Are there any “pandemic proof” jobs?

This past year and a half put our workforce to the test after losing countless jobs in the shutdown that followed COVID 19. Still, we learned many jobs were critical enough to net a relative degree of protection that protected them from even the most extreme shutdown measures.

We discovered, for example, that the engineering sector fared better than many others. Read on to learn more about how vital engineering is to various industries and how this lucrative field presents an exceptionally bright future for employers and workers alike, even during an incredibly challenging time.

Engineering Jobs Withstand the Test of The Pandemic

It quickly became evident how engineers were vital to many businesses’ “behind-the-scenes” operations during the lockdown. A spike in demand for the technologies kept us communicating with our peers, especially when working remotely. The necessity to keep that technology functional both in terms of hardware and software increased exponentially.

The shift to a remote workforce led to a surge in hiring opportunities for the engineers to keep these systems operational.

The Pandemic Wasn’t Without Challenges for Engineers

Not all engineers enjoyed the same buffer that would have protected them from the wave of unemployment during the pandemic. The transition to remote work did negatively impact the number of available positions. Because of this, engineers looking for jobs were less fortunate than those who had already secured a job.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate for civil engineers, for example, is estimated to be 2% between 2019 and 2029. While this percentage is lower than average (by around 2%), it was initially 11% before the pandemic. This data suggests that the average demand for engineers is generally high with high projected growth, but the pandemic stressed the workforce and available candidates for these positions.

Engineers are innovators, and innovation often relies on capital. Industries that were hit hardest during a pandemic are likely to delay their investments into new technologies. But many engineers in the infrastructure, automotive, and electrical sectors were less likely to be affected in the same way.

Demand for Engineering Talent

In March of 2020, Amazon’s job listings for technology experts and engineers increased in response to the pandemic, as with many other companies increasing their engineering listings by impressive numbers:

  • Amazon: +110%.
  • Cisco Systems: +71%.
  • Walmart: +64%.
  • Parsons Infrastructure: +61%.
  • NBC: +43%.
  • Advanced Micro Services: +42%.
  • Sony: +38%.
  • Sapient Corporation: +29%.
  • Saic: +28%.
  • VMware: +24%.

The listing increases correlated with a similar trend in which these technology positions increased in availability. Front-end developers’ listings saw a massive decrease in opportunities, decreasing by 25%, whereas cybersecurity engineers saw an increase of 20%. Even in the face of a global pandemic, the demand for skilled technology experts remains high. The main issue faced is the lack of individuals with the skillset necessary to fill the roles.

Finding and Hiring the Best Engineering Talent

When it comes to the unemployment rate for engineering, the rates are meager compared to more common forms of employment. For those in the field of systems engineering, focusing on software, the rate of unemployment in 2020 was 4.4%. Mechanical engineers saw an increase in their unemployment rate of 4.1%. Compared to the near 12% rate of unemployment seen in most production occupations, it illustrates just how valued those in the field of engineering have become.

Few careers will ever be immune to a financial depression that impacts our economy when companies and industries face radical shifts in operational procedures, consumer demand, and budgets. Still, engineering careers have come close, and it’s becoming more challenging to attract and retain engineering talent.

This data suggests that engineering positions, while not precisely “pandemic proof,” are pretty close. “Pandemic resistant” is more apt, as many engineering jobs were among the least affected occupations of downsizing during pandemic-level events.

We Can Help you Find Qualified Engineers!

With the shortage of qualified engineers and the increased demand, companies are working harder and getting creative to attract the best candidates to fill their roles. If your organization needs help attracting the best candidates in science and engineering, reach out to Verum Technical for a consultation. Our talented recruitment professionals can help.