information and links to useful websites.


If you want to apply your understanding of engineering processes, equipment and components within a more commercial role, then procurement may be an option to consider. This can involve purchasing and supply of components or services from second and third tier suppliers, negotiating contracts and quality guidelines.

This role requires communication, negotiation and persuasion skills, numeracy and the ability to build and maintain strong client/customer relationships.

Use our Occupations section Purchasing and supply for more information and links to useful websites.

Quality engineer

This role would suit someone who is meticulous about meeting standards and committed to improving business performance. You will ensure that the product or service is consistently fit for purpose and meets both external and internal requirements, legal compliance and customer expectations.

In this role you might be required to monitor production and evaluate quality management systems. You will gather stats and produce reports measuring performance against set standards and analyse data in order to identify and introduce quality improvement measures.

This might mean working with others to implement new systems, install new equipment or provide training and techniques that ensure others achieve the quality standards.

Use our Occupations section Engineering for more information and links to useful websites.

Secondary school teacher

If you have enjoyed the aspects of your course such as physics, maths, technology, and are energised by sharing your love of the subject with others and thinking of new and engaging ways of presenting your knowledge, you might enjoy teaching as a career.

Obviously depending on the level of teaching, experience of and an ability to establish rapport with the relevant age group would also be a prerequisite as would good leadership and time management skills.

Use our Occupations section Primary, secondary and special needs for more information and links to useful websites.

Supply chain management

Similar to procurement but this requires an understanding of engineering components and processes involving planning, design, supply, monitoring and logistics of getting components and services of the right quality to the right place at the right time within budget.

This requires exceptional time management, planning, problem solving and commercial awareness.

Use our Occupations section Purchasing and supply for more information and links to useful websites.

Tissue engineer / researcher

In order to restore, maintain, or improve damaged tissues or whole organs possibly with the aim of encouraging the body's self healing.

This field of specialist research continues to evolve mainly in universities or specialist laboratories however, non-medical applications may also become more popular in future eg using tissues as biosensors to detect biological or chemical threat agents so may suit people interested in research and development mainly in a lab environment.

Use our Occupations sections Medical engineering and Scientific research and development for more information and links to useful websites.