COVID-19 and the accompanying lockdowns are changing engineering. Just as they are changing almost everything else about the way many of us live our lives.
New challenges have been created across every part of the industry:
Temporary manufacturing staff recruitment gets irregular boosts to re-fill those supermarket shelves emptied by panic-buying.
People with design engineer jobs in the aerospace or automotive industries may see long-term changes. Because will large parts of the world eventually transition back to packed aeroplanes, buses, and taxis?
In many cases, only time will tell. But other changes are happening in the engineering industry right now:
Changes in the engineering industry caused by COVID
1) Engineers working from home
The most obvious change is in the way many people across all fields of engineering actually do their work.
Only around 1 in 5 engineers report that remote working made no difference to their overall efficiency.
For the others, adapting to new working conditions may call for those offering engineering jobs in the future to have even better IT and other systems in place to support their teams.
2) Remote working could be here to stay
The change to remote working is one that some companies – and some thought leaders within the industry – think might be here to stay.
Will the civil engineering jobs of ten years’ time involve being both in an office and time spent in traditional construction site offices?
It is being suggested by some that within the decade, working in collaboration hubs which look more like the offices of Californian tech start-ups of today will be much more common for engineers.
3) The way the industry collaborates
The response of some parts of the industry to COVID-19 has shown that even rival companies can work together to create things like Nightingale Hospitals and PPE.
More importantly, it has shown it is possible to do so with a focus on mutual positive goals rather than profit.
Those professional relationships are now in place. Some rivalries in the engineering industry of the future may be very different indeed.
4) New problems which need solutions
Most people who come out of school looking at engineering jobs – whether that means software engineer jobs or structural engineer jobs – are budding problem solvers.
If you like problems, the COVID-19 pandemic has got your back. From designing and implementing new ways for professionals in all kinds of industries to work safely to a vast array of other challenges which need solutions, the COVID-19 is offering engineers across the industry new problems to solve.
5) An end to traditional construction processes?
The failings of some traditional construction processes – an infrastructure which can include construction silos and manufacturing in isolation – has been bought into sharp relief by some aspects of the novel coronavirus crisis.
Changes to the way these things work have already begun in fields like the automotive industry. Here, real-time data from people with assembly technician jobs on factory floors is being transmitted to designers and other experts to improve the value of the final product.
Other parts of the engineering industry are likely to increase the speed with which they are adopting digital tools and other technological innovations in the future.
Finding your place in a changing industry
Some of the changes which COVID-19 is prompting the engineering industry to make were on their way in any case. Others – potentially much more transformative – have come seemingly out of nowhere.
But whatever the cause, if you are searching for engineering jobs in the future, it will be important to bear changes like this in mind.
Ernest Gordon is a specialist engineering recruitment company. We place new and experienced engineers up and down the UK with their ideal job every single day.
Let’s talk. And see what the future of the engineering industry has in store for you.