The hottest skills in Engineering right now
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2017 by The MSS team — No comments
Open the pages – virtual or otherwise – of the engineering trade press and you will undoubtedly find an article on the state of recruitment within the engineering sector today. So while we’re on the topic, let’s quickly remind ourselves of where we are on that.
According to the 2017 State of Engineering in the UK report, there is currently a shortfall of 20,000 engineers each year. However, while there is no denying that there are skills shortages, great strides have been made by key initiatives such as STEM.
Indeed, the number of applications for engineering degrees and apprenticeships is at its highest for 10 years, an increase of 9% over the last 12 months alone. So in terms of developing the engineering talent pipeline, there are plenty of reasons to be positive.
Overall, the engineering sector adds over £280 billion to UK GDP each year, according to the Royal Academy of Engineering. But for those already in their careers, where do the opportunities lie?
Here we take a look at five sectors where engineers are and will increasingly become in highest demand.
1. Civil Engineering
There is no escaping the fact that we are getting older. With a global population of 7.5 billion people and counting, our infrastructure needs will become greater and greater. From hospitals and schools to roads and railways, the demand for civil engineers on a global scale will only get higher.
Closer to home, several key projects such as the proposed High Speed (2) rail link between London and the north of England, the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor and the Thames Tideway Tunnel will all create opportunities both for current engineers and those completing their degrees and apprenticeships over the next few years.
2. Software Engineering
This is a role that has seemingly been around since time immemorial, but demand for software engineers has never been greater than it is now. Driven by the boom in the Internet of Things (IoT) and the escalation in cyber ‘warfare’, this demand is set to increase even further.
In fact, taking the latter as a case in point, it is predicted that an additional 1.5 million jobs will be created in this field between now and 2020, according to the 2016 Global Information Security Workforce study.
3. Renewable Engineering
With governments around the world under increasing pressure to limit their impact on the environment and develop alternative energy sources, the demand for renewable engineers is one that is unlikely to wane anytime soon.
At present, around 20% of the UK’s electricity supply comes from renewable energy and this is set to increase to 30% by 2020 as the number of wind, wave, marine, hydro, biomass and solar projects continues to grow apace. Elsewhere, the targets are even more impressive.
In the UAE, for instance, the government aims to reduce its dependence on oil and gas by 70% over the same time period by investing in renewable and nuclear energy. So there will be innumerable opportunities for renewable engineers both in the UK and overseas for some time to come.
4. Mechanical Engineering
Of all the roles within the sector, it is mechanical engineering that is one of the most competitive. Despite the global downturn at the start of the decade, demand for mechanical engineers did not go away and since then is has grown steadily.
As a result, this has become one of the most popular career choices for many within the industry. In other sectors where the supply of talent is keeping pace with demand, salaries would normally rise slowly. But because the demand for mechanical engineers is so great, the potential earnings on offer have generally risen at a faster pace.
5. Electrical Engineering
According to the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), 52% of engineering companies in the UK are actively recruiting for engineers – 61% of those are seeking electrical engineers. But there are disparities between the skills that are sought after.
One of the major challenges employers face is finding those electrical engineers with heavy electrical or power engineering expertise rather than electronics – two key areas were acute shortages persist. Get these skills under your belt and you could command a higher than average salary for this type of role.
We have worked within the engineering sector for over 50 years, so if you need any help or advice on your next career move get in touch with us today.