If you’re considering a career as an engineer you may be concerned about how many opportunities will be available to you once you’re qualified.
One question that often gets asked is whether or not engineers are still in demand?
The short answer is yes, but there’s more to it than that.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why engineers are likely to be in demand for many years to come, and some of the problems the industry is currently facing.
There’s Plenty of Projects
With the ever-lingering uncertainty of Brexit having an impact on the UK’s economy, many engineers are concerned about their career prospects.
But, with engineering making up almost a quarter of the UK’s total turnover, the chances of qualified engineers finding themselves out of a job seems slim.
No matter what happens to the economy, roads will still need to be built, products will still need to be manufactured, and machinery will still need to be maintained.
Huge infrastructure projects like Crossrail and HS2, the roll-out of 5G, the advent of industry 4.0, and the constant developments in areas like autonomous vehicles and the aerospace sector means there will be demand for a wide variety of skilled engineers for many years to come.
But There’s a Shortage of Engineers
Even with the large-scale projects on the horizon, the shortfall of engineering graduates and technicians to fill core engineering roles is estimated at up to 59,000 per year.
This huge gap at the lower levels of the market means that graduating engineers should have plenty of roles to choose from when finishing their education.
But, a report by the ECITB found that only 40.7% of higher education engineering graduates were either engineers or engineering technicians six months after graduation, with research suggesting graduates lack the experience and soft skills employers are looking for.
To combat this, graduates should to take advantage of placement schemes and internships to improve their skillset and increase their chances of standing out from other applicants.
Once engineers have got their foot in the door, however, the shortage of skilled engineers could mean that they’re exposed to more technical parts of the job much more quickly; allowing them to advance up the career ladder much faster, and potentially move into more senior roles much sooner than in previous years.
Some Sectors Have High Demand
As we covered in our article about the best engineering jobs for the future, there are some sectors and skillsets that are likely to be much more in demand than others in the future.
If you’re planning a career in engineering, but aren’t sure what sector you’d like to work in, why not take a look at these sectors to start with.
As the population continues to grow, and technology continues to advance, the infrastructure that supports modern life also needs to be developed and improved.
Whether it’s new housing schemes, transport projects, or the underlying infrastructure present in any modern city; there’s going to be a sustained demand for those wanting to explore a career in civil engineering.
As more and more people see the benefits of renewable energy, and the shift begins to happen across the globe, the demand for qualified engineers within the energy sector is likely to increase dramatically.
Because of the focus on renewable energy, many people also underestimate the number of opportunities in the oil and gas and nuclear sectors.
The reality is that it’s going to take many years for the developed world to make the transition to renewable energy, so engineers will continue to be in high-demand in these sectors too.
View our Energy jobs
Software engineers create the applications that run the computers, phones and other devices we all use on a daily basis.
As technology continues to advance, and connectivity becomes more prevalent, there’s going to be plenty of job opportunities for software engineers in almost every sector imaginable.
View our IT jobs
As the aerospace sector continues to secure contracts from around the globe, demand for engineers with the appropriate skills and experience is set to continue.
With large government and private sector projects being regularly commissioned, this is a fantastic sector for engineers who enjoy challenging projects that can have a real impact on the world.
View our Aerospace & Defence jobs
Engineering is one of the most diverse and challenging careers you can choose, with plenty of choice for the type of projects you want to work on.
If you’re considering a career in engineering, you can rest assured that there is going to be demand for engineers for many years to come, provided you’ve taken the time to compliment your education with the soft skills employers are looking for.
In any case, the engineering sector isn’t going anywhere any time soon!