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How to build engineering skills for today’s hiring landscape

16 May 2017

Cheap, off-shore design centres are a low-cost and time-effective option for many businesses. While this has taken some design work away from the Australian market, Aussie engineers don’t need to panic just yet. There are still plentiful positions for skilled engineers with strong design skills, they just have to bring other things to the table in order to compete with their overseas rivals.

Increasingly, Australian businesses are looking for more than just design skills. They’re looking for strong interpersonal skills – the kind that overseas competitors lack. Engineering professionals can’t rely on their design skills alone. Instead, they need to be able to demonstrate ‘workability’ in a modern, flexible and integrated workplace.

Make your presence your asset

Businesses want to hire engineers who can bring in new business and develop existing relationships with clients. By demonstrating strong communication skills through networking, building your personal brand and building leadership skills, you’ll add value to a business in multifaceted ways. \

Instead of approaching employers with technical skills and design skills, open up a conversation with them about how you can solve key business problems. Employees will value leadership skills that can help them negotiate projects between different stakeholders or win over key product owners.

Keep on top of new integrated technology

If you don’t keep up with the times, you’re sure to fall behind. In today’s competitive market, you need to be on top of the latest integrated technology in your field. You need to be able to demonstrate how you can use existing and new technologies to solve business problems and streamline processes. By adding sophisticated tech skills to your design repertoire and keeping on top of the latest trends, you reduce the risk of falling behind competitive off-shore candidates.

Be innovative and entrepreneurial

As the cost of work in Australia is higher than that of off-shore companies, Australian engineers need to be able to communicate the value they demonstrate. It’s no longer adequate to simply be an engineer, you also need to have business acumen.

By understanding processes from a business perspective, you can demonstrate to potential employers that you understand your role from a bigger-picture perspective and can make decisions with business goals in mind.

While design is still an important aspect of engineering, being an engineer requires more interpersonal skills than ever before. To develop the skills required to lead the future of engineering, enrol in Southern Cross University's online Master of Engineering Management. You’ll gain the valuable communication and leadership skills required to thrive in a shifting employment landscape.

To learn more, speak with one of our Student Enrolment Advisors on 1300 589 882.