Expanding the Reach of Engineering Career Opportunities

Although the general public perception of engineering careers remains male-driven and experience-heavy, lots of opportunities are on the horizon for recent graduates, women, and professionals willing to explore uncommon industries. Civil engineers shape the way the world works by designing and constructing the structures that society relies upon every day and keeping the economy growing.

Although this is an engineer’s basic purpose, there is an incredible amount of variety within the field to explore. Just consider the diverse sectors of structural, transport, environmental, geotechnical, natural disaster, shoreline, and forensic engineering!

Opportunities for Graduates

While the job market still lags in many career sectors, investment in the engineering sector is booming. Infrastructure is the backbone of any stable economy, and engineers are at the forefront of safeguarding society for the future. War conflicts and extreme weather events are becoming increasingly common, making engineering services in higher demand than ever before.

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Engineering is an excellent career path for recent graduates because of the promise of steady work, constant demand, and substantial pay involved. The UK has been a major hub for engineering jobs in recent years, and many quality graduate programs in the region have helped students gain valuable experience around the world.

Opportunities for Women

Despite recent recruitment efforts to draw more women into the engineering workforce, less than six percent of engineers are women today. According to the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the most women engineers work in the pharma & health technologies, energy, and electronics sectors. The areas with the most opportunities for female leadership are in transport, computing & IT, and communications.

“You’ve got to seek them out because they might not come knocking on your door,’ IET’s Stephanie Fernandes told The Engineer.

But despite the best of intentions, women-centric hiring campaigns have raised questions about whether engineering firms are doing enough to persuade women to joint their forces. Over 23 percent of firms said they weren’t doing anything to improve workforce diversity.

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Opportunities in Uncommon Industries

Regardless of age, gender, or level of experience, some engineering sectors have more opportunities to offer than others. One industry that’s particularly booming is the aero industry supply chain. Although this industry has been relatively quiet on the media and promotion scene, it has continued to grow throughout the recession and holds a lot of promise for future aerospace engineers. For instance, The Engineer reported that the UK’s defense and civilian aerospace industry annually contributes £24bn to the UK economy. And as the engineering sector continues to contribute to the economy, the government continues supports new engineering projects on a grand scale.

The biggest demand in this field currently lies with large suppliers and system integrators. Of course aerospace engineering is just one of the many engineering fields gaining traction in the worldwide economy today. So be open-minded when exploring your career options and stay aware of recent trends to position your future most favorably.

Photo credits: Georgia National Guard, Virginia National Guard via Flickr

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