If you have an engineering degree, recently released data suggests that this is a great time to be looking for a job. Engineering graduates are increasingly in demand, finding new opportunities in emerging industries, and exciting opportunities in industries that have always relied on engineers.
Just consider the fact that in December of 2012 the national unemployment rate for people with bachelor’s degrees stood at 3.9 percent, while for engineering graduates that number was only two percent. That suggests that more engineers are coming straight out of school and finding good jobs faster.
The hiring landscape is only expected to improve. A wave of baby boomer retirements is creating new opportunities throughout STEM fields, but the level of retirement is particularly pronounced in engineering. By some estimates, as many as half of the engineers working in the power industry will retire within the next five years. That will leave a lot of vacancies that need to be filled.
Civil engineering is also predicted to enter a hiring upswing. The conversation surrounding the country’s aging infrastructure is starting to heat up, and a combination of political will and bare necessity will likely push a number of large scale infrastructure projects forward in coming years. Completing this work will require an expansive and active pool of civil engineers, including many who are just getting their start in the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of professionals working in civil engineering to grow by 20 percent by 2020.
Other types of engineers that are expected to thrive include environmental, computer, and petroleum engineers, all of whose skill pertain to some of the biggest challenges and opportunities of the present and future. Nuclear engineers will also find more opportunities, and currently enjoy some of the highest salaries in the industry.
Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, many engineering graduates are finding that companies are eager to hire them for positions outside the field of engineering, particularly in investment banking and consulting. The skills, both hard and soft, that make a person a great engineer also make them uniquely qualified to fill a number of in-demand positions.
All of this is great news if you are in school for engineering, recently graduated, or already working in the field and considering making a career move. Every sign suggest that you will find more opportunities, more varied opportunities, and better compensation packages. But that doesn’t mean that your job search will be a cake walk. Engineers may be in demand, but this is a notoriously competitive field. If you want to make the most of this moment, partner with the engineering career experts at Selectek.