In the engineering world, stable careers are in the big-four engineering disciplines (civil, mechanical, industrial, and electrical). In the next decade, demand for engineers is expected to grow by 11 percent, with the National Association of Colleges and Employers reporting that engineering majors currently rank second in the most on demand careers. But engineering changed with the years. It used to be straightforward set of technical skills was all it took to be successful. But with the current growing demand for engineers comes a very different set of expectations from employers.
It’s not enough by having technical skills, now every employer looks for candidates with the more elusive soft skills. This new dynamic is making the engineering labor market competitive. So, if engineers can master a dynamic set of both technical and soft skills, employers will consider them as far more valuable team members and job candidates.
There must be a fundamental shift in the way we understand how work is getting done in the engineering environment today. Including an increasingly multigenerational workforce and a global business climate in which project work with mobile teams is the everyday job. Every engineer is now likely to encounter colleagues who’ve just graduated from college as well as seasoned professionals with years of experience. This is why there is a huge range of perceptions of what work is supposed to be. The new reality for how work of actually getting it done is also a critical factor in engineering today. There is more and more collaboration on a global basis. A civil engineer might find himself or herself working with a team thousands of miles away on any given project. Differences in language and culture will invariably collide, but an employee who can’t adapt won’t be able to collaborate well.
Employers already know that you’ll have the technical skills, coming into the job. But the question is who will and won’t be successful on the job are likely to revolve around intangible skills. For example, does a prospective engineer have the ability to collaborate and bring team members together or is he able to solve complex problems that aren’t necessarily technical in nature. Perhaps, they look at if he or she will be able to bring creative thinking to the table that will drive future innovation.
It all comes down to how baby boomers work ethics work versus millennials new way of approaching business. How well you may perform aside from your skills, bringing every generation together, dealing with language barriers, distance and cultures will make you stand out from the rest.
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