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Industrial Engineering Boost

Occupational expert says field will benefit from stimulus plan
By Candi S. Cross

Job openings in energy, infrastructure, health care, education and manufacturing are being scoured with a fine-tooth comb by prospective employees everywhere. Another person who recently examined these sectors was leading occupational expert and author Laurence Shatkin. In his book, Great Jobs in the President’s Stimulus Plan, industrial engineering was cited among 15 professions set to benefit from fiscal focus. Shatkin also referred to the 20.3 percent growth of industrial engineering forecasted by the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2006 and 2016.

“I looked at industries that are expected to create jobs in response to the recovery act, based on the estimates of the economists who proposed the plan, and identified the occupations within those industries that have large work forces and a good job outlook,” said Shatkin, who has contributed to the field of career information for more than 25 years.

Shatkin’s book aims to add context to President Obama’s goal to create more than 3 million new jobs as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, which was signed into law Feb. 17.

 “I would speculate that the greatest challenges lie in manufacturing. We’re going to have to find ways to use advanced technologies and smart, involved workers to offset the losses in this sector,” Shatkin said.

“I don’t think any aspects of the plan speak specifically to industrial engineering, but some parts will create new jobs and preserve existing jobs for industrial engineers. For example, the stimulus bill includes funding to encourage alternative energy, development of plug-in hybrid cars and digitization of medical records. Industrial engineers will need to work with manufacturing engineers, electrical engineers, automotive engineers and computer scientists to optimize these products and processes.”

Shatkin noted that IEs may also become involved in infrastructure projects, although most of that work will fall to civil engineers.


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