Hear from SOE’s Head of Business Operations and Designate Executive Director Emma Thompson as she breaks down the Career pathway guide and why it's an indispensable tool for every engineer's arsenal.

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What is the career pathway guide?   

It's a comprehensive resource designed to empower engineers in navigating and advancing their careers within the engineering sphere.  Engineering is a career with unlimited opportunities, and we wanted to make sure we showed that to anyone who’s either at career crossroads or looking to shift their career into a higher gear.   

What’s in the guide?   

Incorporated within the guide are inspirational anecdotes and testimonials from engineers hailing from various sectors and career stages, serving as a beacon of motivation for aspiring professionals. This guide represents a collaborative effort to empower engineers with the tools and resources needed to chart their professional journey.  

Who was involved in the production of the guide?  

The guide is the product of synergy and collaboration between many – from our sectors representing five sectors to our membership, Professional Registration and Marketing teams. We’ve also sign-posted to many industry research and useful resources from the likes of Engineering Council, Royal Academy of Engineering and others! So, it’s a peer-reviewed and evidence-based career guide that features authentic career stories of engineers who’ve carved new paths for the future generation.   

Who is it for?  

It’s primarily aimed at aspiring engineers/apprentices, those in the profession looking to progress up the ranks or those looking for direction when they reach career crossroads.   

However, we realise it can also be used by many other groups such as:  

  • Career advice teams at universities and colleges to guide students  
  • Managers – when they’re having appraisals or career development conversations with their teams  
  • Recruiters – when they’re helping new engineers   
  • Parents – to cement their confidence that there are many possibilities within engineering   
  • Students doing GCSEs/A levels who are curious to see what discipline they want to specialise in within engineering   

Why has SOE/IRTE created the guide?  

The Society of Operations Engineers are working constantly with our network of engineers, sectors, regions, partners and many other stakeholders to tackle skills shortages in engineering. This guide offers a bird's eye view into some of the key sectors integral to our society and the many career possibilities within.   

We’re also at the forefront of raising standards in our industry, and being a licensed PEI by the Engineering Council and the Society for the Environment, we are doing a lot of work on raising the awareness of ‘Professional Registration’, and its role in career progression.   

This guide addresses both these points and is part and parcel of our succession planning strategy.   

Where can people access the guide?  

You can access your free online copy here.

Education and training providers can also contact our marketing team to order a physical copy. Email us at [email protected]

Is there more coming?   


To continue the discussion further, we are hosting an in-person half-day event at our offices on 30th July with speakers from Flixbus, Engineering Council and others. Do join us by signing up here.  

We have plenty of learnings to share from our 12th IRTE Bus & Coach Skills Testing Week, and we’re working with the likes of Alexander Dennis, BYD, VARTA, S&B Academy and many others to create a whitepaper focused specifically on the bus and coach sector.   

We also have a lineup of technical guides that’ll be published throughout this year. But you can check out our current library of CPD resources here.  

In your opinion, what is the future of engineering?   

We are seeing some big changes in the engineering realm – whether that’s in road transport with Net Zero targets, or in plant and power where driving internal efficiencies and minimising environmental impact is top of mind for many. With legislation and compliance only becoming more stringent in the future, we need more professional engineers and technicians to drive these innovations forward.    

With the likes of the Engineers 2030 project by the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the collective efforts of many PEIs, I believe, together, we can tackle the ongoing skills shortages and achieve these ambitions.  

What is SOE doing to tackle the skills shortage?   

We are working closely with the EngineeringUK and others to shape our STEM strategy while also listening to what our members need to grow and thrive within their existing careers. The ‘Pathways to Progress’ guide is integral to this and is one of the many initiatives we have planned for the coming months.   

How can engineers get more support from SOE/IRTE?   

The Society of Operations Engineers is home to operations professionals and engineers from around the world – whether that’s in Road Transport, Plant, Power or Environmental. We also have members from the military amongst other sectors.   

All you have to do is sign up to membership, and you’ll be able to make use of our regular CPD webinars, regional CPD lectures and site visits, access to two journals and our team of experts that can guide you through Professional Registration with Engineering Council and the Society for the Environment.