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It seems like everyone wants to be an engineer; will there be any jobs in the industry of engineering left?

I, among many other people, am striving to be a mechanical engineer. I am a freshman in high school, but I am worried by the time 8 years have passed and I have graduated college, all engineering jobs will be gone, and i will be forced to work in a field that doesn't interest me.

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Spencer’s Answer

It is hard to go wrong with an Engineering degree no matter what the economic climate is like. Even if the market is saturated you can still find ways to separate yourself from the crowd and stand out. A good way to do stand out is with minors and specializations which make you a more valuable asset to companies. You should research all the different opportunities that a mechanical engineering degree can make available to you and find what interests you the most. After researching all of the career paths you can start building your resume, even in high school. Try to join youth engineering programs and be as active as you can in student organizations. Anything you can write down as engineering experience or self improvement when applying for a job helps. Keep asking questions and you will do fine.

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Rodney’s Answer

As automation grows, many skills that can be automated will become less valuable, such as drivers and assembly workers. The skills that will be most valuable are those jobs that will do the automation. Engineering will be responsible for much of that automation, and so I expect demand for engineering jobs will continue to grow well into the foreseeable future. I expect that software engineering will be the field with greatest growth potential, but other engineering backgrounds also will be in a good position (especially if skills in their primary engineering field are augmented with software engineering skills).

Thank you! Efe O.

Here's a video by CGP Grey about how automation will change the workforce as technology advances. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU ...and I tend to think that engineers (especially those who deal with automation design) will be among the few less-vulnerable occupations. Rodney Rutherford

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Pieter’s Answer

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As an engineer, I have to concur with Spencer that it's very useful regardless of climate. Engineering comes in so many forms, and each of them are all about creatively building things that meet real needs with tools of math and science. It gives you hard skills and great peer networks. There's no such thing as a saturated market for that.

But you will have to seek experience and find aspects you can get excited about. Get internships if at all possible. Talk to professors, join a professional society student chapter, and seek out graduates as mentors.

It'll be hard to imagine how many directions you'll have available to you even beyond staff engineering positions. Of my friends from mechanical engineering at a state school, they went on to build factories, start software firms, create medical devices, run an IP law firm, an energy firm, lead a medical research lab, teach university as professors. I just attended a conference of software CEOs and easily over half were engineers from a show of hands.

Growth industries do change over time and you'll follow them. For instance, my senior mentor graduated chemical engineering in 1960 and his career spanned plastics in the 1960s, designing oil exploration equipment in the 1970s, running an airlines operations research group in the 1980s, and the analytics group for a New York ad agency in the 1990s.

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Bill’s Answer


Engineering is a very large field and it is constantly evolving and changing as technology advances. The industry that I am currently working in (Programmatic Advertising) didn't even exist when I graduated college in 2008. If you are excited about using technology to solve interesting problems it is worth sticking with engineering. I agree with Rodney that software engineering has a lot of growth potential. Also as digital storage costs continue to drop we are storing more and more data, so any focus involving working with large data sets is only going to become more relevant.