From road systems to software applications, industrial machinery to biomedical devices, we have engineers to thank for the everyday (and not so everyday) products, machines, systems, and tools that make modern life possible. National Engineering Month, celebrated every March in Canada, offers a chance to recognize and learn more about this field of work, whether you are an educator, student, job seeker, or employer.
What is Engineering?
Engineering is a far-reaching discipline that uses math and science to solve problems and design systems. Engineers are responsible for creating and improving nearly every system or machine you can imagine. When new discoveries are made, technologies developed, or problems encountered, engineers figure out how to make use of these opportunities. For instance, when a new vaccine is developed for use in developing countries, a biomedical engineer figures out the type of device needed to administer the vaccine, while a mechanical engineer designs the containment and transportation facilities and processes, and a civil engineer determines the best route to get the vaccines from point A to point B, and what facilities will be needed onsite for medical staff and patients. The engineer's goal is to make things happen in the simplest way possible, with the least number of steps and moving parts, to ensure successful outcomes. However, making that happen can often be quite complex.
Engineering in Canada
Engineers Canada is an organization dedicated to regulating, supporting, and growing engineering across the country. They accredit university and college engineering programs, enable positive relationships between regulatory bodies, provide tools to assess qualifications, advocate on behalf of members of the engineering community, work towards diversity and inclusivity within the industry, and much more.
With diverse cities and communities across the country, abundant natural resources, a growing economy, and numerous other factors, there are countless opportunities for professionals in a variety of engineering fields to grow their careers in Canada.
In-Demand Engineering Jobs
According to recent surveys, the top three engineering fields in Canada are software engineering, aerospace engineering, and specialized engineering, such as agricultural, naval, textile, and biomedical. In general, the top eight engineering fields for 2023, according to industry experts, are:
- Data science and machine learning
- Automation and robotics, especially for tasks beyond the menial and repetitive
- Petroleum engineering
- Civil engineering, including specialties such as transportation, roadwork, and infrastructure
- Electrical engineering, including power, electronics, and more
- Alternative energy
- Mining engineering, including the design of mine types, extraction processes, transportation, and more
- Project engineering, which encompasses overseeing technical projects.
With numerous branches of engineering within the industry and technological advancements happening at a faster pace than ever, engineering is one of the top industries to get into. The best field to focus on as an individual ultimately depends on your interests and the industries in the area where you want to work. For example, aerospace engineering may be one of the top field’s country-wide, but unless there are job opportunities around where you live, you may need to look into relocating to participate in the field or choosing another area of focus. Adecco can help you find engineering jobs in your region.
What is National Engineering Month?
National Engineering Month, hosted by regional engineering regulatory bodies and championed by Engineers Canada, is an event aimed at recognizing and celebrating the field of engineering. It is primarily aimed at spreading information to students and young Canadians about the types of engineering careers available, the benefits of joining the industry, and how to get started working towards a career in engineering. Although Engineers Canada helps facilitate events and spread the word, it is ultimately up to local organizations to do the organizing and hosting, which means how the month is observed will vary from region to region.
A variety of events are being held across the country to mark National Engineering Month, including contests, science Olympics, bridge-building events, and more. Events and challenges are aimed at a number of different engineering fields, but most are centered around problem-solving, as this is where the best engineers truly shine. Many of the events are aimed at students in elementary and secondary grades, but there are plenty at the college and university levels as well. Businesses, local governments, and other organizations also host events. To find events in your area, do a quick internet search or check events by province with Engineers Canada.
How Can You Recognize National Engineering Month?
Whether you are an employer, job seeker, student, educational institution, professor, or teacher, there are different ways you can get involved in National Engineering Month and make the most of the month.
If you are looking for great engineers to join your team, consider hosting an event or challenge of your own. If you're a small company, consider partnering with other companies in your industry or teaming up with a local university program or other organization.
If you don't currently have an engineering degree, it's not a simple move to get into the industry. You would certainly have to consider going back to school if it's something you're seriously considering. This is a great month to check out the different universities in your area and see how their engineering programs stand up. If you do have a degree and are looking for your first job or want to change jobs, consider some of the top engineering specialties and do a job search of openings around where you live or areas to which you'd consider relocating. Taking an advanced course or workshop is a great way to enhance your skills, build your network, and take advantage of any job placement services that are available as well. During the month, check out the events on offer from local universities and dive in!
Check out all the events happening in your area, either hosted by your school or another organization, and participate! Even if the events or challenges on offer aren't in the field you're interested in, it's a great opportunity to see engineering in action and get your hands dirty. You may discover a new passion and learn something new. If nothing is being hosted in your area, take the lead! Speak to your teachers, professors, or school administration about organizing something for students. It can be a good learning opportunity and a great addition to your CV or university applications.
National Engineering Month is a great opportunity to get your students fired up or to recruit new students to your institution. It can also be great publicity for your school if you can arrange media coverage. The type of event or challenge you host will, of course, depend on the grade level of your students, but whatever the grade or age, aim to keep your event fun and relevant. Events around the environment and climate change are great to get passionate students involved. Software engineering challenges can be especially fun if your students have learned coding. Any kind of building or design challenge can be ideal for cultivating teamwork and teaching students about collaboration. Pairing up older students with younger ones (or current students with prospective students) can be a great way of developing school spirit, higher student engagement, stronger cooperation among students, and attracting top students to your institution. Get creative!
Professors or Teachers
Even if your institution is not taking part in the month, you can still organize an event for your students. For younger students, educate them about the different types of engineering fields and what it takes to get into engineering, then present them with fun challenges to solve through engineering principles. As an educator, you are in a unique position to truly embrace the spirit of National Engineering Month and teach your students about the industry.
From the toaster on your kitchen counter to the GPS that guides your way around traffic, engineering is everywhere. National Engineering Month provides an opportunity to recognize the importance of engineering in our daily lives and to inspire the next generation of engineers. In addition to attending events and challenges, you can also recognize National Engineering Month by sharing information about the field on social media or by organizing a visit to a local engineering firm. By spreading the word about engineering and the many opportunities it offers, we can help ensure a strong future for the industry and for the communities it serves.
In conclusion, National Engineering Month is an excellent opportunity to learn more about engineering, to connect with others in the field, and to celebrate the many achievements of engineers across Canada. Whether you are an employer, job seeker, student, educator, or simply interested in the field, there are many ways to participate and get involved. By recognizing the important role that engineering plays in our lives, we can help inspire the next generation of engineers and ensure a bright future for the industry.