Friday, 03 January 2014 04:57
January 3, 2014
Engineering positions across all disciplines are expected to increase over the next 12 months, with the sector anticipated to remain the number one in-demand job for 2014, with companies keen to find experienced or qualified individuals in a variety of industries.
According to the Houston Chronicle, a perceived talent gap in engineering is one reason that these positions are likely to remain a high priority through the current financial year and beyond, with the energy industry in particular offering opportunities for the right people. Engineering resources have, in recent years, become more stretched as the baby boomer generation either reaches or takes retirement, with professional engineers needed more than ever before.
Many of the open positions have been linked back to a decrease in the number of young people engaged in STEM education, with the concern being that there aren't enough potential students to fill any gap, especially in the field of engineering research and development. In an interview with the news source, Tim Cutt, the president of Petroleum & Potas at BHP Billiton, noted that engineers would continue to remain in high demand for the foreseeable future, with the Lone Star State currently a hotbed of energy-related activity.
"Especially for our shale plays in Texas, we are currently looking for drilling and completions engineers and production and reservoir engineers, and have openings in certain safety and project engineering disciplines," Cutt said.
This need for engineers was echoed by senior educators at the University of Houston, which has demonstrated links to the engineering research sector in the state. Vita P. Como, senior director of professional development at the Cullen College of Engineering Career Center, told the Chronicle that recruiting on campus had become more widespread, with mechanical engineers always a target.
"Petroleum, chemical, process and control engineers are also at the top of the list, followed by electrical engineers with imbedded sensors experience," said Como. "Also, electrical engineers for power security, generation and production are also hot jobs. Civil engineers for deepwater structures and pipelines are also close to the top. Industrial engineers to fill safety, risk management, scheduling and optimization positions are also in demand."
A report released by the Randstad Group in November 2013 showed that there was certainly a trend developing for professional engineering employment, with the research revealing that major metropolitan areas remained prime locations for diverse and varied job opportunities. According to the authors of the study, the demand was a direct result of the correlation between retirees and a perceived drop in eligible participants, ensuring that those gaining engineering degrees would be able to enter the sector on a reasonable remuneration package from the start.
To all intents and purposes, it would appear that engineers now have a plethora of choices as to not only where they want to work but also who they want to work for. Job security is also playing a major part, with the Randstad report noting that 81 percent of surveyed engineers were not worried about losing their jobs in 2014 - a significant display of confidence that seems to be prevalent throughout the industry.
For example, Massachusetts-based Triad Engineering has seen "specific contract hire demand" for a number of engineering disciplines, according to a company press release. Sources at the firm have also confirmed that salary and benefits for new hires will "often be exceptionally generous," cementing the fact that STEM skills are increasingly valuable.
"Direct hire activity remains robust, with a particular emphasis on sales engineers, quality engineers, electrical (firmware and hardware) engineers, commissioning engineers and manufacturing engineers," they said. "These opportunities span a variety of industries including consumer product development, A&E / MEP, electronics and manufacturing."
There are, naturally, no guarantees in the employment marketplace that demand for a particular skill or talent will remain high, but it appears that engineering is bucking the trend. The new year may only be a few days old, but for those individuals looking to enter the industry or consider a career change, the future certainly looks bright.
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