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Vocation Counselor & Job Market

  • 1.  Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 12 days ago
    Edited by Stephen Para 12 days ago

    I am a recent graduate from Purdue University living in Northern Illinois. I have a bachelors in Materials Science and Engineering. However, I have not had much success with my job applications beyond a couple interviews which did not pan out.

    Is the market for engineering, or specifically materials engineering, saturated right now?

    Also, are there any recommendations for vocation counselors/organizations to review my resume and interview points to help make sure I'm doing everything correctly?

    I should also include that I worked as a lab assistant under a graduate student for a year after graduation, and I am currently studying for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam in June.

    Thank you for any help anyone can provide.



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    Stephen Para
    Saint Charles IL
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  • 2.  RE: Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 11 days ago

    Hello Stephen,

    Materials engineers are not something most companies have on the top of their lists as people they want to hire. Whether or not the market is saturated, getting a first job thus has to do with selling yourself properly. In particular, you need write your application letter and "steer" your resume based on what the potential employer does (read their website!) and showing that you can fill a company-specific need, and not what you think they need. The position may not be directly materials related but your materials background would be a great bonus which you bring with. You also need to think about where you want to go beyond this eventual first job. It may  be a good short-term match, but eventually only a (side)step to where you really want to go. And yes, you will get lots of rejections (I got around 50 before I finally landed my first position, not having known how to apply for jobs at that time.) 

    Note that I went from materials development in aircraft engines to engineering solutions in art conservation.

    I will be happy to advise you, no cost. I'll message you my e-mail address.



    ------------------------------
    William Wei
    Senior conservation scientist
    Vibmech.nl
    Lieveren
    +31622463135
    ------------------------------

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  • 3.  RE: Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 11 days ago

    Hi Stephen,

    I highly recommend that you find out when your local ASM chapter meetings are and attend those (Chicago Regional, Milwaukee, Calumet). You will have the chance to network with local professionals and make contacts. If you have any other professional society memberships, look for local chapter meetings for those as well. Any and all networking is good and you may find out about opportunities that are not on the online job boards. Look also for alumni association meetings that you can attend. Reach out to Purdue to get information about any local alumni association events. 

    Good luck!



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    Kathy
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    Education courses


  • 4.  RE: Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 10 days ago

    Stephen,  You have good advice from several people.  I would look into active networking at the ASMI chapters mentioned (Calumet, Chicago Region, Milwaukee).  At Boston we have monthly technical dinner meetings from September thru May.  The subjects vary widely, but you almost always learn something.  Print up business cards for the meetings and work on networking skills.  Take courses at nearby college: computer skills, languages, or various materials subjects.

    We all have a lot to learn!



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    Thomas Auten
    Retired
    Salisbury MA
    (617) 275-9364
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  • 5.  RE: Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 9 days ago

    Stephen,

    I experienced a longer than expected lead time for landing my first job after graduating with a BSME in 2018. I would argue I had a good resume and good interview skills. I sent many online applications to the tune of a few interviews as well. I ended up accepting a position after 6 months of searching as a Quality Engineer in the heat treatment industry and am still with the same company today. 

    The industry is dynamic and provides a lot of experience in a short period of time for engineers beginning their careers. Heat treaters are always looking to hire engineers, especially with Materials Science backgrounds. Feel free to reach out and I can point you towards some industry specific resources if you are interested.

    srogers@parkertrutec.com

    Good luck during your job search,



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    Seth Rogers
    Sales Manager
    Parker Trutec Group
    Springfield, OH
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  • 6.  RE: Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 9 days ago
    Stephen,

    I will second the comment " Heat treaters are always looking to hire engineers, especially with Materials Science backgrounds." I work for a company that designs and builds induction heating coils and machines to heat metals, from heat treating to melting to forging applications. All our numerous locations each have a full metallurgical lab, having lab managers, supervisors, and several lab technicians. Almost every new job requires a specific approach that needs input from many people with different backgrounds. We greatly rely on their material knowledge to maintain our position as a leader in the worldwide induction heating industry. My company has also offered to relocate me to other positions around the world should I choose as well.

    Best,
    Jason Jones
    Design Engineer & FEA Analyst
    Inductoheat Inc.
    www.inductoheat.com


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  • 7.  RE: Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 8 days ago
    Hello, Seth and all.

    Thanks for the comments and points raised concerning gaining employment in the heat treatment industry. I am very much interested, and have a 3-year recent experience in material science and polymer engineering after working for 7 years in Aviation Instrumentation.

    I would really like to discuss those opportunities with you, and am available to be contacted. Do let me know if you have any questions.

    Ogundiran, O. D.
    Hartford, Connecticut.



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  • 8.  RE: Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 11 days ago

    Hello Stephen,

    I'm retired and not up on the latest of the job market.  But even if a market is down, that just means that there are more non-performers than stars, it does not mean that there are no openings. Consider whether to widen your sights.

    Passing the Fundamentals exam and presumably subsequent P.E. (or other certifications) are achievements that in the words of a former boss, "won't hold you back.".  In some companies and industries they are recognized as achievements, or highly valued, or even essential.  And to others, they add no value.  I think they are worth going for!  They were of value to me.

    Working as a lab assistant is good as far as showing interest in being employed and possibly gaining valuable experience.  Whether a specific employer likes it is unknown, but it's a positive for those given reasons - a long period of unemployment with no strong reason for it is a red flag.

    Resources: your alma mater has ongoing employment resources, make sure you actively pursue those. Those resources very likely include some sort of review of your resume package and interview skills. Being active at this ASMI Connect may have value, and networking is a great path for many reasons.  You may want to try local ASMI meetings if such exist, and LinkedIn is also a site that focuses on connections.  The larger job boards show current jobs.  You didn't mention whether you are interested in metallurgy, composites, semiconductors, computational, research, but you should have one or max a couple of areas as your prime interests and focus on possibilities in those.  I hope these comments help!



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    Paul Tibbals
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    Education courses


  • 9.  RE: Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 10 days ago
    Edited by Jason Loesch 9 days ago

    You might consider looking toward medical device manufacturers for positions. I know we have numerous materials specialists at Boston Scientific. Also look to failure analysis labs - we have several within Boston Scientific.

    You have a few good pieces of advice here already.

    Good fortune to you!



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    Jason Loesch
    Electrical Technician IV
    Boston Scientific Corporation Inc.
    Arden Hills MN
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  • 10.  RE: Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 10 days ago

    Hello,

    Congratulations on your choice to study materials engineering and as they say, "You can't build it without Materials."  

    After almost 40 years in this industry, I can say there are generally good jobs available but you may need to go where they are, especially if you have specific interest in a type of materials or industry.  If your goal is to find a job in a specific area, you may need to look at manufacturing and consider quality or productivity type jobs as an entry point.  If you consider the Materials Engineering triangle: Material - Process - Properties; once the material is selected (R&D, Design, etc.) care is needed when tweaking the manufacturing process (when looking to lower costs and improve productivity) and the end customer will be dependent upon the properties provided (verified by Quality both Assurance and Lab Testing).

    Good Luck and Boiler Up! this weekend,

    Bill Jarosinski, FASM



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    William Jarosinski
    Materials R&D Director
    Praxair
    Indianapolis IN
    (317) 679-6942
    ------------------------------

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  • 11.  RE: Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 9 days ago

    Hello Stephen,

    Finding the first professional job out of college does require a lot of planning and hard work. As you can see from overwhelming response to your post, a lot of people are willing to provide help and guidance. I can add a few points to this discussion:

    1. Having collaborated with professors from Purdue in the past, my impression of the engineering school there is very positive. You may contact some of the current professors there and ask them for their help for identifying local employers.
    2. Networking with your classmates can also help with finding a potential employers. 
    3. Purdue probably has an on-campus recruiting activity. You may access their help since they willingly help recent graduates. 
    4. In addition to ASM, materials engineers (or transformed materials engineers) are active in other professional societies that are more active and larger. To name a few, The Metals Society (process engineering), Society of Automotive Engineers (manufacturing, testing, quality, design, failure analysis and environmental), SAMPE (composite manufacturing and testing), ASME (material selection, design, manufacturing, automation, quality control and component failure), American Chemical Society (polymeric material and coatings), Metal Powder Industry Federation (powder metal and MIM), North American Die Casting Association, American Iron and Steel Institute, The Aluminum Association and many others. You may join local chapters of these societies since they provide and excellent avenue for networking.
    5. Tailor your resume for each job that you apply. Emphasize your skills that may be of interest to the potential employer.
    6. Since you are located in the heart of US manufacturing region, check web sites of local companies for their job postings. Jobs are rarely posted as "Materials Engineering" jobs since a vast majority of employers are unaware of this field. They may be listed under testing engineer, quality engineer, manufacturing engineer, heat treat engineer etc.
    7. Also, check some of the large research outfits such as Argonne National Lab, Fermi Lab, IIT Research Institute etc in your region.

    Good Luck with your search!



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    [Ratnesh] [Dwivedi]
    [President]
    [RKD ENGG, LLC]

    www.rkdengg.com
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  • 12.  RE: Vocation Counselor & Job Market

    Posted 5 days ago

    Hello Stephen,

    I'm also a Purdue grad (1977, PhD Chemistry) and have 47 years of experience inventing/researching new materials and developing commercial products for use in diverse applications. My comments will echo some of the excellent advice that has been posted by others, and I may have some additional perspective, having worked for various companies and also having extensive self-employment consulting experience. 

    I would strongly suggest contacting Purdue for job-searching assistance/leads/networking/interview suggestions. Note that the majority of job openings, in many companies, are not advertised. This is where recruiters and networking can be valuable. You mentioned that prior interviews didn't go well. Do a self-assessment to try to determine the reasons things didn't go well. For example, was it the nature of the interview process itself, the use of AI during the interview, your resume including use of proper keywords, etc.  Also, I would echo the comments about the importance of professional society memberships; ASM, MRS, SAMPE, ACS, etc., as well as LinkedIn and also ResearchGate. Start with one or two that best fit your interests. Also, there are many trade magazines that are free and could provide leads for your job search, including information about recent company research and product development. Your upcoming Engineering exam is a good step that should be attractive to employers. Have you thought about earning an advanced degree? Have you clearly defined your career goals?

    Someone mentioned heat treating, which market forecast reports indicate to be a hot" area now and with good future growth forecast. Lots of materials science and engineering trends in heat treating; 3D printing, laser heating, new alloys, digitalization, smart sensors, sustainable processing, etc. I have never worked in heat treating, but I have consulted in several of the above trend areas, for other applications. My point is that taking a course or even self-learning about one or more of those trend areas would be a plus for many employers. My comments about learning new trend areas/new techniques would obviously apply to your specific area(s) of interest.

    Wishing you success,

     



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    Ronald Myers
    President/Owner
    Myers Consulting Services
    Strongsville OH
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