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Engineering Engineering career with good job prospects

  • Thread starter konto77
  • Start date
So today, in high school, my Econ teacher told us that a few reputable economists are forecasting 20% unemployment by 2012.

And I was wondering which engineering degree would be the safest or least vulnerable to such a rise in unemployment.

The engineering degrees available at the college (University of Pittsburgh) i'll be attending this Fall are:

Chemical and Petroleum engineering

Civil and environmental engineering
Electrical engineering
Computer eng.

Industrial eng.
Mechanical eng. and Materials science

*the ones that look most interesting to me are highlighted.

Engineering is one of things that people will always need. The unemployment statistics you are talking about are probably more related to production jobs (in the engineering world). So there may be strain on the market, but a good engineer can work almost anywhere, independant of their field. I know of mechanical engineers working in banks, of aeronautical engineers working in commercial product design (me :wink:) and in the petro chemical industry and chemical engineers working for car companies.

Engineering is a good choice and I think that you should focus rather on a field that you will enjoy than on one that promises the best jobs etc. A lot of my friends in highschool started going into IT because there was so much demand for it in the late nineties, but they became a little unstuck when the market saturated and there were just too many ITers. Then you have a bunch of guys that studied something they didn't really want to, because they wanted the promised job security and then ended up having to study further in other fields to get a job and were ultimately unhappy.

Chemical and petroleum engineering is big at the moment, I'm not sure for how much longer. Bio-engineering I think has a good steady market. Electrical engineering is probably a safe bet with a lot more things going digital these days and electric cars and other vehicles coming more and more to the forefront. Computer engineering... not sure. Mech Eng and material science is pretty stable too and the job opportunities are diverse.

hope that helps :smile:
If those "reputable economists" were so smart then why did they not predict the economic downturn. Economists seem to only know what's happening after it happens.
Really? I just realized it after I heard from you!
Yeah... My econ teacher says that economists are mostly full of wind.


thanks for the response.

Isn't chemical engineering also a safe bet though?

By the way does Materials Science include metallurgy? Do you guys know what kind of jobs metallurgists get?
Engineering as a whole is a safe bet...the primary driver in pretty much all industries in modern times is dependent on the development of technologies and I'm sure you hear it a lot but we're always going to have a need for engineers.

Especially even more so around now, given the lack of graduating engineers in the U.S.
Materials science definitely includes metallurgy. Composite materials is another hot area of materials science, and will remain so for some time to come.
Hi Konto,

The answer depends a lot more on the industry than on what your major is. Some
industries (like the current auto industry) will be transformed in 20 years as the
products evolve. Others like the composites industry will grow but not change
dramatically as the need grows.

If you are concerned about employment you should focus on a more general program
like mechanical or electrical and let specialization come later if you want to pursue
graduate school.

You can't go wrong with a classic engineering education. As someone said above
you can work in almost any industry doing almost anything.

Good luck,
Michael Brit
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