In an age where technological innovation underpins economic competitiveness, the engineering sector sits on the frontline of transformation. For new entrants and budding students, the pace of this advancement and the green economy has already lead to the emergence of new jobs that simply did not exist only a short number of years ago.
They may have been alien concepts just a decade ago, but today, these engineering jobs are becoming increasingly pivotal to the sector:
- Biomedical and clinical engineers
Biomedical engineers or just ‘bioengineers’ will play a leading role in the design and development of cutting edge medical devices and software, combining traditional engineering principles with clinical sciences to solve challenges associated with an ageing population. In line with technological advances, employment of biomedical or clinical engineers is estimated to grow 4 per cent in the next decade as global companies, hospitals and research facilities seek new talent to forge ahead with healthcare innovation.
- Electric Vehicle engineers
With electric vehicles growing in popularity due to their cost-effectiveness and lack of harmful emissions, the need for engineers equipped with the skills to design and produce both EV and hybrid machines are on the rise.
As well as electrical engineers to design chargers and motors within the vehicles and chemical engineers needed to model and test the battery pack, mechanical engineers will be required to design every individual component of the vehicle, not to mention thermal engineers. They may not be new roles in themselves, but the focus that these multi-disciplinary teams will take is set to reshape the transportation industry as we know it.
- Artificial Intelligence engineers
According to a Gartner Report, Artificial Intelligence is going to create 2.3 million jobs by 2020, replacing the 1.8 million it will eliminate. Behind the rise of artificial intelligence will be engineers who specialise in the creation of the sophisticated algorithms and neural networks that bring this technology to life – so to speak.
While they will typically boast strong capabilities in data science and computer programming, the AI engineer doesn’t write code - rather, they retrieve data from various sources and build and test their own machine learning models – either for small start-ups or major players in the global tech scene.
- Blockchain engineers
As the number of start-ups using blockchain technology continues to grow and the use-cases evolve, opportunities for blockchain engineers are naturally on the incline. Already, jobs in this domain have grown from 0 to 4000 between 2010 and 2017 as the industry took shape and emerged from concept to reality. From data services firms and technology consultancies to financial organisations, software engineers skilled in distributed computing and capable of building decentralised applications will soon be in high demand.
- IoT Software engineers
Ten years ago, the concept of smart devices was just beginning to take off as smart phones began to replace the common mobile as the must-have communications technology. A decade later and it isn’t just mobiles that are ‘smart’ – from health-tech wearables to smart-homes and manufacturing environments, the Internet of Things has seen the emergence of a new and increasingly critical role in engineering: the IoT software developer. According to Gartner, more than half of the major business processes and systems will include some form of IoT by 2020. With this in mind, the need for specialists in this field comes as no surprise.
- Automation and Robotics engineers
The adoption of automation and robotics in manufacturing environments depends upon the expertise of engineers. Behind the scenes, they will aid in enhancing processes, driving efficiency and making jobs safer through their creations. As well as building, configuring and testing the robots themselves, automation and robotics engineers will design the software to control the systems and constantly evaluate their performance to identify areas for improvement.
While around 90 per cent of robotics engineers will apply their skills to the automotive industry, opportunities to revolutionise manufacturing in the construction, food packaging and electronic industries will continue to grow as organisations look to technology to streamline the product lifecycle.