Careers

A career in Materials Science and Engineering can take many forms, and can take you into whatever area you want, in whatever part of the world you want to work.

Careers Service advice chat

Why choose a career in materials science?

Growing demand

  • 246,500 people will be needed to meet the expansion demand in the UK engineering sector by 2024.
  • 79,000 engineering-related roles to arise per year.
  • Engineering Report 2018

Starting salary

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) professionals earn a higher mean salary compared to all employees.
  • At £25,607, the mean starting salary of engineering and technology graduates was 18% higher than the average for graduates overall.
  • Engineering Report 2018

Industry development

  • Engineering generated 23% (£1.23 trillion) of the UK’s total turnover.
  • The materials industry has an annual turnover of £200bn, contributing at least 15% of the UK’s GDP.
  • Materials Education and Skills

Download our Careers and Employability brochure.

Take control of your career

Your achievements and experiences, as well as your course, help you to discover more about yourself and can prepare you for a successful career anywhere in the world. You'll gain a strong set of transferable skills, including:

  • analytical and problem-solving skills
  • time management, planning and organisation
  • research and report writing
  • team working and communication skills
  • numerical skills

There's a vast array of opportunities available to you here at Sheffield, and not just in the lab or lecture theatre:

International Student Ambassadors in front of The Diamond

#WeAreInternational

If you're an international student, the Careers Service offers a variety of resources and support to help in your career planning, whether it be in the UK or internationally.

Interested in working in the UK after you graduate? Graduate jobs in the UK

Are you interested in working outside the UK after you graduate? Graduate jobs outside the UK

Keep up-to-date with news and key vacancies. International student blog

Where are our graduates now?

Upon completing your degree, you'll be equipped with the skills to succeed in a variety of jobs in:

  • Manufacturing
  • Oil and gas
  • Aerospace
  • Nuclear industry
  • Armed forces
  • Teaching and research
  • Nanotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Development of sustainable materials

Working through the Atkins graduate scheme, you get to experience a huge variety of work; graduates tend to spend around 3 to 12 months on a particular project before changing to another. Working for a very large company means there are always a lot of opportunities to move around the UK, increase your personal and technical development, and meet lots of people.

Holly Humphries - Assistant Engineer, Atkins

MEng Materials Science and Engineering graduate 2012


While most graduates from Sheffield go to jobs where they use their Materials Science and Engineering knowledge and skills, some use the degree to follow a career path in other directions such as in the financial and legal sector, where the transferable skills are also valued.

Graduate destinations
  • Atkins
  • Airbus
  • Ametek
  • Marconi
  • British Gas
  • British Telecom
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Pirelli Corus
  • ICL
  • Philips
  • Composites
  • Revolution
  • TWI
  • Barclays Bank

Start researching and planning your career whilst still at university to avoid stress, and be better equipped to achieve your goals. Make the most of the opportunities outside university that complement your academic CV. Work and industrial placements can make a huge difference to your employability.

Richard Senior - Patent Attorney, Withers and Rogers

MEng Biomaterial Science and Tissue Engineering graduate 2009* forerunner of MEng Materials Science and Engineering (Biomaterials)

Top in the Russell Group

We are the top-ranked Russell Group university for Graduate Prospects in Materials Science and Engineering. (The Times Good University Guide 2020)

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