A reality for many industries is the impact of the impending retirement of baby boomers. It is said that over 40% (maybe as much as 50%) of the industry will reach retirement age within the next five to 15 years. We all know that there is already a shortage of employees in our industry. With this mass exodus things will get worse. Those who do not have some sort of plan will be in a very difficult situation.
In the document "Offshoring: Implications for the Engineering Workforce and Profession" Ralph W. Wyndrum, Eng.Sc.D, paints some rather unpleasant scenarios. But I found a section of his "Closing Notes" rather poignant. Here is an excerpt...
The professional engineering societies... will quickly lose relevance if we don’t do a good job of enabling our members to thrive in their profession, providing them with better tools and direction to deal with the challenges posed by globalization. We have to be equipped to respond to members effectively when they ask: How can I be more “innovative?” What does it mean to be “entrepreneurial?” What technologies will I need to be versed in to stay competitive in the next five years? We also need to be able to break down our disciplinary smokestacks and move more nimbly to expose our members to the intersections of technology, where innovation increasingly occurs.
For the "glass is half full" crowd... There will be many opportunities for advancement in the coming years and those that are prepared will have lots of options.