There’s good news for engineers in the coming months: the industry is poised for growth. That’s according to a recent Staffing Industry Analysts report that projects both added revenue to the industry as well as seeing gains in contract positions.
“In Staffing Industry Analysts’ September forecast update, we project revenue in the US engineering temporary staffing market to grow by 4% this year. This growth forecast is consistent with our projection from April and can be attributed to engineering wage inflation as opposed to significantly higher volumes,” according to the report.
Interestingly, there are a number of factors contributing to both higher revenue in the industry as well as more open positions. Staffing Industry Analysts attributes this to more engineering and manufacturing technologies that will need additional workers with highly specialized manufacturing skills. There’s also going to be more robotics and automation within the industry thanks to “the wider development of what is termed ‘industry 4.0.”
As a result of these highly technical skills needed for the industry, Staffing Industry Analysts adds that “high-level engineering talent remains in short supply, creating recruiting challenges but simultaneously enhancing the value of staffing services.” Therefore, there will be many open positions as well as opportunities for companies to upskill and train their workers.
With revenue considered to be on track to rise 4%, there’s a powerful trend that the industry will witness for 2020 and beyond. According to Forbes, it’s artificial intelligence. “Artificial intelligence continues to be one of the fastest-growing emerging technologies, so you likely aren't surprised that it is also disrupting design and engineering now that Industry 4.0 is here,” as described by the publication. The report describes how engineering workers will need to make the best use of artificial intelligence in order to “produce better products and to be open to evolving to work with the latest tools available to them.” Beyond that, they’ll need to be highly flexible and adapt to upcoming changes within the industry. But that’s not all: Forbes describes how increased use of robotics alongside artificial intelligence will impact the engineering industry greatly as well. “Most organizations will benefit from enhanced performance, improved products, higher productivity, and more with the adoption of new technology. Robots that are deployed today can do much more than provide physical strength to tasks or move items around a warehouse—they can complement human work in a variety of ways, even with cognitive tasks,” according to the article.
In sum, the industry is headed toward a great deal of growth and disruption in the coming months. While revenue is poised to expand, companies will need to prepare their employees (and make hires) to work with artificial intelligence and robots to be successful in the future.