With the rise of disruptive technology like AI and IoT, the demand for engineers will only increase. Subbu Seetharaman, director of engineering at Lantronix, looks at the evolving role of the engineer, how present and future technologies are and would be shaped by innovative engineering, how to choose the right job and the key trends to be aware of.
Virtually every business will need engineers to design, develop, test, and implement more strategies to address the ongoing challenges and boost innovation.
If you want to be part of an amazing engineering team, you need to consider your options and make the best decision for your future career and job satisfaction.
Career Satisfaction for Engineers: Tech Trends to Follow
Let’s take a closer look at the technology trends shaping engineering and the fields that hold the potential for the highest job and career satisfaction for engineers.
Internet of Things (IoT)
As more businesses and consumers adopt IoT devices and find more use cases, it’s quickly becoming one of the biggest technology trends. These devices offer opportunities to amass and analyze more data than ever, helping businesses, consumers, physicians, and more.
IoT is so popular that adopting IoT devices is expected to reach 50 million globally by 2030Opens a new window and 1.1 trillion USD in spending in 2022Opens a new window . Engineers with a background in IoT have excellent options for jobs with high satisfaction at top companies.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI and machine learning are increasingly used for industrial applications and elevating the impact of other technologies. With capabilities like image and speech recognition, virtual shopping, and more, these technologies offer incredible earning opportunities for engineers.
Based on research from Markets and Markets, AI is forecast to grow to $190 billion by 2025Opens a new window . Machine learning is also expected to be responsible for 9% of new jobs in the US by 2025Opens a new window .
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
VR and AR made a splash in the gaming and entertainment space, but their uses are increasing across numerous industries. Retail, military, and healthcare are using VR and AR for innovative applications, and it’s a wealth of opportunity for engineers.
In fact, the market is expected to grow to over $209 billion in 2022Opens a new window . With this, the demand for engineers with proficiency in AR and VR will increase at prestigious companies.
Cybersecurity has been around for a while, but new technologies are a key driver for specialized engineers. For example, IoT devices collect sensitive data and expose the network to hackers. As a result, cybersecurity jobs are growing faster than some tech positions.
According to Gartner, 60% of organizationsOpens a new window will consider cybersecurity risk when evaluating business engagements and transactions by 2025. Cybersecurity is a priority, as are skilled cybersecurity engineers.
As companies amass more and more data, edge computing is becoming a must-have technology solution. Edge computing addresses the limitations of cloud computing and processes data on the edge, near the device and end user, dramatically increasing a business’s capabilities with real-time data analytics and processing.
IoT adoption relies on solutions for managing the high volumes of data these devices collect. With the increasing reliance on IoT devices, edge computing will likely increase. In 2022, the market is expected to reach $6.72 billionOpens a new window , creating numerous opportunities for engineers with a background in this field.
5G is the next generation of cellular technology and a fundamental component of the adoption of IoT devices. While some companies are on the cutting-edge of innovation with IoT solutions, engineers with a background in 5G technologies will have a wide range of career options.
The full potential of IoT relies on 5G infrastructure. By 2024, 5G networks will be expected to cover roughly 40% of the worldOpens a new window , offering more opportunities for 5G telecom engineers for communications systems.
How to Choose the Right Company Fit
Salary isn’t the only aspect to consider with a job, but it’s essential. You need to evaluate the salary with the industry standards, educational level or experience, and financial needs. Consider negotiating a higher rate if it’s close but not quite there.
Your compensation package includes more than just your salary or base pay â€“ you also need to pay attention to the benefits. Some companies offer attractive benefits packages that include stock options, incentives, paid vacation time, and more. Technology leaders offer a competitive compensation package for employees and their families, including health coverage, paid time off, wealth accumulation benefits, education reimbursement, and a Patent Award Program.
The hours you have to work will significantly impact your personal life and sense of wellbeing. Depending on your needs, working longer hours may pay off in overtime pay. If you’re a salaried employee, however, having shorter hours means you get to spend more time out of the office.
Remote or On-Site Work
Workplaces are becoming more flexible, especially when it comes to schedule and job location. Many employers realize the benefits of a remote or hybrid team if a position can be filled remotely. This flexibility can pay off in job satisfaction, productivity, less commute time, and more, giving you a chance to create the schedule that works best for your needs.
Technology professionals like engineers may enjoy the stimulating environment of a startup, but if you want to work on your career, think about a position with a stable company. Take a look at the finances and projections, the company history, and its overall performance to determine if it’s likely to retain and invest in its staff compared to a startup that may cut employees or go under.
Development and Advancement Opportunities
Any position you take has an impact on the future of your career. If you have competing offers, consider the opportunities for advancement in the company and the investment in learning and development. Established companies may have opportunities for internal promotions and continuing education and skills development.
Allowing engineers the opportunity to be an equal partner in product definition and development provides excellent learning opportunities and job satisfaction.
Many factors inform employee satisfaction, but feeling challenged, having development opportunities, and feeling empowered are significant drivers. As an engineer, you’ll be focused on career growth, and it’s vital to consider whether a position can offer growth potential, continuing education, and a chance to work on projects you’re interested in.
Job expectations aren’t consistent across companies. Think about the company’s expectations for your normal work hours, evenings, weekends, holidays, and other free time. Some companies will want you to be â€œon-call,â€ essentially, and that can be a stressful environment.
Company culture plays a big role in your happiness and motivation at your job. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the ideal culture, so it’s essential to look for companies with a culture that aligns with your values, preferences, and working style.
If you’re unsure about the job culture, it’s best to look at reviews. Companies like Indeed and GlassdoorOpens a new window post employee reviews to get real-world knowledge of the company culture and a feel for whether you’d be a good fit.
Get the Job You Want
The evolution of technology and its widespread adoption offer amazing career opportunities for engineers. Before you accept that engineering job, however, consider all aspects of the position and whether it will serve your future career goals.Â
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