Career Prospect for Engineers Continues to Look Positive

Posted on August 12, 2011  Comments (11)

As I have written previously the career prospects for engineers are bright around the globe. Many countries realize the importance of engineering and have taken steps to compete as a center of excellence for engineering. It is a smart economic policy. Ironically, the USA, that did such a great job at this in the 1960’s and 1970’s, has been falling down in this regard. A significant reason for this is the USA can only fund so many things and a broken health care system, military complex, bailouts to bankers (trust fund babies and others) cost a lot of money. You chose what to fund, and those are taking much of the available USA funds. There are also non-economic reasons, such as the turn in the last decade in the USA to make the barriers for foreigner engineers (and others) to go through to go to school, visit and stay in the USA have all increased dramatically.

Back to the prospects for engineers: their are shortages of good engineers all over (and the future projections don’t show any reason to believe this will change). Germany Faces a Shortage of Engineers:

In June, the Association of German Engineers (VDI) reported that there were 76 400 vacant engineering jobs—an all-time high.

Policymakers in Berlin have responded to the shortage of skilled workers with a number of measures, including changes in immigration rules that allow German companies to hire engineers from other countries, including those outside of the European Union. Among them: The annual salary that companies must pay foreigners has been lowered from 60,000 Euro (US $95,000) to 40,000 Euro, which is roughly the starting salary of an engineering graduate in Germany…

To make it easy for engineers to move around Europe, engineering associations and other groups across Europe are working with the European Commission (the executive arm of the European Union) to launch the new Engineering Card. The card, which German engineers can apply for now and other countries are planning to launch, provides standardized information about the engineer’s qualifications and skills for greater transparency.

“We don’t expect many engineers will come, because among other reasons, there is a shortage of engineers across Europe,”

Related: Engineering Again Dominates The Highest Paying College Degree ProgramsS&P 500 CEO’s: Engineers Stay at the TopChina’s Technology Savvy LeadershipEngineers: Future ProspectsEconomic Strength Through Technology Leadership

On other topics the article states:

The dropout rate among electrical engineering students in Germany is 50 percent, according to Schanz. “There is much more potential to increase the number of engineers by investing in dropouts rather than trying to attract young people who are less interested in engineering

Another challenge is attracting more women to engineering. Germany today has around a million engineers, 13 percent of whom are women, up from around 10 percent a decade ago.

Both of these are issues globally and care should be taken to take steps to address them. There are some excellent science and engineering fellowship and scholarship offers (including significant commitments by the USA government, they are not eliminating all support for engineering, just reducing what it was before while other countries increase similar investments).

Related: Women Choosing Other Fields Over Engineering and Math$60 Million in Grants for Undergraduate Science Education from HHMI

11 Responses to “Career Prospect for Engineers Continues to Look Positive”

  1. Anonymous
    August 12th, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    I think it’s pretty obvious that as the future lies more and more in technological innovation w/ automation instead of high laboured industry, engineering jobs will get even more and more popular.

    One thing that will be nice though, is if those engineers try to fix the problem of overpopulation.

    If that happens then we can finally move to the future that we all want to live.

  2. hafeez
    August 14th, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

    I think, we are lack of ‘ambition’ to make self believe in this career field. Our engineers must think years ahead to overcome the unexpected problems.

  3. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 @ 6:51 am

    Largest number of engineers are produced by India (and probably the brightest ones too..), but the supp;y surpasses the demand, and the quality is also deteriorating..result: that engineering creativity is missing

  4. James
    August 16th, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

    Kinda makes you wish you studied what your parents wanted you to study in college.

  5. Steph
    August 25th, 2011 @ 1:49 am

    I agree with the third commenter. What most engineers lacks nowadays is creativity. I think universities should create some programs or contests or whatever to stimulate the student’s creativity.


  6. gregbo
    August 25th, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

    In my experience (a person with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in CS
    from competitive schools), (software) engineering jobs go unfilled
    mostly because companies can’t find the perfect fit, not because there
    aren’t enough people applying with sufficient education and/or
    experience. Another way of putting this is that people are rejected
    for these jobs not because they could not do these jobs, but because
    they failed to do something in the screening process (e.g. didn’t
    interview well enough) that would get them the job.

  7. Andrew Sperazza
    August 25th, 2011 @ 11:44 pm

    I believe the outlook for quality engineers will continue to climb, although, as through history the function of engineers will transform. there are no more “cart and horse” engineers anymore, but there will always be an increasing need for quality engineers forging in new hot areas, the obvoious ones are currently are software, technology, but in the future i can see needs for electrical and chemical engineers (due to eco-battery movements), integration engineers as system migrate to conversion,as well as others. what engineers need most for their careers is a good job process, the best tool is at jobsquared. this type of tool helps engineers define their current value proposition and tailor their resumes to meet the needs of the changing socially demanded landscape.

  8. Samo haryan
    September 20th, 2011 @ 8:14 am

    Really very interesthing article, if I had read it 5 years ago, I wouldn’t become an economest, I would chose engineering. If we compare date from Armenia, every year 2000 economest gradutes from Armenian State Universities and in contrast to them onliy 500 engineers gradute yearly in Armenia. So in every country measures should be takes to regulate this issue and implement proper policy.

  9. Chris
    December 7th, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    I’m a “recruiter” in the Engineering field. I don’t work for a staffing firm, but more of a pipeline firm. We don’t shop people around or take cuts of paychecks. As I’ve witnessed over the last two year, engineering has been affected minimally if at all. I know we haven’t stopped growing and I’ve been busy this whole time. I see that a couple commentors say that it’s creative vision that makes an engineer. While this is true that creative vision sets you apart, it doesn’t mean that lacking it prevents opportunities coming your way. Any manufacturing company needs Production Supervisors and Quality people who have engineering degrees. The need people to fill in the gaps, those who can communicate to both technical and non technical people. You aren’t going to be required to create the next best thing, but you will be required to use your learned expertise to “keep the ship afloat”. It’s a great time to be an engineer and if that time may have passed you already, there are plenty of places that will sponsor you in getting a tech certification.

    This is a great post John! Thanks for all the info!

  10. Science PhD Job Market in 2012 » Curious Cat Engineering and Science Blog
    July 10th, 2012 @ 9:02 am

    Science and engineering education prepare people well for economic success but it is not sufficient to guarantee the easy life. Just like everyone else, the ability to adapt to current market conditions is important in the current economic climate..

  11. shane
    September 8th, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

    engineering courses are indeed one of the most high salaries across the other countries but the problem is how are we going cope up the needs in demand of hiring skilled engineers. The programs of the schools specially big universities should improvised such programs in engineering courses to produce a highly and globally competitive engineers

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