Everywhere we look, we see the impact of engineering on our everyday lives – from the buildings that we live and work in, to the planes and trains that takes us to different locations and lands. While engineering is often taken for granted, the various areas of engineering have a significant influence on how we live and conduct our lives.
In the UK, the job market within the engineering sector remains competitive and buoyant. According to last year’s State of Engineering report, employment within the Engineering industry increased by 5.1% over the last 5 years, totalling to approximately 5.6 million people working in the engineering sector.
Despite the increase in employment, industry experts are anticipating a shortage of supply in skills and expertise due to the large number of people leaving the sector through retirement compared to the number of people entering the engineering job market. Here are five of the biggest growing sectors in engineering – this article will be summarising industry progress, current agendas and a peek into what the future holds!
Despite recent news of closures in a few areas, the Automotive industry is typically buoyant across the globe. And as the development of electric cars progresses further with new tech and investments in projects to produce autonomous cars increases, the automotive market place is expected to continue to grow with the demand for talent on the rise.
Here in this sector, the demand for skills is split evenly between two types, namely: technical and tech-based skills. The first is more commonly associated with ‘traditional’ engineering as it is required for various stages of production and manufacturing. The latter, on the other hand, refers to coding or software skills that are essential in the extensive development of programs in areas like autonomous engineering.
The defence sector in engineering is another area that is experiencing some significant increase in demand for talent. The main reason being is that the rate of people leaving or retiring is higher than those who are entering or joining. And while this is also prevalent in other sectors, the defence industry, in particular, is facing much higher pressures to fill in the shortage of skills and expertise.
Why? Because more countries across the globe are now adopting tighter border controls that put further restrictions on the freedom of movement of labour. These limitations and restrictions are greatly impacting the already limited talent pool and have placed even more difficulty in workers to acquire the necessary security clearances for jobs in this sector.
Meanwhile, engineers already working in their home country would now experience an increase in opportunities available within the defence industry. Speak to one of our recruiters to discover your next opportunity in defence!
Recent economic pressures on airlines and operators have created a greater need for better and more efficient aircraft across the industry. That, combined with the rollout of the next generation of helicopters in the British Army, has created a substantial increase in demand for aerospace engineers on the whole as more innovation is needed.
Did you know: according to Deloitte’s Global Aerospace and Defense Industry outlook, the aerospace industry can expect an additional 38,000 aircraft to be produced globally over the next 20 years, averaging to the production of about 1900 aircraft per year with a peak backlog of more than 14,000 orders.
And in terms of industry growth, the UK aerospace experienced a growth of 39% in the last five years. Elsewhere in the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the job outlook for aerospace engineers is growing by 6% year on year. Browse our full list of vacancies in aerospace and find a career now.
Military-use vessels are not the only aspect in maritime that is driving demand. The sudden global increase in interest for private and commercial ships combined with the recent investment in the British Navy, has significantly driven the need for more maritime specialists and engineers. In fact, according to the Global Marine Trends of 2030, there will be “more demand for shipping, shipbuilding, marine equipment manufacture, and related services including the knowledge services.”
The accelerated growth from competing nations and emerging maritime superpower may even contribute to the largest numbers of commercial shipping, fleet ownership, shipbuilding and naval sector to date.
Infrastructure & Construction
A number of countries across the globe have invested heavily in expanding their infrastructures and this has resulted in a steady need for more engineering talent in this area.
In both the UK and the US, we have seen several large-scaled railway projects commencing and, in some case, coming close to completion. In the UK alone, the Crossrail project taking place in London is due to be completed within 18 months while the HS2 (High Speed 2) project is taking place soon. The HS2 project intends to build a railway infrastructure that will better connect London with the north of the country while increasing its capacity to the existing services. Similarly, engineers in California are working on a high-speed train network that will connect eight out of the 10 major cities within the state, running from San Diego in the south to San Francisco in the North.
But it’s not just the railway networks that are seeing investment – the main airports in Dubai and Beijing have also had further expansions to their footprints which will significantly increase their capacities to deal with air travel customers and freight.
And as new tech continues to emerge, even water and the ocean will soon see infrastructure projects taking place in certain countries. For instance, it is estimated that a staggering 44.8 billion cubic metres of water per year will be transferred in China when the South-North Water Transfer Project is completed - this project is to address the imbalance between water resources and population centres in China.
Elsewhere in Africa, they will soon see the completion of the world’s largest irrigation project! This construction project will take water from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System and use it to irrigate 350,000 acres of land and improve the drinking water for the majority of Libya’s cities and towns.
Based on these stats and figures, it's clear that the job market prospect within the engineering field will continue to grow positively and are expected to remain this way for the foreseeable future. So, if you are looking to progress and develop an engineering career, there are potentially a number of avenues to explore.