Employment: Be glad you’re a controls engineer!

While U.S. jobs outlook is poor in some categories, controls engineers with computer and math skills are looking good. The Conference Board says there are two jobs advertised online for every unemployed individual in the Architectural and Engineering categories, and the outlook is even better for Computer and Math jobs.
By Control Engineering Staff October 2, 2008

Oak Brook, IL — If you’re worried about your job, don’t make flipping hamburgers your backup plan. You should be glad to have The Conference Board’s Help-Wanted Online Data Series (HWOL) report , released Oct. 1, demand remains strong for higher-paying jobs, but outlook worsens for many of the unemployed. Specifically, In the Production category (S/D= 5.80) and Food Preparation (S/D= 6.45) there are 6 unemployed individuals for every “help wanted” ad!
Overall S/D has been trending upward since April of 2007. Especially bad is the fact that supply has been climbing (more unemployed) while demand has been dropping (fewer jobs available).

The supply/demand ratio (S/D) is measured by dividing the number of unemployed individuals in each category by the number of online ads for that category. For Computer and Math occupations (S/D=0.13), there are over 7 advertised vacancies for every unemployed individual, and for Architectural and Engineering (S/D = 0.56) there are almost 2 (1.8, to be exact). Control engineers likely fall into either the Computer and Math or Architectural and Engineering categories.

You want to be in the Computer and Math category, however, because the year-over-year change in online ads for that category is trending upward (by 2,600 ads, or 0.4% of 617,900 ads), while it’s been trending seriously downward (-17,900 or -8.6% of 207,700 ads) in Architectural and Engineering. So, if you’re worried about your job, brush up on your computer and math skills!
C.G. Masi , senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk