If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that even an in-demand skillset can be impacted by disruptions to the domestic, and international, job market. If you’d told me a few years ago that there would be skilled candidates struggling to land quality engineering jobs in top markets I would have raised an eyebrow.
Pre-pandemic, engineering jobs of all kinds were widely available, as the demand for skilled talent was often greater than the available supply. Over the past year and a half, this hasn’t necessarily been the case. Companies have gone under, projects have stalled, and the rise of remote work has allowed businesses to switch to a partially location-independent model.
As a result, the national demand for engineering jobs was (temporarily) thrown out of whack.
The good news? Everything I’ve seen suggests that things will bounce back in a major way for the latter half of 2021.
Here are a few ways that people looking for engineering jobs can capitalize on this:
Embrace remote work
The biggest change inflicted by the pandemic was the nationwide switch to remote work. As society opens back up, the extent to which we work remotely might lessen, but remote work will play a role in the future, and engineering jobs are no exception.
For civil engineers, this might mean more meetings held via Zoom, while software engineers could see their entire workflow disrupted. In either event, the best engineering jobs will go to the candidates able to adapt to these changes.
Look beyond the big city
Remote work hasn’t just changed the day-to-day responsibilities associated with engineering jobs – it’s also changed the location requirements. Traditionally, engineers would need to reside near their place of employment, which was typically located in a major city or suburb.
Some engineering jobs require regular travel to different worksites across the state. Others can be done from anywhere via the internet. In both cases, engineers no longer need to be tethered to major job markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Seattle.
Re-assess your priorities
There has never been a better time to take steps towards your dream career. A few years ago, it would have been seen as crazy for an established engineer to leave behind a six-figure salary in California for a combination of contract-based work in the Rockies and a consultancy gig with a bootstrapped start-up in Denver.
Whatever you decide to do, the coming years will see engineering jobs bounce back in a major way.