The COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on all facets of life will be felt for months, even years to come. Not the least of which has been impacted is the labor market, with some industries that were relatively recession-proof, even amid the Great Recession of last decade, experiencing losses. But once the pandemic ends, some lines of work are poised to bounce-back strong. There are other careers working specifically to end the pandemic. Engineering is represented well in both instances, reflective of the diverse nature of the industry itself.
Biomedical Engineers have been working on the frontlines to spread public awareness of the pandemic -- like the team at the University of Washington -- and behind the scenes in the development of vaccines.
World Economic Forum took a look at the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Buffalo’s work in COVID-19 vaccine development. The process is fascinating, and sheds some light on the critical work Biomedical Engineers perform not just in this historic moment but in the day-to-day advancement of society.
In the same ways that Biomedical Engineers are constructing the future of healthcare, Industrial Engineers are expected to mold the future of efficiency in industrial production. This is an important pursuit as our society continues to develop new ways of production while limiting waste and reducing other harmful impacts on the environment.
Likewise, Environmental Engineers will play significant roles in the way our world works for future generations. CNBC examined the growing importance of this field of engineering, which can work in a variety of industries from construction to manufacturing to geology, and the profession's appeal to the newest generation of job seekers.
Infrastructure, like environmental issues, ranks among the most pressing and immediate concerns for the coming decades. Engineering jobs will once again be crucial to addressing these concerns, with Civil Engineers and Architectural Drafters among those taking the leads.
Fitch Ratings reported in December 2020 that transportation infrastructure is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels.
"Toll roads and cargo ports are expected to recover to 2019 levels by 2022," said Fitch Ratings senior director Emma Griffith in a statement on the organization's website.
This outlook is reflective of the changing dynamics in consumerism as a result of the pandemic, with a dramatic increase in shipping as consumers aim to reduce how much they move about.