By John Rossheim, Monster Senior Contributing Writer
Now more than ever, engineering is a multidisciplinary profession. Whether they’re simulating seismic forces on the world’s tallest buildings or designing nanomanufacturing processes, engineers must take into account the perspectives of multiple stakeholders.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the 2013 job market for engineers from the points of view of a recruiter, an engineering employer, a community economic development leader, a college placement adviser and a recent engineering graduate.
Recruiter’s View: High Interest in a Select Few
Recruiters see 2013 as another rebuilding year for the engineering profession, which took its knocks through the Great Recession.
“Employers are taking advantage of the engineer marketplace selectively,” says Jack Smith, president of the Milwaukee office of Sanford Rose Associates, a network of independently owned executive search firms. “There’s some churn and replacement, but not a great deal of growth.”
Smith says there’s high demand for electrical engineering and physics majors with postgraduate engineering degrees. By contrast, he sees slack in the demand for civil engineers, chemical engineers,mechanical engineers, manufacturing engineers and even aerospace engineers. In these fields, “there are a ton of people out of work and on the market,” he says.
Engineering firms are telling recruiters that in 2013, they’ll want to hire engineers who think like businesspeople. “Employers want engineers who have been involved with strategy and planning and know their way around balance sheets and income statements,” Smith says. “It’s not easy to find them.”
Employer’s View: Seeking Sensitive, Client-Centered Engineers
Civil and environmental engineering firms foresee jobs growing out of the need to adapt to global warming and the attendant stresses on the built environment. “Climate change is becoming more and more real,” says Sepi Asefnia, president of Sepi Engineering & Construction, a Raleigh, North Carolina-based firm with nearly 40 engineers. “I think government will take more preventive action to protect people and cities.”
Like many engineering firms, Sepi seeks to distinguish itself with superior client relations. “I don’t hire engineers who lack interpersonal skills,” says Asefnia, who plans to hire as many as seven more engineers in 2013. “We want the client to feel that we’re going to find the best options for them.”
Community Developer’s View: Looming Shortage of Energy Engineers
Blessed by a geographic concentration of resources, whether of nature or of human talent, some communities are expecting substantial growth in engineering jobs in 2013 and beyond.
For example, a workforce analysis of the Pittsburgh region projects that Western Pennsylvania energy companies will be looking for engineers and other workers. “The top high-demand, low-supply occupations that we identified are mechanical, electrical and petroleum engineers,” says Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which works to stimulate economic development in southwest Pennsylvania.
2013 Engineering Jobs Outlook – Featuring Jack Smith, President of Sanford Rose Associates® – Milwaukee
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