While the recent recession brought to question the nature of job security for many in the world, certain fields have jobs that have been and will continue to be recession proof.
Besides cybersecurity, aerospace and defense (A&D) is a field that simply can’t find enough people. This year alone, companies will hire 15,469 people across all job categories, including 1,562 in production, according to the 2010 Aviation Week Workforce Study.
The A&D industry is primarily concerned about its current workforce, where 30 percent are now between 50 and 59 years old, making them eligible for retirement soon. For larger A&D companies – those with more than 100,000 employees – the rate of retirement eligibility by the end of 2009 was 19 percent. By 2012 that number increases to more than 30 percent, and by 2014 – 40 percent.
Since the industry relies heavily on technology for almost every aspect of the design and production of equipment, many of these positions are IT-related. A&D needs software engineers, cybersecurity specialists, network admins, network engineers, systems engineers, Web developers and system admins, among others.
The good news is that defense/A&D is the highest paying IT sector this year, according to ComputerWorld’s 2010 Salary Survey. Overall compensation increased by 2.9 percent – bonuses are supposed to increase by 19 percent, and salaries should go up by 2.2 percent.
In an attempt to recruit young people into aerospace, companies like Raytheon have sponsored student robotics competitions and are forming partnerships with technical schools and calling for higher national education standards.
“If we can work on retention and we can work on the excitement of STEM or engineering, then we can change the equation,” William Swanson, Raytheon’s CEO, told Reuters.
— Chandler Harris