Here we go again? During the recession of the 1990’s, college students turned away from civil engineering and entered markets that assurred them jobs following graduation. Again after 9/11 civil engineering programs showed a decline in students. Both of those points in time brought us to a shortage of civil engineers during this decade. Are we heading there again?
As of March of 2008 civil engineering student enrollment was up across the states. With the failing US infrastructure, it appeared that students flocked to civil engineering undergraduate programs. One would think they would have been guaranteed a job. However, with our recession, civil engineering graduates report low employer turnout on college interviewing days. The overall job market is touted as the worst since the Great Depression. One student in the Civil Engineering Central group on LINKEDIN even offered to work for free!
Will incoming freshman students opt for other engineering discipline studies? Ten years from now will the civil engineering community find a gap in experienced engineers with 6-8 years of experience? I don’t think so.
Employers are slowly increasing their staffing outlook. Civil engineers are needed now more than ever. Transportation, water, environmental and federal programs continue to climb to the top of the contract ladder.
To quote from my favorite video from the UK Institute of Civil Engineers:
“Throughout history, it is civil engineers that have shaped and improved our lives and our environment.”
Creative, thoughtful students interested in “building a better world” will find a career awaiting them.