The past few decades have seen steady growth in science, technology, engineering, and medical jobs. Because they're fueled by innovations, population growth and the need for creative resources, STEM opportunities, including engineer jobs, are expected to continue this growth trend for several more decades.
For those in the engineering fields, the data on job growth is especially positive. According to information published in May by the engineering department at the University of Colorado Boulder, 73 percent of employers in the industry were looking to fill engineer jobs in the near future. Positions are opening in a variety of engineering niches due to business expansions or retirements, but experts state that, overall, there aren't enough qualified engineers to fill the positions. STEM staffing experts are encouraging professionals who want to make a career change to consider returning to school to complete engineering degrees; it's one way to enter a new field at a higher-than-average rate of pay.
It's important to note that the market for all engineer jobs is not equal. According to the president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Egbert Imomoh, the growth pace of engineer jobs in the petroleum niche is unlikely to keep pace with the number of students graduating with this specialty. Even in the strong engineering job market, it pays to have multiple specialties or otherwise plan ahead regarding your education. Other than petroleum, engineering specialties include biomolecular, process, environmental, geotechnical, computer, electrical, thermal, aerospace, vehicle, agricultural, energy, and nuclear engineering. Innovations in alternative fuels, environmental management, medical technology, and consumer electronics all begin, in part, with engineers. A desire for continued innovation in such areas is driving the engineering job market.
Although data is strong for engineering jobs, some experts believe innovations aren't moving fast enough. Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, recently made a public statement regarding the position of the United States when it comes to world innovation. According to Immelt, the country is falling behind and needs more startup companies and new ideas to compete in the world market. Immelt cited the fact that there are currently around 135,000 engineering graduates annually in the United States. He believes there is capacity for employing 500,000 engineers each year. Should entrepreneurs heed Immelt's cry for innovation, the market for engineer jobs may be even stronger than it is today.
Like most STEM jobs, engineer jobs are plentiful and varied in today's market. It takes a lot of work to gain the credentials necessary for employment as an engineer, but the pay and job security are worth it for many professionals. The amount of available engineer jobs is good news for current engineers and a beacon of hope for new engineering students of any age.
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