Engineers aren’t that different from procurement professionals -- they have more to do and less time to do it. And, like purchasing experts, they are happy with their jobs.
More than 1,400 engineers participated in a semi- annual survey conducted by AspenCore Media publications EETimes and EDN. The 2020 edition of the “Mind of the Engineer” reinforces a lot of things we already knew, but it also reveals some new information about the job, the profession, and the industry.
When respondents were asked, 80 percent said their companies encourage them to think creatively, “outside the box” – 34 percent agreed strongly with that statement, 46 percent somewhat. Apparently, 20 percent of you are working jobs that treat you like drones. That might be dissatisfying for those of you in that fifth, but there are people in other professions that would happily trade for those odds.
The vast majority of respondents (95%) say they agree strongly or somewhat that they are obliged to constantly learn new things. Another big majority (83%) report they have to devote considerable time to train themselves on new technologies and techniques.
We asked respondents which new technologies they’ve already adopted and which they would be interested in adopting within the next two years. Sensors was huge, and it stands to reason that signal processing was a close number two. EDA/CAD ranked highly, as did IoT, and power management. Autonomous vehicles technology was closer to the bottom of the list, as were 5G, security, and digital twins.
One of the statistics that popped out of the data this year is that creating something completely new is a top priority around the world, but it is a notably higher priority among engineers in EMEA countries.
Teams, and the increasing diversity of skills
Engineers report that they are members of multidisciplinary teams, unsurprisingly dominated by EEs, but also including software engineers, mechanical engineers (MEs), a physicist, chemist, or biologist or two.
They also widely report seeing a growing need for other expertise in other areas, including computer science, math, physics, biology, business & finance and even arts, music & the humanities.
The majority of engineers report being quite comfortable working in teams, though they would appreciate more contact with peers outside their own companies.
For the full analysis, please see EETimes.