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Houston Chronicle: What are latest trends with demand for skilled engineers?

By: 

Audrey Grayson

The Houston Chronicle recently tapped into the engineering expertise at the Cullen College, asking Engineering Career Center director Vita Como, "What are the latest trends with demand for skilled engineers?"

After two years of upturn in the oil economy, the recent drop in oil prices has many Houston locals asking if engineering graduates are having more trouble finding jobs? The short answer, Como said, is that companies, especially in the Energy Capital of the World, are always looking for talented UH engineers.

"No doubt, it's changing," she said, "but at our February career fair, our exhibitors' space was sold out and we had 1,600 students attending. And every student wanting to go to work who attended received offers either at the career fair or as a result of the fair."

In the last two years, the Cullen College saw its petroleum engineering program grow from under 100 students to more than 900. Como said some of these students may decide to change disciplines due to the downturn in the petroleum industry as well as an increased demand for chemical, civil and mechanical engineers.

All in all, Como said that the recent changes in the oil industry are the best thing that could have happened, especially for engineers and engineering graduates.

"About the same time the recession hit engineers who were old enough and were planning to retire did not because their portfolios were flat,” she said. "Today, with the Dow still over 17,000, those portfolios have become strong, so we're seeing the engineering disciplines (changing) out at the upper end of experience levels.”

Read the full story on the Houston Chronicle website at http://www.chron.com/jobs/article/What-are-latest-trends-with-demand-for-skilled-6191496.php.

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