Careers in construction

September 1, 2017, by Grace Pownall

Building a Career in Construction: A Job That Can Take You Places

Last year, I attended the inaugural Spotlight On Construction, to find out more about this career path. I thoroughly enjoyed the event, which provided a great insight into what it’s like to have a career in construction. There was also ample opportunity to network with the speakers.

This event helped confirm my interest in pursuing a career in this area. It also broadened my horizons when thinking about what kind of career I could have within the construction industry.

We heard from four construction professionals

  • Brian and Alex from Bouygues UK talked about the wide variety of projects that students could get involved
  • Chartered structural engineer Tim Stidwill‘s talk on ‘Shaping today and tomorrow’s world through integrated and sustainable solutions’ furthered my interest in the increasing need to address issues regarding sustainability within the construction industry, particularly the use of building information modelling to assess embodied CO2
  • Professor Peter Hansford‘s talk ‘From construction site to Westminster’ showed how a career in construction could lead to advisory roles within the government, something completely different to the usual consultant or contractor role
  • Sachin Gosai, geotechnical engineer for Arup, the company I worked for last summer, conveyed the importance of passion for your work with a talk titled ‘Geotechnics, it’s only a bit of mud; How soil can take you around the world!’ He gave me some advice on how to find the right company that fits you as an employee as well as talking about the importance of industrial experience when writing job applications

Although the career paths followed by each speaker were all distinctly different, there were three standout reasons why you should consider a career in construction:

1. Opportunity to make a difference

All speakers emphasised how rewarding they find their roles, and the pride they feel when they see their projects completed successfully, making a real difference to people’s lives by constructing the infrastructure and buildings that allows our society to function.

2. Variety

Every project in construction is completely unique. It’s never been done before. This presents a range of challenges and problems that need creative solutions. Every day is different; you might be out on site one day, consulting in a different city the next day, or even travelling the world.

3. Chance to work abroad

Peter Hansford told us about his experience of working in Hong Kong and the vast difference in business culture. Tim Stidwill talked about working with European architects and travelling to their offices to discuss designs. Construction is going on every day around the world, and many UK companies win work in other countries, requiring specialists to travel the world to help solve problems internationally.

Unsure which area of construction is right for you? Ranstad have created this tool to help you decide.

Looking for insights into the sector you have your eye on? Watch this space for this year’s Spotlight On programme. 

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