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2017 Industry Trends for Engineering Talent

 
2017 Trends for Engineers


What trends can engineers expect to see through 2017? While nuances may exist between specific industry verticals, a number of key trends have emerged that every engineering professional should know. 

Industry 4.0

The fourth industrial revolution is upon us, and projects that take advantage of new technological advances are driving demand for engineers, technologists, and technicians in many industry verticals.

Automation and robotics

Tremendous improvements in worker productivity and the talent gap in manufacturing can be attributed—at least in part—to the widespread adoption and recent developments in robotics and plant automation systems. As a result, there will be significant competition in 2017 for talented professionals such as instrumentation and controls technicians, automation engineers, and industrial control systems designers.

Additive manufacturing

3D printing, which uses a variety of technologies and materials, is now in common use for prototyping and quickly being adopted for production applications—most notably in aerospace, defense, medical device, and most recently, the automotive sector. Some of the largest manufacturers in the world are investing heavily in rapid technologies, which will lead to growth in demand for engineers and technologists who are talented in both developing new applications and integrating the technologies into production environments.

Industrial Internet of Things

The “smart factory” concept, enabled by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and featuring data connectivity between production machinery, CAD/CAM, ERP, and suppliers, is allowing powerful new analysis and management of manufacturing operations. Manufacturing and process engineers are increasingly expected to be fluent and adept at the data access and analysis available in these environments.

Quality engineering

Quality engineering will remain in universal demand throughout industry in 2017. A strong percentage of hiring in the industrial engineering standard occupational classification (SOC) category can be attributed to demand for quality engineersThe prevalence of Lean Six Sigma® and the vital importance of product and process quality throughout most industries will only continue to drive a need for quality engineers and analysts well into the future.

Sustainability

Industrial sustainability projects that involve energy and resource conservation, emissions control, renewable energy systems, or waste reduction all require engineering work to be performed by electrical engineers, environmental engineers, energy engineers, and others. The lightweighting of products and packaging is another area within technical sustainability work that should continue to expand, regardless of any regulatory changes, as it promotes savings in shipping and transportation costs, among other efficiencies.

Gig economy

While the engineering profession has been a relatively late adopter of engaging engineering professionals via online talent platforms, the “Hollywood Model” and open innovation practices are well-suited to take advantage of engineering free agent consultants. Kelly can provide ready access to new projects for these professionals by serving as a talent provider to many leading organizations.

The Hollywood Model and open innovation: Modern research and development practices involve collaboration between the sponsoring organization(manufacturer or other project underwriter), suppliers,consultants, engineering services firms, and free agent engineers. These project teams, which integrate regular employees as well as external engineers, are assembled and brought together for the life of the project, similar to the way modern movie studios produce films—as opposed to decades ago, when all of the actors were direct employees of themovie studios. This results in the practice of open innovation,which means the involvement of contributors beyond the regular employees of the sponsoring organization in the discovery and creation process, avoiding the so-called “not invented here” syndrome.

Talent partnership

As demand increases for a talented workforce, engineering firms and corporations are reaffirming their need to partner with trusted engineering recruiting, staffing, and outsourcing services firms.

 

 

 


Eng Career Newsletter Sign Up_170x209

Eng Career Newsletter Sign Up_170x209

Engineering Jobs in the US

Search contract, contract-to-hire, and full-time engineering positions.
Find a Job

Engineering Jobs in the US

Search contract, contract-to-hire, and full-time engineering positions.
Find a Job

Engineering Career Resources

Find additional career advice, employment trends, and job search tips.
Related Content Button_150494

Engineering Career Resources

Find additional career advice, employment trends, and job search tips.
Related Content Button_150494

Branch Locator

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Find a Branch

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