Being hailed as The New Industrial Revolution, it is predicted that Machines and Automated Systems will free up our working lives so we can focus on more exciting and valuable life activities.
When we consider how quickly technology is changing, making predictions for the future of jobs in engineering can amount to speculation However, we can predict that it is likely that Engineering Careers will become focused upon these areas of expertise:
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Since we are moving from the world where robots are programmed to perform specific tasks repeatedly, such as robots assembling parts in an automotive manufacturing plant, to the world where robots become responsible for analyzing situations and making their decision to perform a job, the necessity for human involvement increases.
More and more, robots are likely to work together with human colleagues.
Robot Programmers, a.k.a. Human Trainers will be in demand to demonstrate complicated tasks for robots to learn and act accordingly.
Sensor System Integrators
As more products get equipped with sensors, they become part of the significantly growing Internet of Things. But enabling all Internet-connected sensors to talk to each other is turning into an even bigger problem.
With technology, your shoes can monitor your exercise and your fridge can order eggs when you’re running low. The real problem occurs when your shoes tell your refrigerator you worked out much more today and it doubles your order of protein drinks.
That might not be a typical example, but the demand for engineers who can program and integrate sensors is on the rise.
The job of a Sensor Programmer and system integrator will have various shape and forms. It could be creating sensor networks in residential buildings or integrating connected devices in homes, or even analyzing sensor data to develop a product further.
Think of a company aiming to improve the energy efficiency of its washing machine and dryers. One possible solution is to use sensors that keep track of when clothes are dry enough to turn off the machine, but a sensor integrator may think bigger and add to the system a moisture sensor.
Installing that sensor will result in the discovery that continuing the spin-cycle in that machine longer will in fact cause a quicker drying time, saving time and energy.
This type of “sensor enablement” can be extremely beneficial to manufacturers as well, since systems integrators will have to make sure the machines can talk to all kinds of other devices in the plant. In the long run, it is a virtuous cycle of smarter products and new engineering job opportunities.
Algorithm Design is a growing career. While algorithmic design software tools become more common and sophisticated, they won’t substitute the requirement of software designers and developers. However, this will change how an algorithm developer works.
3D Printing Specialist
3-D printers are growing at an astonishing rate, and they are becoming faster too while handling many new materials. As costs fall and software applications improve, 3-D Part Manufacturing becomes increasingly more popular.
3-D Printing is an accepted change in how we manufacture part. It uses fewer parts and reduces material costs. It’s able to create complex parts in shapes not commonly available with using other manufacturing techniques.
We are dealing with a growing shortage of skilled machinists who can work with CNC based machines like lathes and mills. The US alone will go through a deficiency of two million skilled machine designers and software programmers over the next 20 years.
The growth in 3-D printing will equally call for experienced 3-D software specialists and machine programmers which in return will add massive employment opportunities and engineering jobs in the next two decades.
A growing category of algorithm design systems will supply countless design options instantly per criteria such as weight, force, scale, cost, count, size, etc.
Human beings will invest a shorter period around the shape of a product and how it is built. They will continue to have to see and understand the engineering challenge and design flaws, finding the right design parameters that will result in the original solution.
Essentially, rather than creating a 3-dimensional model on your own from scratch, the algorithm designer will enable the AI-based design software to generate a smart solution that will define and improve the outcome.