The 2022 job market will be different from any other time in the history of engineering, that’s for sure. As the world continually deals with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the way we work has drastically changed. Shifting from an employer-centric market, we’re entering a new era where employees see a substantial increase in influence on the market.
Whether you’re actively searching for a job or just looking to learn new things to help you out at work, this article is for you. We’ve compiled the essential things you should know to help you navigate the 2022 job market and maximize your chances of success when career opportunities arise.
2022 Job Market Trends You Should Know
The engineering industry is a sea of change. The more you know about current trends, the better you’ll be prepared to adapt to changes that are coming this year.
1. Introduction of New Engineering Disciplines
2022 is bringing about a significant shift in what it means to be an engineer, specifically because there will be so many new jobs in engineering fields that we have not seen before. Evolving technologies will bring about the need for new engineering disciplines with the increased potential for overlap with other professions.
We’re talking about such titles as Ethical Engineering, Existential Engineering, Socially Aware Engineering, and more. This translates as a call for engineers to be adaptable in the face of new technology, business imperatives, and workplace innovations.
2. Evolving Regulatory Landscape
Due to the long-lasting effects of the global pandemic on government regulations, there is a need to change engineering-related regulations at the federal, provincial, and territorial levels. This trend shows an opportunity for highly skilled and experienced engineers to have job opportunities calibrating, interpreting, and implementing government regulations to protect public and corporate interests.
3. Not Enough Licensed Engineers
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, there is a great need for engineers in the workforce this 2022. However, there are just not enough licensed engineers to answer the call. This can be attributed to two factors:
- Engineering Graduates Foregoing Earning Their License
There are two main reasons why an engineering graduate might opt not to get licensed. First, they find the licensing process too troublesome since each state has its own regulations. Second, they plan to get engineering work that doesn’t require a license. This is not rare, as many opportunities are there for unlicensed engineers to practice.
- Licensed Engineers Are Leaving the Workforce
Engineers who suffer from pandemic sickness might not be able to return to work. Additionally, veterans who can afford to leave the workforce entirely do so to pursue other interests or spend time with loved ones.
Due to this trend, companies actively expand their hiring efforts to tap into the unlicensed engineer talent pool. Companies also re-examine skill requirements and qualifications needed for engineering positions to determine which skills are necessary and which ones are just “desirables.”
4. Emphasis on Diversity in the Workplace
Many employers are taking steps towards including more diversity in their workplace. Engineering has been previously considered to be a gendered profession but not anymore. However, we can see a great push for change. The World Economic Forum predicts that women will be critical to the STEM workforce by 2030.
According to the same report, companies focus on diversity because it’s proven that diverse teams perform better and bring different perspectives that can lead to innovative solutions. With the state of the 2022 job market, we can’t afford to not have all hands on deck.
2022 Job Market Opportunities for Engineers
Now that you’re up to speed with the engineering job market trends for the year, it’s the best time to reevaluate your career path. So what do you plan to achieve as an engineer this year? You might want to consider any of these newest opportunities available for you in today’s job market:
- Hybrid Work Is Here to Stay
If your previous or current job does not offer much flexibility, you might want to check out if hybrid work is the next step for you. As the dust settles from the global pandemic, more and more companies are incorporating this work setup into their processes permanently.
Hybrid work allows employees to have a flexible workplace or schedule that deviates from the typical 9-5 in the office. This includes but is not limited to employees having the freedom to choose to work remotely or on-site and do four-day workweeks. Offering this flexibility is already becoming a solid recruitment strategy for employers.
- The Rise of Gig Work
If an office setup is not for you anymore, you might want to check out working as an independent contractor rather than an employee. According to the Intuit 2020 Report, traditional employment is no longer the norm. Instead, there’s an enormous shift from full-time work to free-agent employment, and this is evident not only in the engineering industry.
Typically, engineers choose contract work because it gives them opportunities to shop around for projects that resonate with them and companies they want to work with. On top of that, gigs give engineers a chance to pile on experience faster based on the number of projects worked on.
3 Things to Keep In Mind When Job Hunting in 2022
Job hunting post-pandemic can be stressful. To get you started, here are three tips to help you in your job search:
1. Network as Much as You Can
Who you know will always be important! In an era where human connections are forged in virtual spaces, tapping into human connections and relationships can greatly increase your chances of finding and landing the job you want.
2. Communicate Your Motivations for Wanting to Work Clearly
Employers are always aiming to increase their quality of hire. It means that even when there are a lot of job openings for engineers out there, companies may go for the candidate who can clearly state their motivation for wanting to work for them.
Put some time into researching the company you want to be a part of, who they are, and what they do. This gives you the benefit of seeing how their message and processes align with your career goals. Remember, generic applications lead to disappointment.
3. Understand Your Worth
Know what you’re bringing to the table in terms of skills, knowledge, and expertise. Due to the nature of hybrid work, companies are looking for competent engineers who need minimal supervision. Therefore, understanding what you can offer and going into interviews with that knowledge can boost your confidence and increase your chances of securing the job.
NEED HELP NAVIGATING THE 2022 JOB MARKET? AGILE WPS CAN HELP!
If you plan on making the most out of the 2022 job market opportunities as an engineer, let’s talk! At Agile Workplace Staffing (WPS), we can help you get the job you want, exactly how you want it. We can help you find contracting, freelance, temporary, part-time, and full-time work.
Agile WPS believes that your success starts with the right job opportunities. Our team of specialized recruiters can help build the bridge between you and your dream job. Contact us today, and let’s chat about how we can jumpstart the next stage of your career!