Most Wanted: Energy & Utilities Careers

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Graduates are changing the future of the planet in the Energy & Utilities sector.

Graduates eager to help change the future of the planet are choosing careers in the Energy & Utilities sector, according to information released by Research by the online graduate-specific job board indicates graduate interest in Energy & Utilities is on the rise, with 3.2% more registered users pursuing careers in the sector than ten years ago.

The findings come one week after another study indicated an increase in graduates working in the Public Sector, a field which commonly involves helping others. In Energy & Utilities, the move towards renewable energy sources and an increasing desire to prevent climate change is a big factor for many graduates from science backgrounds.

Alex Peacock studied at the University of Bristol and is now a Nuclear Scientist at EDF Energy. He says much of the work in the Energy & Utilities sector impacts everyday life, as well as the future of the planet.

"Electricity is something that we all use every day and shapes the way we live. Its production and distribution creates some interesting and complex problems that we need to work on," he says.

"The move to cleaner low carbon energy sources such as nuclear and renewables is very important in order to prevent the damage that climate change will do to the global environment. I hope [my career in the Energy & Utilities sector] will give me the chance to steer industry and policy in a way that will benefit the future and maintain energy security."

The sector is currently facing a period of transformation, moving from ageing power plants towards new methods and technologies. Alex says this means many exciting opportunities for graduates.

"Energy is a commodity which has consistently grown in demand, and with some of the challenges relating to changing environmental policy and ageing infrastructure, I think it's an exciting time to enter the industry."

"There needs to be a large investment in the sector if we are to prevent the energy gap due to happen with the retirement of our current power stations. This means a wealth of new job opportunities [are] becoming available for young people."

"There is also the challenge of maintaining grid stability with the switch from reliable base load generation to intermittent renewables."

Alex joined EDF's graduate programme in September 2015 and says the scheme has given him a broad and intensive grounding in the sector.

"I am currently on the EDF Energy Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme. This consists of a 16 month mix of training courses and placements in different company departments around the country," he says.

"It has been great to get to experience the wide variety of jobs available in the generation industry. These can range from materials scientists working in laboratories to improve safety and reliability at the stations, to operations staff who run the reactors in the control room and configure plants to allow consistent safe generation."

Alex says the Energy & Utilities sector is not just for scientists, but offers many areas of interest to graduates.

"The Energy industry is quite diverse and can accommodate people with a wide range of backgrounds. There is the customers sector who deal with sales and customer relations, the trading sector who deal with future energy markets and short term trading, and generation who deal with electricity production and development."

Careers in the Energy & Utilities sector are spread throughout the whole of the UK. Alex says graduates interested in the sector should be prepared to leave city life on occasion.

"Power stations are usually large industrial buildings and built in sparsely populated areas. For graduates used to living in large urban areas, it might be a bit of a shock to move out in the small towns and villages that are usually near a station."

"I have worked both in hectic central London at the New Build office helping develop the designs of new power stations, and in a small coastal town in Scotland with fantastic scenery. The variety in location can be great for those who like to experience new places."