Engineering on the rise
Demand for engineering professionals continues to increase as Hong Kong forges ahead with its 10 major infrastructure projects and housing programmes, says Victor Cheung, president of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE).
"Hong Kong's housing supply is expected to balloon to 470,000 units in the next decade," he says. "This has created a growing demand for engineers from the civil, structural, geotechnical, building services and electrical disciplines. Other engineering disciplines, such as biomedical engineering and aircraft engineering, also offer great promise."
He adds that the signing in 2003 of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between Hong Kong and the mainland has created a substantial increase in engineering jobs. Meanwhile, openings in the utilities sector are also bright.
"The public utility companies that provide electricity, gas, telecommunications and transport services also provide an abundance of opportunities. Meanwhile, universities and technical institutes are also major employers."
He says the profession offers a very challenging and fulfilling career that not only requires extensive technical knowledge in the short term, but also sound management skills as careers progress. Good communication, interpersonal and analytical skills are essential, as is the ability to work in a team.
Engineers should have a passion for the profession, be willing to take up challenges, and have a high sense of responsibility. They need to be prepared for continuous learning to keep abreast of advances in knowledge.
Cheung says the Career Forum is an opportunity to attract more graduates and students to the institute. "As only around 13 per cent of HKIE members are female and only 18 per cent are young members, we look forward to the opportunity to reach out to the younger generation and inspire their curiosity about the profession and the HKIE."
Prospective engineers should "set a clear target for career development and have an achievable five-year goal. This includes acquiring more professional qualifications to increase competitiveness."