Some people will say that it’s not engineering that high school seniors want as a college major, probably to discourage future college students that such course won’t help them a lucrative pay or they won’t be able to handle the stress. Instead, they suggest that their choice could be a business degree, a computer science course, or a pre-medicine.
However, they will have to fight statistics for that – a study by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) in 2014 revealed that engineering is the most popular college major choice among high school seniors. Of course, the survival rate of such high school seniors in engineering once they enter college is a different story.
But let’s assume that they were able to survive the early stages, that is taking the requisite basic math and science subjects, and at the point of choosing a major. Which engineering careers should they go to, given they do not have anything in mind yet, to have higher chances of being hired right after graduation? Let’s look at the statistics.
There are approximately 1.6 million engineering jobs in the United States which pay $42 per hour in median wages. Among this number, civil engineers compose the most population at 274,000 in 2014; with mechanical engineers at about 264,000 and industrial engineers at 229,000 in the same year. Together with electrical engineers and electronic engineers, these majors make up two-thirds of the engineering workforce in the U.S.A.
Engineering jobs have grown at 7% as a whole from 2010 to 2014, with specific occupations increasing in hiring more than the others. Petroleum engineers have been cited to have 30% of job growth, followed by mining and geological engineers at 12%, biomedical engineers at 10%, and industrial engineers at 10%. Meanwhile, every engineering occupation has added jobs, with majority for mechanical engineers which listed 21,500 new jobs since 2010.
Industrial engineers and petroleum engineers have the largest proportions of older workers, 25% of each one are 55 years or older. The latter’s case is alarming, since it is a field which has an undersupply of graduates being employed in the field as per EMSI’s estimate.
On the other hand, marine engineers and naval architects account to be the engineering occupation with the oldest workers which are also smallest in terms of jobs. About 8,000 of these jobs are in the U.S., 29% of which are 55 years and older.
Computer hardware engineers and agricultural engineers clinch the youngest careers in engineering, with only 12% of the workforce are 55 years or older.
The catch to all of these statistics is that civil engineers have the highest chance to be employed right after graduation given the hiring and job growth. Petroleum engineers, among others, will also get the highest wages and fastest job growth who ought to add to the oldest workforce and smallest supply of engineering graduates.