Engineering Industry Trends in 2014 – Expert Insights for Engineers from Women Deans
3. How has the job market changed through the Great Recession for the engineering sector?
Firms in the US cannot find enough talented engineers who are creative and innovative.
Dr Barbara Boyan
I don’t think that the contribution of engineers is more important to one area of our economy over another. Their role is so fundamental to how things work, that it is impossible to ascribe value in this way. While technological innovation may not be driven by engineers in all cases, it is engineers that make things work, who can translate an idea into a usable product. My own experience as an inventor is a good example of this. Early in my scientific career, I began to think about how to make materials that would help cartilage defects heal more effectively. I thought that technologies available at that time lacked properties that would encourage cartilage cells to do their job better and one of those properties was a mechanical environment similar to what they would have in real cartilage. I discussed this with a mechanical engineer, Dr. Kyriacos Athanasiou, who told me that he could figure out how to make such a material. Together we began a start-up company that went on to manufacture the innovative implants that we designed. We recognized that patients and surgeons would want the assurance that the implants were made safely and dependably, so that they could rely on the final product to be the same every time. This was most definitely the work of many different kinds of engineers, each responsible for a specific piece of the puzzle. I am very proud to say that the device we first envisioned is now available for use in patients because of the careful work of engineers.
Nada Marie Anid
– From monster.com, a survey of engineers and engineering companies in 2013:
– “Over one-half (57%) state that the job market is saturated with qualified talent.
– Only 37% agree that employers are willing to provide the time and training to support a job.
– Only 27% agree that employers are willing to provide higher compensation than 12 months ago.
– Only 11% are extremely confident they could find a new job in the next year.
– However, the employer perspective is quite different. According to a recent Monster survey of employers recruiting for engineering talent, a majority (73%) reported they were likely to hire this year, yet less than one-half (39%) were confident in staffing all their engineering job opportunities due to a lack of qualified candidates, highly specialized job requirements and non-competitive salaries.”
– NACE lists starting salaries for Computer Science and Engineering majors at $60,038, and $60,639, respectively
– The job outlook brochure released by NACE for the class of 2014 states that companies who hire recent grads are likely to increase hiring 7.8% and that grads with bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer/information science, and communications are the most in demand.
Dr. Candis Claiborn
During the Great Recession, there was a dip in demand for engineers and computer scientists, however jobs were still available and our graduates were able to land good jobs. You have to realize that the decrease in jobs was a dip from very high demand to demand! I believe engineering is, was, and remains a great career path with lots of opportunities for students that are willing to work hard.