For the second year running, AUSY group and Infopro have surveyed engineering university students, young graduates and current engineers about how they see the future of their profession, their expectations and aspirations. While the health and economic crisis may have put the spotlight on work-life balance, it has also made younger people more pragmatic, especially when choosing their future career sector. An engineering degree remains key to quickly finding a stable job.
"If we needed any proof of how adaptable and resilient engineers are, the health crisis has certainly demonstrated it. Their ability to grasp complex situations has enabled them to support companies through their transformations. They have also been able to develop their skills, training themselves in future technologies to safeguard their employability. Companies are now engaging in mass recruitment once again, and are actively searching for profiles with a strong technical foundation, combined with leadership or project management skills. Being an engineer today means being equipped for an exciting career in challenging environments"
engineers in today's industry need a two-pronged curriculum combined with continued training.
The tasks entrusted to engineers are becoming ever broader and more diverse, and often go beyond purely technical skills. 51% of students and young graduates therefore see themselves following a dual-track curriculum, particularly in interdisciplinary areas such as leadership, project management and communication. Updating their skills or acquiring new knowledge is also an important consideration for future engineers (87%) and current engineers (91%). They all intend to train primarily in fields that have evolved rapidly as a result of the crisis, such as digitalisation, data, AI and cyber security. 54% of students and young graduates see acquiring these new skills as a way to advance their career (this is the motivation for 71% of current engineers), and for 51% it's a way to adapt to changes (as it is for 63% of their superiors). As technologies continue to evolve, engineers are determined to prevent their skills from becoming obsolete, and make themselves more employable.
apprenticeships: an edge for gaining fast employment.
88% of students and young graduates surveyed in 2021 say they're finding it harder to get on the career ladder in the current climate. Only 72% are optimistic about their chances of finding a job straight out of university (compared to 81% in 2020). Without a doubt, the impact of the crisis on employment in sectors such as aviation and the automotive industry has caused concern. But in actual fact, 45% of current engineers found a job less than a year after graduating, which is exactly the same level as in 2020. Engineering degrees remain solid qualifications for gaining quick employment, even in a market marked by the crisis. When asked about the role of work experience or work-study programmes in getting their first job, 30% of current engineers say their time as apprentices helped them find a job before completing their studies. 59% of 2 AUSY | Press release students and young graduates currently on work experience or work-study programmes imagine themselves integrating directly into the companies that are training them. The impact of the health crisis has also impacted the paths future engineers are taking. The e-commerce sector, driven by the explosion in online sales and related technologies, is gaining incredible traction in the hearts and minds of students and young graduates. After all, why not join a fastgrowing sector to get your career off to a good start!
engineers who value stability over adventure and appreciate independence.
Despite the health crisis situation, engineers are confident about the longevity of their jobs. Only 4% say they're worried about keeping their position, and 2% are still partially unemployed. When asked about their desire to switch employer, 36% of current engineers responded positively, compared to 49% in 2020. In terms of changing the sector they work in, 51% say they are not considering it, compared with 47% last year. It's worth noting that engineers working in the aviation, space and automotive sectors are more inclined to want to change sectors (53% vs 35% of respondents), although this is more of a long-term desire (30% vs 13% of respondents). The Covid crisis has also turned engineers' work habits upside down, with 94% having worked remotely. The majority (97%) approve of this way of working and hope to continue doing so after the crisis. HR managers take note: 42% of students and young graduates, and 49% of 2 AUSY | Press release engineers, are prepared to reject an employment offer if the company does not embrace this way of working. What about geographical freedom? 87% of future engineers say they are ready to relocate if it means them having a better work-life balance (57%) or better salary (57%). For current engineers, 46% would consider moving if they can obtain a better life balance (76%) or a particularly interesting assignment (74%), with salary coming in 3rd place at 40%.
cyber security: a shared realisation, a major challenge for future engineers.
Future engineers are aware of the role and responsibility they will have in societal and environmental challenges. Although, like last year, the fight against global warming is the primary concern for 38% of them, cyber security has now entered the top three challenges (37%). In an increasingly digital environment, cyber attacks not only regularly target individuals, but also companies and administrations. Tackling this growing threat is therefore a necessity, and engineers are ready to take on the challenge. 33% of students and young graduates cite the search for new energy sources, including developing carbon-free energy, which takes third place among the challenges facing engineers.
digital services companies (DSCs): the strength of diversity.
Digital services companies such as AUSY have a positive image among students and young graduates. 57% of future engineers are considering applying their skills at one of them. 75% would value the possibility of developing their expertise and enhancing their skills within these companies. 74% of those respondents (64% in 3 AUSY | Press release 2020) appreciate the diversity of the assignments that DSCs offer, which allow them to diversify their experiences by assigning them to clients who are as diverse as their challenges. For 70% of students and young graduates (64% in 2020), DSCs are seen as a real springboard to launch their career and guarantee a rewarding professional journey through the many experiences they have.
● The "Engineer Employer Survey" study was undertaken by Infopro Digital and AUSY with a representative sample of 643 engineers. Out of these, 424 were current engineers and 219 were students or young graduates aspiring to be engineers.
● The questionnaire was self-administered online.
● The study was conducted from 12 March to 12 April 2021