Throughout 2013, a lot of debate has taken place over whether or not the United States is actually experiencing an engineering shortage. According to an article on the New York Times website, the majority of engineering fields do not have a shortage of skilled workers because plenty of applicants are qualified to fill available positions. However, the article also indicated that a few specific engineering fields are in need of engineers.
Many companies are working with colleges and tech schools to attract students to engineering courses by helping them to understand exactly what an engineer's job entails. While this process has been successful in a variety of engineering fields, it's really helped students understand what it's like to be an engineer in the manufacturing industry. Industry executives discovered that most people still view manufacturing jobs as they were a century ago—they don't realize how much technology has affected the jobs of engineers in the manufacturing industry.
The shortage of qualified engineers has caused concern throughout the entire manufacturing industry. However, the automotive industry has really been affected by the widening skills gap. The automotive industry has a vast need for software, chemical, and electrical engineers, and the need will only increase as the popularity of electric vehicles grows. If you're planning a career change, any of these engineering fields would be ideal, but it's important to remember that while software engineers are needed in the automotive industry, they aren't needed as much in other industries.
Nuclear plants have also been affected by the skills gap in the United States. According to a recent article posted on GreenTechMedia.com, about 50 percent of the current nuclear workforce will be eligible to retire in the next five years, and with a decades-long lull in nuclear development, there hasn't been a real need to fill nuclear engineering jobs until now. The need for cheap natural gas is growing, and with it, the need for nuclear engineers will grow. According to an article on World-Nuclear.org, the US is the world's largest producer of nuclear power, producing more than 30 percent of the world's nuclear-generated energy. In addition to filling jobs at current nuclear plants, engineers will be needed for the nuclear plants currently being constructed. So, it's extremely important that more people gain interest in nuclear engineering within the next few years.
The good news is that engineering jobs are available in numerous areas. Therefore, if you want to change engineering fields, it's a good time to do it. For nuclear engineers to electrical engineers, jobs are available. So, all you need to change engineering fields is the proper education and experience. If you have that, finding a good job shouldn't be difficult.
(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)
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