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Anyone who runs a school of engineering knows how much trouble employers have finding engineering talent—perhaps not as much trouble as depicted in this past week’s episode of Better Call Saulbut pretty challenging. Then again, the application process isn’t usually as elaborate, either. 

Fans of the Breaking Bad prequel about the drug underworld in Alberquerque saw the genesis of the latter show’s meth “superlab.”

To find an engineer to build the lab with the right combination of skill, secrecy, and dishonesty, candidates were flown in from Europe and forced to wear hoods for long journeys in a jolting van before they could scope out the location. And even then they might not get the job. 

In the real (and legitimate) world, engineering occupations are projected to grow 7% over the next eight years, meaning engineers are consistently in demand. These occupations are so in demand that engineering companies are having a difficult time filling their roles. In fact, over the past decade the number of engineering companies having trouble filling open positions jumped from 14% to 40% 

Some engineering jobs are needed more than others, making them increasingly harder to fill by employers. According to our recent analysis, the following 20 occupations are taking, on average, 64 to 51 days to fill:

hardest to fill engineering jobs

Top 20 Engineering Jobs – Time to Fill in Days

This can be a difficult challenge for employers, but it can also be a great growth opportunity for higher education institutions with engineering schools. These institutions can set their students up for success by teaching the skills and certifications that are needed for the hardest to fill engineering jobs. This can help to ensure students will find promising jobs upon graduation.

For example, let’s look at a hard to fill engineering job, Operations Industrial Engineer. On average, this role takes 41 days to fill. By analyzing job postings, we can identify the core skills, booster skills, and certifications that are required for this role, which pays an average annual salary of $73,860.  

For a student to succeed as an Operations Industrial Engineer, they will need the following core skills and certifications:

Core Skills & Certifications
Industrial Engineering Industry Expertise
Industrial Engineering
Operations Management
Project Management
AutoCAD
Six Sigma
Lean Manufacturing

For a student to go above and beyond in their career, they will want to add specific “booster skills” to their resume. Booster skills are a great addition to a students‘ resume that will make them more marketable and attractive to employers while also opening more job opportunities. The following booster skills are especially helpful in an Operations Industrial Engineer role:

Booster Skills & Certifications
Lean Six Sigma
Budgeting
Mechanical Engineering
Facility and Site Construction Layout
Data Analysis
Facility Layout
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

If you’re interested in learning which skills are most important in the other engineering roles, as well as any other occupations, contact us today. 

To see how other higher ed specialists are using our data, view our education page. 

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