Electronic engineering has been a widely recognised field since the 1950s. With the roots of electronic engineering evolving in 1835 when the first relay was invented by Joseph Henry, it has developed into a high demand industry market. In this article I am going to take you through the movement of the engineering workforce and how it has evolved.
But what are electronic engineers? Electronic engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electronic equipment. Examples of these can be motors, power generation products, mobile phones, robotics and computers. Engineering is a crucial part of electronics as it’s where the product comes together to ensures it is working efficiently. All the electronics you see today would have been designed by an electronic engineer, whether it was physically constructed by robotics or humans.
The demand for smart electronics is increasing
Engineering is a high demand job across the globe. The more electronics which are designed – the more electronics can be sold – the more money which is made. Countries which produce the highest quantity of electronics will have the most demand for engineers and designers. According to Investopedia, China, Hong Kong, and the U.S. are at the front of the pack in producing electronics on a global level. Maintaining its reputation for producing inexpensive consumer goods in large quantities, China contributes heavily to the electronics sector, as this is the country’s most prominent export category. Smart electronics such as mobiles, smartwatches and tablets have been in high demand for many recent years. The ever-changing trend of smart devices means that electronic engineers will need to be adaptable to keep up with the latest trends. China is soon to overtake the United States as the largest economy in the world which would be widely contributed by talented electronic engineers.
The rise of the robots
When I think of what the future holds, I imagine robots serving us at restaurants, driverless cars, robotics making our clothes etc. However, this may just be the reality. According to academy archistar, several studies have suggested that artificial intelligence may cause job losses. One recent example comes from the University of Oxford. The study found that over 700 types of jobs are at risk of technological disruption. All told, this means that about 47% percent of jobs are at risk because of artificial intelligence. Up to 20 million manufacturing jobs around the world could be replaced by robots by 2030, according to analysis firm Oxford Economics. However, electronic engineers may be in luck. Being an engineer, it takes a great deal of creativity and logistics which can unlikely be replaced by robotics.
Demand increasing for green engineering
Climate change has been a passionate topic for many people within the last few years due to recent statistics. Climate change is caused by human activity, as opposed to Earth’s natural processes. According to Global Climate Change, the planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Scientists have determined that the major factors causing the current climate change greenhouse gases and emissions. Because of this, there has been huge pressure on engineers to produce sustainable products which have a positive impact for the climate. As well as this, not only is the pressure for electronic engineers to produce products that are made in an environmentally friendly way, but products that are environmentally friendly throughout their lifespan. According to Survey Monkey, 35% of people are willing to spend more money on products that are better for the environment. Engineers strive to create products which are in high demand and makes people feel good about buying. Therefore, it’s important that they incorporate this new environmentally friendly trend when designing products. The trend is producing products which preserve natural resources, are cost-efficient and support human and natural environments.
There is still gender imbalance in the work force
In this field of employment there is a significant gender disparity, with far fewer women than men working in the area. The gender imbalance in engineering has been going on for centuries. Recent statistics show that only 16% of engineering and technology undergraduates in the UK are women. Also, according to Wikipedia, the salary of female engineers is 10% less than male engineers. Today, it is more widely accepted to have females in the ‘male dominated’ engineering work force. However, very few females pursue a career in this field.
What can I do to keep up with the ever-changing market?
I would advise electronic engineers to constantly research the latest smart devices and trends. This would be beneficial for engineers as their products would be in higher demand. Also, customers are more likely to buy products which are positive towards the environment so I would advise taking that into consideration.
In my opinion, I think the engineering market is adapting to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Electronic engineers see the world in a more fragile way and therefore strive to engineer products in a way which doesn’t contribute to climate change. The engineering job market is evolving to be more technical and smarter device dominated to keep up with the latest products. In my opinion, the engineering market in the future will be more robotics dominated due to the latest technology. This would be a more efficient way for to produce products due to not having to pay wages etc.
By Amy Leary, Marketing Manager at eBOM