The Professional Engineer - Promoting professional engineering

Rotterdam harbour

Career Information


The Engineering UK 2018 Report identifies that 61% of engineering, science and high tech companies are finding it difficult to recruit people with the right STEM skills and that engineering, science, research and technology skills shortage vacancies were in 20014 the highest of all job sectors in the UK.(See table below but please note that IESIS is currently engaged in updating  this data to 2017/18 with the Association of Graduate Recruiters))

The numbers of students taking STEM subjects has fallen 3.9% in the last 5 years in England and has not risen in the last 2 years in Scotland. Part of the reason is that in England loss of science teachers is becoming an acute problem with physics and engineering staff being 87% more likely to leave the profession within the first 5 years than non science staff.

In Scotland entries and attainment in National 5 biology,chemistry,physics and computing have been recently declining.

The Summer 2014  research data from  the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) (Presently being updated by IESIS) confirmed that job vacancies within the UK Engineering Sector are again  rising substantially, other than in energy and water, whilst job vacancies in many other areas such as banking were beginning to recover from major reductions in the previous two years

They predicted an increase in overall engineering sector graduate vacancies during 2014  of 19.7% which is good news for those presently at university.

In addition the number of 18 year olds will drop in the UK by 9% between 2012 and 2022. This is also good news for school students as competition for university places in engineering may reduce while demand is continuing to rise (see Part 1 Section 4 of the Engineering UK 2016 Report).

The following table shows the variation in graduate vacancies (source: AGR) over the 3 years to 2013 and, in the right hand column, the average unfilled vacancies 2013-14 from Fig 15.2 of the Engineering UK 2016 Report.(There are no similar figures in their 2018 Report)

2010/11-2011/12 2011/12-2012/13 2012/13-2013/14 2013-14
Energy, Water Utility Company +148% +30.8% -8.5% 11.1%
IT/Telecoms +72.5% +14.6% +23.9% 11.8%
Engineering or Industrial Company +60.2% +10.1% +18.4% 3.4%


Accountancy +1.5% -17.1% +24% 4.8%
Law Firm -16.5% -5.4% +1.7% 5.9%
Banking/Financial Services -23.6% -45.1% +54% 1.4%
Insurance Company -26.5% No Data No Data 5.9%
Investment Bank or Finance Mgt -66.6% 0% +4.6% 1.4%



The employment opportunities and high financial rewards are out there in Professional Engineering for all high school students who take Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ( STEM ) as their main subjects although there may be increasingly keen competition for university places as a result.

STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

IESIS works closely with "ScienceConnects" in Scotland who provide impartial advice on a wide range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics activities to schools, helping staff to identify which opportunities can best inspire young students in STEM.

"Science Connects" coordinates a STEM schools Ambassador Programme and offers companies and individuals the opportunity to work with your school and promote understanding of and careers in related subjects. See also their excellent web site and ask your teacher for advice.