Economic Downturn Doesn’t Stop Upturn in Engineering Job Outlook
Harris Interactive, a leading marketing research firm, recently conducted a study that compared workers’ confidence in their chosen professions. This “confidence” refers to salary satisfaction, job security and overall job fulfillment.
The industries that were represented in the study include information technology (IT), healthcare, accounting, manufacturing, office work and engineering.
According to the Randstad Engineering Employee Confidence Index, engineers’ confidence in their profession is growing. This index is adjusted quarterly, and the third quarter saw a rise to a 64.0 index score.
According to President of Randstad Engineering Richard Zambacca, it’s no surprise that engineers are becoming more satisfied with their chosen profession. Talented workers are in demand, and the engineer sector is facing a skills shortage. This means plenty of job openings for qualified engineers. Because the skill set needed is so specific, engineers enjoy competitive salaries, too.
The projected industry growth, according to Zambacca, not only means plenty of job opportunities for graduates, but it also means that the industry might see an increase in female employees. This profession has always been predominantly male, but that might change due to the financial security that it offers.
The Results of the Randstad Survey
So, does this industry growth mean that the economy is getting stronger? That’s one question on the Randstad Index survey, and the number of engineers that replied “yes” increased to 43 percent this quarter.
Perceived job security also increased among those surveyed. Eighty-one percent said that they were unlikely to lose their jobs over the next 12 months, an increase of 8 percent from the second quarter of 2013.
According to the research, 29 percent of engineers plan on looking for new jobs within the next 12 months. This is a reduction of four percent from the previous quarter.
One statistic that stayed about the same is the percent of engineers who think that they could find a new job. But at 63 percent, that’s incredibly high compared to workers in other professions.
A Real-Life Example of Engineer Industry Growth
The demand for skilled engineers spans the globe, and a talented employee can find a career in a range of industries. Fossil fuel production is one such industry. Not only are these jobs securebecause oil and gas are essential to the world economy but also because they’re often funded by taxpayers.
Recently, Tyneside’s OGN Group partnered with U.K.-based EnQuest, a gas and oil production and development company. As a result of this multi-million dollar agreement, 600 new engineering jobs will be created,according to Chronicle Live.
The contract comes with a number of projects for OGN Group. The first will involve the reconstruction of a 249-meter-long vessel that will be used for transporting offshore oil. The vessel will then be used in the Alma/Galia oil field, located in the North Sea.
The Contract Will Create Supply Chain Jobs, Too
Engineers aren´t the only workers benefitting from this contract. According to chief executive at OGN Group David Edwards, the agreement will expand OGN’s network of suppliers. This means 250 more supply chain jobs. “This project will have a significant impact on the North East economy, particularly in terms of creating employment and providing opportunities for the region’s high-quality supply chain,” Edwards said.
There Are Several Approaches to Earning an Engineering Degree
The fossil fuel industry is just one example on a long list of career opportunities for engineers. As the effects of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) continue to make job-searchers and professionals nervous about financial security, there could soon be an influx in students seeking engineering degrees.
There are a number approaches that a student might take while pursuing this degree. Some companies are partnering with schools to offer immediate job placement upon graduation. Online colleges, which are now on the radar of the world’s top engineering employers, offer curricula that are more affordable and flexible than traditional four-year schools.
With studies like the Harris Interactive survey that show engineers’ satisfaction with employment, and with real-life examples of industry growth, such as that of OGN Group, the outlook for these careers seems promising. Enrolling in an engineering program could be a ticket to a high-paying, fulfilling lifestyle.
To find out more about the career outlook for graduates with a master’s of science in engineering management, click here.
About the Author: Ann Burton is an economist who publishes job projections for a range of industries.