What Does Industry Want for Engineering Hires?

By Leigh-Anderson

Hint: Real World Student Competitions & Software Experience!

The video linked below was from 2021 but it has an enduring message to engineering students. If you want the best possible, most exciting career opportunities – then join a student competition team. If you want to graduate as a ‘real-world engineer’ instead of a ‘theoretical engineer’ – then join a student team. If you make a commitment to join a student competition team and go on make a meaningful contribution – your career will thank you!

SpaceX and other leading companies strongly prefer to hire competition team members!

In this 5 minute video, hear from students sharing how they advanced their skills and careers!

Join a team. Take advantage of free online training for Siemens software tools. Get access to software at no-cost if you join a team.

Below is a list of just a few of the more popular student competitions at the university level. There are other programs for younger students such as FIRST Robotics. Ask at your school what student teams are already operating, or perhaps start up a new team.

  • Formula Student/Formula SAE – many countries have this competition where students design, build and compete a Formula 1 style racecar – categories include petrol, electric (and even autonomous in some countries). There are about 850 teams worldwide. For example, in N. America there’s Formula SAE Michigan. In Europe, there’s FS Germany and a number of other countries. In Asia – China, Japan and Australia also have these Formula Student events.
  • Spaceport America Cup – student built rockets soar up to 30,000 feet and hit Mach 5 velocity.
  • There’s a number of airplane competitions, such as SAE Aero in the U.S.
  • Solar car competitions exist at the world and regional levels, such as the World Solar Challenge or the American Solar Challenge.
  • There’s an advanced marine competiton called Robonation Robosub where student designand built autonomous underwater vehicles navigate through a number of complex tasks.

Join a Team and Suggest to Get a No-Cost Software Grant From Siemens!
Student competition teams can get free student editions at this site, or apply for full commercial functional software packages, some of which don’t have student editions using this online form.

Join a team! It will be the most challenging – the most hard work – and by far the most rewarding thing you do in your entire university experience. You’ll set yourself up to get the most exciting careers in the most exciting companies.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at