Engineering is, by definition, the blending of design, machines, structures and technology — so it’s no surprise that today’s rapidly evolving, technologically-driven job market means that engineers are in a prime position to move rapidly up the corporate ladder.
Engineering spans a countless number of industries and markets, from electrical engineering to software engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering… the list goes on and on. And as millennials begin to take over the job market — it’s a widely cited statistic that millennials will make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020 — we’re seeing more futuristic and, dare we say, sexier-sounding job titles emerging in high-tech fields like VR and green energy.
For engineers drawn to the fascinatingly technical aspect of the career path, below are a few niche jobs that may be appealing.
1. Virtual or augmented reality engineering
Virtual reality is a hot topic for 2015, with a plethora of high-profile companies like Google and Nokia dabbling in the burgeoning industry. Whether it’s the task of developing the 3D models for virtual reality video game testing, or engineering the physical devices for filming and viewing an augmented reality film, engineers have their work cut out for them in this exciting field. Millennials are particularly intrigued by VR as a generation open to experimenting with and embracing new technologies.
The possibilities for a career in this field are nearly limitless as more and more companies take on virtual or augmented reality projects; even traditional industries like banking are testing VR technology in an effort to attract a younger market and help clients visualise complicated financial models or portfolios. Software engineers itching to get into the field can search for job titles ranging from 3D modeller/artist or optical design engineer, to VR developer, to multimedia engineer.
2. Drone engineering
Drone and UAV technology is another field millennials can’t seem to get enough of. A recent article on the future of retail suggests that drones may pique millennials’ interest due to the promise of instant gratification, a major appeal to a generation raised on clicks, likes and “there’s an app for that.”
Global companies are eyeing drone technology, from the expected tech behemoths like Amazon — the company plans to begin instituting drone delivery systems as soon as a year or two from now — to surprising corporations like McDonalds. Engineers interested in drone technology should concentrate on job titles such as UAV developer or UAV aerospace engineer.
3. Biomedical engineering
While healthcare or biology may initially appear on the dry end of the spectrum of engineering career possibilities, the truth is that the field is far from dull. Biomedical technologies are shaping the future of healthcare, from bionics to nanomedicine and beyond. The engineers in charge of developing, testing, maintaining and troubleshooting these technologies get a hands-on experience with some of the medical community’s most advanced and exciting projects; they’re literally shaping the future of healthcare.
For millennials interested in the field, a career as a biomedical engineering technician is one place to look. This job is primarily responsible for handling biomedical technology, as well as transporting, calibrating and troubleshooting such equipment.
4. Modern structural engineering
Architecture is a constantly evolving profession, and with it, city planners and structural engineers have to keep up. Recent pushes for urban sustainability and modern aesthetics mean that today’s engineers have their work cut out for them. The field is a good fit for engineers with an eye for design, a passion for sustainability and green energy, and a meticulous approach to work.
Structural engineers must be prepared to work closely with designers, as well as develop familiarity with all of the latest softwares necessary for the job. These are often roles that require working in teams, making them a fit for many millennials, who tend to thrive in collaborative environments.
5. Nuclear engineering
Few jobs sound quite as cool as a “nuclear engineer,” and the field itself is increasingly important as the need for alternative forms of energy becomes ever more pressing. Engineers in this field help with the research and development processes as well as the specific systems involved in harnessing nuclear energy, and often are tasked with finding practical uses for or repurposing radioactive materials.
The “cool factor” is just part of the appeal to a millennial job seeker: nuclear energy is often cited as a viable option for helping to mitigate climate change, and millennials tend to favor careers and companies that focus on socially impactful work.
In the midst of the job hunt for a budding technology or engineering career? Start your search at reed.co.uk.