The Engineering Boom

Engineers are in demand, with revised wage structures and more room for hire.

1000 engineers will be hired this year in the public sector according to Acting Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. Increasing the manpower of public sector engineers by 13%.

There’ll be more plans to expand that number by next year as more quality engineers are required in the sector to do more than build, design, maintain and operate the nation’s infrastructure.

“More and more public sector engineers will need to work across agency boundaries to provide holistic and integrated solutions with their strong systems engineering and technical leadership skills,” said Mr Teo.

There are also plans for constant training of current engineers as well as a revision of the pay package they receive.

Engineers are crucial to a nation especially one who’s looking to transition into an innovation economy. According to Mr Teo, this means enhancing capabilities in newer engineering and multi-disciplinary fields such as bio-engineering, nanotechnology, aerospace and renewable energy. Mr Teo said that in light of the country’s Smart Nation vision, there was a need to drive high value-added, knowledge-intensive activities.

But why are there a lack of engineers in Singapore when slightly more than a decade ago there seemed to be an unheralded drive of engineering courses offered in Polytechnics and other tertiary institutes?

If you’re in your late 20s to mid 30s you’d probably know more than a handful of friends who had gotten into some discipline of engineering or another. But how many of them pursued those disciplines upon graduation?

Personal statistics have showed me that out of 10 engineers only 2 have continued with engineering, one in the private sector and another in the public sector. 8 of the 10 decided to ditch their engineering backgrounds in pursuit of a career in finance. And with a gloom hanging over the financial institutes, it might yet prove to be a step some might possibly regret.

However with new schemes in place and new life being breathed into the engineering sector, it offers a fresh start to some and a new hope for many others.

This article first appeared on Five Stars And A Moon. It is reproduced with permission.


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