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Popular Fields of Engineering: Trends and Opportunities

Written on 10/18/12

Popular Fields of Engineering: Engineering Trends and Opportunities

There is a diverse range of careers in engineering, across a variety of disciplines and different workplace settings. However, across all the major disciplines of modern engineering, all engineering jobs fall into one of six core skill components.
In each of the components, there are engineering jobs at all levels, from graduate level to senior managerial positions.

The skill components in engineering jobs are as follows:

Design, Construction, Research, Planning, Teaching, & Management.

Engineering jobs exist in response to the needs of industry and wider society. As times change, the engineering workforce adapts and evolves in line with changes in technology. Though the six core skills remain constant, the expertise and practices of engineers have changed rapidly in line with new technologies, making a career in engineering a challenge that will develop and change in time.  

Trends and opportunities in engineering

Across the major engineering disciplines:

Structural Engineering

Structural engineering is advancing beyond traditional frontiers into new and challenging environments. The exploration for natural resources in new locations such as deep water oil and gas fields, presents fresh challenges for structural engineers. Technologies such as new lightweight materials allow structural engineers to design safe structures which resist extreme forces, and push the boundaries of their field.

Environmental Engineering

 Environmental engineers are increasingly in demand in a world which is becoming more aware of pressure on valuable and finite resources. Increased demand for precious reserves and a better understanding of sustainable technology create fresh challenges for environmental engineers.

Geotechnical Engineering

 Geotechnical engineers are increasingly rising to the task of meeting the requirements of servicing the needs of expanding populations, as previously uninhabited environments are developed.
Water Resource Engineering

 Water resource engineers are facing the challenge of increased demand caused by population increase and future migration as the Earth’s climate changes. Water supply and flood prediction and control are becoming increasingly important. Government policies across the world are increasingly calling for more sustainability and this is being addressed partly by the use of sustainable materials and tools which is creating a demand for renewable energy jobs.

Transportation Engineering

 Transportation engineering embraces highways and traffic engineering jobs, as engineers work to keep abreast of changing needs and demand levels as population and industrial centres develop and new transport links are built. Transport engineers, along with those working in civil engineering jobs, face the challenge of meeting the needs of peak time mass transit systems on a worldwide basis.

Civil Engineering

 Construction, or civil engineers face increasing pressure to build on time and within budget using the latest materials and techniques to meet exacting functional and safety standards in the development of large infrastructure projects.

Urban and community planning

 Planning engineers use multiple skills to develop inter-relationships between the built and natural landscape to enhance the work-life balance of those living in towns and cities.

What do you think are the key challenges faced by engineers today and in the future?

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