As McKinsey describes it, “The hardest activities to automate with currently available technologies are those that involve managing and developing people (9 percent automation potential) or that apply expertise to decision making, planning, or creative work (18 percent).
Teams and projects in the future engineering workplace are likely to have far fewer people and many more machines, which will make personnel management and coordination skills all the more vital. This view means that any given set of skills will become obsolete quickly as innovations change the various economic sectors: precision agriculture, manufacturing 4.0, precision medicine, just to name a few.”.
For now, computers do an excellent job with very well-defined activities, such as optimizing trucking routes, but humans still need to determine the proper goals, interpret results, or provide common-sense checks for solutions.”. So, what will make creativity such a valuable skill for future engineering jobs? Engineers frequently take something that is broken, damaged or flawed, and not only determine why it failed in the first place, but also figure out how to repair or redesign it to avoid the same problems in the future.
Employees will need to be trained to use AIs and machine learning software, technicians and line workers will need to learn to maintain and repair robots and other forms of automation. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud-based and quantum computing, additive manufacturing and nanofabrication, advanced automation and robotics—these disruptive technologies are already impacting every industry. “The skills necessary at the higher echelons will include especially the ability to efficiently network, manage public relations, display intercultural sensitivity, marketing and generally [what is called] ‘emotional intelligence’,” said Simon Gottschalk, a professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. These skills, interestingly, are the skills specific to human beings that machines and robots cannot do, and you can be taught to strengthen these skills through education.
Strong critical thinking skills take practice, as it’s easy to make decisions “uncritically” based on one’s own interests, biases and emotions, rather than the facts. Critical thinking involves analyzing a concept or situation with the aim of reaching valid, sound and objective conclusions. “A mindset of persistence and the necessary passion to succeed are also critical.”.
Since engineers understand both the technical elements and the effects, as well as the human factors involved, they can explain both how the new tech works and how it will benefit the company and its employees in the long term.
Engineers consider and understand every aspect of a situation or process in order to introduce efficiencies, whether that means saving weight on an aerospace structural component or shaving half a second off a machine’s cycle time.
These activities, often characterized as knowledge work, can be as varied as coding software, creating menus, or writing promotional materials. Autonomous transportation specialist, technology advocate, augmented reality developer, or human-technology integration specialist; these are just a few of the possible future careers that are just beginning to emerge and will be widely available in the decade to come.
1 skill I want in a job candidate. How to Solve Engineering Problems: These Instructables have been created in order to help young, aspiring engineers develop a critical skill set that will help them through their schooling and throughout their careers.
That’s not to mention all the new problems that will arise from the integration of new technology into existing businesses and processes.
If you don’t think you’re quite up to par, consider getting ahead of the pack by finding opportunities through your current job, or through a professional development program, to get these skills into top shape. Ethics will take on even greater importance, as more people will be exposed to, involved with and affected by technology than ever before, and it is the job of the engineer to keep these people safe.
“Skills of writing, speaking and making videos are important, but fundamental skills of critical thinking, community building, teamwork, deliberation and dialogue, and conflict resolution will be powerful,” said Ben Shneiderman, professor of computer science at the University of Maryland. Most of these are “soft skills,” which may not be the first thing that comes to mind in connection with engineering. “As an employer, critical thinking is the No.
Engineers are taught to be critical thinkers, not only to solve technical problems but to ensure the ethical performance of their duties. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. These are all components of problem-solving, which means engineers with good problem-solving skills will be in a strong position for leadership and innovation in the future of work. I need employees who can evaluate problems and develop solutions quickly, without constant supervision and direction.
However, engineers have a highly developed roster of these soft skills; and more importantly, these skills will be what sets you apart from the crowd, and will be what you can offer that a robot, for example, can not.
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