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With the UK population predicted to grow to 75 million by 2040 and the world population hitting the 9 billion mark, the need for Engineers is going to continue growing. Whilst rumblings about ‘the robots taking our jobs’ persist, many experts agree that they will merely serve to help enhance our work by freeing up peoples’ time to concentrate on more creative and purposeful projects.
But with the growth of the population comes new challenges, how shall we house and provide for all the people? How will we care for our aging populations? Who will create the robots that help us help ourselves?... and how are we going to power all this? Whilst the realms of science will no doubt feel the pressures and challenges of coping with an aging and growing population, Engineers will be having to think about it too. Scientists may come up with the answers, but the engineers make it practical and applicable.
So what areas of engineering are going to be seeing a higher demand in the future?
Civil Engineers – Lets face it, the population grows, the cities need to grow. Towns become cities and villages become towns. We may even see brand new, purpose built smart cities popping up too. With all this expansion, we’re going to be needing a lot of civil engineers to get it done. Everything from urban development, regeneration and transportation to water supply and sanitation… we’re going to need civil engineers. To some extent, civil engineers are ‘future proof’ as a growing population will always need more engineers. Even during recessions or times of struggle, civil engineers will still be needed to repair existing buildings and infrastructure and in times of plenty and economic growth, they get to build new ones.
Environmental Engineers – As the population grows so too will our waste and our emissions. As we attempt to make a shift towards more renewable energy sources and increase our recycling efforts, environmental engineers will be needed to help solve problems such as pollution, waste management and green energy. Providing sustainability will be key to the progression of the human race.
Biomedical Engineers – With an aging population comes the need for care, with increased numbers of people squeezing into smaller and smaller spaces, diseases will continue to spread and viruses will evolve. Biomedical engineers will be needed to help solve current and new developments in human sciences and technologies. Improved medical procedures with robotics and prosthetics moving in the same mechanised direction there will be huge scope for our final area of engineering.
Hardware Engineers & Software Engineers – Whilst these are two separate fields in themselves, these engineers will be looking at either building the robots and gadgets or they’ll be designing the coding and AI that will make them run. As both fields are evolving at a rapid pace, the need for engineers will only increase. From cybercrime to Industry 4.0 and databases to AI programs, the opportunities that will arise in the future are immeasurable. These disciplines will be in great demand and span across many fields adding an element of variety to the possibilities open to the engineers of the future.
So, there are four areas of Engineering likely to see a rise in the upcoming years and beyond. With a shortage of Engineers predicted, now may be the time to be thinking of a change of career or to encourage your children to consider engineering as their future career. Many people are doing jobs now that didn’t even exist 10 years ago so just imagine what could be in store for the future!
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