The future of engineering: what skills are needed?
Anyone considering a career in engineering may think that this limits their options to messing about with machinery or developing new mechanical processes but nothing could be further from the truth. Those that choose to train as engineers are more likely now to be focusing on computer-based functions. This is a change that has taken place over the last 20 years and it is due to the rapid development of computing. Today engineering is not so much of a ‘physical’ process but relies more and more upon modern computing technology.
How are computers used in engineering?
Engineers use computer software to make sure that the work that they are doing is accurate. A good example of this is CAD software and it is recommended that students that want a career in engineering learn how to use this. Computer aided design is software that is used mainly for industrial purposes and it is widely used in the design and development of cars, ships, building work and the aerospace industry. Computers are also often a part of the finished product. Think of all the cars that have computers now for functions such as Sat-Nav and for controlling the car’s systems. Robotics is another area where there is a need for computing knowledge as well as engineering knowledge.
What about computing in engineering for the future?
The use of computing in engineering is set to continue and engineering skills will be required in other areas. Engineers will be able to help to catch cyber criminals, use 3D printing to create a model of their new inventions, and to find out what is happening in other parts of the universe! The design and manufacturing of satellites and space systems is already a large industry and is set to increase as more countries around the world develop their own space programs. Those considering a career in engineering will find that there is also potential for working on projects for other services that are used by the space industry.
Robotics are developing all the time. Things have moved on a lot since basic models were produced back in the 1960’s and 70’s and they have become invaluable in the manufacturing process. The automobile industry is just one that has been making extensive use of robotics but it has been predicted that this type of technology can be used within the nuclear industry, mining, energy, medicine and agriculture. So the engineering student’s interests can be varied and they will still be able to use the skills that they have learned.
There are also engineering opportunities within industries that support these others by supplying equipment and components such as those provided by Transducer Techniques. Having the right equipment on hand can make the engineer’s job much easier.
The good news is that schools are now teaching the skills that students need for engineering careers at a much earlier stage. The popularity of computers means that the software is readily available and it is very easy to get a good working knowledge of it fairly quickly. With plenty of engineering-focused courses available, finding the training needed for a specific career path is easy.