When choosing a career path, it can be helpful to consider how certain jobs will fare in the future. While no one can truly predict what the future will be like, we are living in a time of great change, with powerful new technologies impacting the world in new ways that would have been unthinkable twenty years ago.
Engineers are at the heart of this revolution, and young people considering a career in the field have a lot to think about.
The world relies on engineering for solutions to incredibly complex problems. Infrastructure, medicine, defence, transport, 5G, and AI are just some of the ways that engineers are improving the world.
Old methods of manufacture, design, and operation have changed, and certain schools of engineering are becoming more valuable. We look at some of the best engineering jobs that will stay secure, meaningful, and rewarding in the future.
One of the biggest areas in engineering, and science in general, is the development of artificial intelligence. Machine learning has been around for a while, but creating smarter AI systems is an ongoing process that will have huge ramifications for how we live our lives.
As data capture has become more sophisticated and powerful, we require more sophisticated and powerful machines to analyse that data. The more data an artificial intelligence has, the better it can go about solving problems. Artificial intelligence is one of the best hopes we have of solving major world issues like the climate crisis, and the engineers that build these systems report having very high levels of job satisfaction, knowing they’re building something that will have a huge impact on the world.
There are many ways to work with artificial intelligence, but one of the most exciting is robotics engineering. Robotics engineers work across multiple disciplines, combining mechanics, electronics, and computer science. They are often working at the forefront of robotics and intelligence systems.
VR systems will likely become more common as we move towards the metaverse being fully realised. While VR games have been dismissed as a fad by some critics in the industry, there’s no denying that it seems like VR will be big business in the next decade and beyond.
Engineers working in entirely virtual spaces will help shape the next evolution of entertainment and social networking, creating vast worlds to explore. To succeed, engineers will need more than technical skills, they’ll also need vision and creativity, which correlate strongly with work engagement.
Engineering plays a vital role in helping save lives after natural disasters. Technological advances now allow special trackers, drones, and radar devices to locate missing people in the aftermath of earthquakes or other tragedies.
Engineers have worked on specialised transport designed to drive over uneven or unstable terrain, reinforced shelters that provide a base of operations, and emergency water and sanitation equipment that can save lives after a disaster. Engineers on the ground can repair electrical and communications systems, and help ensure that doctors and other aid workers have working equipment when they arrive.
There are also engineers working on more sophisticated early warning and detection systems which may be able to save thousands of lives. This kind of emergency engineering has some of the highest satisfaction of any career in the world, not just engineering.
Cloud usage has risen steadily over the pandemic, and is vital for businesses around the world. Ensuring the cloud is reliable, accessible, and secure is becoming increasingly important. Engineers working in cloud technology can be responsible for designing, planning, and maintaining these systems that have become invaluable for so many people.
As we slowly move away from fossil fuels, we require more green energy infrastructure and storage. This will require huge amounts of design, implementation, and maintenance, being one of the largest engineering projects of the last century.
Renewable energy engineers will play a vital role in the transition from harmful fossil fuels to cleaner, safer energy, and as such this particular type of engineering is highly rated, highly sought after, and highly rewarded.
Read more about the best engineering companies to work for, or learn why you should consider an apprenticeship in engineering.
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