Engineering trends point toward continued strength, increased contract hiring

10.24.2013


Engineering trends point toward continued strength, increased contract hiring
Engineering trends point toward continued strength, increased contract hiring

No matter where their specialties lie, engineers remain some of the most sought-after employees in the entire modern employment field. Their abilities to create and design modern society's needs and products allow their skills to always be in demand.

In general, the field is in high demand, especially for young professionals. According to the Houston Chronicle, a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that the overall starting salary for the field's new graduates rose 2.3 percent in the last year.

Recent trends in employee hiring throughout the engineering field vary, though foreign outsourcing and government spending cutbacks have harmed certain districts of the field including the civil and industrial sectors. Another trend that has helped companies mindful of their budgets has been an increased emphasis on contract hiring. This trend allows for more exact budgeting of resources, and frequent contact with employment agencies can help companies in need of workers find the best ones available for the job.

Mechanical, chemical engineering to boom
Particularly, the largest demand driving engineering employment in the near future will likely be for mechanical and chemical engineers, as the oil and gas industries work to better explore and produce new forms of fuel.

"The extreme abundance and low price of natural gas in the U.S. is also creating a boom in some downstream industries, such as chemical processing," Lamar University interim dean of engineering Victor Zaloom told the news source. "New processing plants are being planned and built. This would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. All this development will require many engineers, especially along the Gulf Coast where much of the energy industry is concentrated."

Mechanical engineering is currently the most popular major worldwide, Zaloom added.

Another aspect of the engineering field soon to see growth is that of the biomedical field, the Chronicle continued. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures forecast the industry to grow by 62 percent through 2020

These workers will especially be in demand as they can apply a technical approach to medical needs, developing new findings concerning artificial organs and biomedical equipment at universities, research groups and medical manufacturers.

Engineers confident in their abilities
What's more, engineering confidence is on the rise among employees, according to EDN Network. Two-fifths of engineers interviewed during the second quarter of 2013 saw the economy gaining strength, up 14 percent from the first quarter, a recent survey showed. Another 62 percent of engineers feel confident in their ability to find new work, a rise of 11 percent from the previous quarter. Optimism and confidence in the field, when compared to similar sectors, has been ranked higher than in IT, administrative, healthcare and manufacturing.