Engineers’ skills could become ‘redundant’ if they don’t prepare for the future

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14 December 2017

Hays: To remain employable engineers require environmentally sustainable design knowledge, expertise in new technology such as GPS positioning, drones and virtual reality (VR), and a willingness to continuously ask questions. That’s according to a new report, The Modern Engineer: What it Takes to Succeed, released today by recruiting experts Hays Engineering.

Automation and artificial intelligence threaten to make many of the traditional and base level skills of engineers redundant (at least to a degree),” writes Megan Motto, CEO of Consult Australia, in the report’s foreword.

“Both engineers and employers (need) to consider areas for personal and organisational development to ensure they have the right skills to remain relevant in the future,” she notes.

Insights for engineers

So where should engineers focus their learning and development? “Engineers who want to do their job effectively in the coming years need to be across environmentally sustainable design and life-cycle assessment,” says Adam Shapley, Senior Regional Director of Hays Engineering. “They must upskill in the latest technology tools, including GPS positioning, survey equipment, drones, Augmented Reality (AR) and VR, and they must ensure their technical foundation remains strong.

“Entry-level candidates need a strong technical foundation as well as mathematical ability, while more experienced candidates need to gain a high level of emotional intelligence and social skills. I believe that to be successful, today’s engineer must demonstrate an appetite and aptitude to learn quickly and ask questions to keep their knowledge current.”

Insights for employers

The results also provide insights for employers. According to Adam, “When looking to attract and retain engineers, it’s important to promote the quality of work your practice produces, offer clear career paths and provide continuous on-the-job training across all levels since this is how people want to gain the skills they need.

“Employers are also advised to offer flexible working arrangements or part-time hours, make soft skills part of your selection criteria, and remember that software skills can be taught and should not hinder the hiring of an otherwise ideal candidate.”

Hays Engineering surveyed 340 engineers and held 13 in-depth interviews with industry leaders to identify what makes a modern engineer.

Key findings include:

The research also reveals key learnings for employers: 

The Modern Engineer: What it Takes to Succeed is available at www.hays.com.au/engineer or contact your local Hays office.

 

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Source:  Hays Specialist Recruitment- www.hays.com.au

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