In a virtual address to senior engineering design students at Texas A&M University this month, Electrical Engineering Department Manager Josh VandenEnde gave some valuable insights about the current state of the A/E industry that included tips for negotiating the job market.
Negotiating the A/E Job Market:
1. The job market is definitely getting tougher in the near term due to COVID but do not give up and assume you will not get a job.
2. Do not preemptively go to grad school if your motivation is that you do not think you will get a job. Within the building design industry, hands on experience is more valuable than additional degrees. Graduate degrees are more beneficial to positions supporting research and development and teaching within the industry.
3. Be aggressive in your job pursuits. Just submitting a resume or an online application does not hold good odds in landing an interview. Hand deliver your resume if possible. Follow-up until you get a firm no from a potential employer.
4. Long term prospects for jobs in this industry are good. The 2008 recession left a big hole in the workforce. The only way to fill that void is to expedite the growth of those entering the workforce. This leaves a big opportunity for an especially high rate of promotion for those who prove they are capable.
Where the Industry is Headed:
1. BIM-Building Information Modeling
· The industry is moving toward more than 3D modeling with modular/prefabricated construction which speeds construction time and provides higher quality product.
· BIM serves as the starting point for building management, serving as the baseline for GIS and allowing for lifecycle management.
2. Technology Integration
· Combining all the available technologies in a building
· Network those technologies through BAS (Building automation system)
· Use design/commissioning data to set baselines
· Use software to measure/report and control systems.