Civil Engineering

The civil engineering and construction industry is facing a problem: a shortage of new personnel. It starts with foremen and continues right through to civil engineers. Never before have so few students chosen this subject area. That’s why there’s a sense of unease among the top brains in the industry. They are concerned that there will soon be a serious lack of qualified people. One of these experts is Manfred Nußbaumer, Vice President of Technology of the Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie (Association of the German Construction Industry). He says: »In view of this development we face strong competition for qualified personnel. It’s unlikely that the demand for 4,500 civil engineers per year will be even remotely met.« Nußbaumer is worried that it will not even be possible to make up the shortfall of trained specialists with foreign engineers: »From what we can see, there’s also a shortage of civil engineers abroad.« That means career prospects in this field are excellent not only in Germany, but in the whole of the EU.

What first springs to mind here is of course the construction of buildings, because that’s the most visible aspect of the profession. But civil engineers do much, much more. For instance, they are responsible for infrastructure construction, including motorways, tunnels, bridges and airports. They also build supply and sewage systems, making sure drinking water comes into our homes and waste water goes to sewage treatment plants. Civil engineers protect us from environmental risks, for instance by building dams. Just as important – they protect the environment by removing left-over pollution. That’s why environmental technology is on our curriculum. All these tasks are only a small selection from the broad scope of the profession. Civil engineers plan, design, cost and construct all kinds of projects. And it doesn’t stop there, because today they also handle financing or operation as facility managers.

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