More than half a decade after the world economic slow down, most popularly known as the Global Financial Crisis, job security is still a thing of the past. Staff or permanent roles are not guarantees that you will not be shown the door once forecast for new projects is as dim as the light at the end of a tunnel. Unemployment is still on the rise and job market competition are becoming very high. Supply and demand are completely unbalanced, supply being the larger entity. To be competitive during these times, a secondary skill is a necessity.
What skill can the Electrical Engineer have to become more competitive? Based on current job market research, Instrumentation or CAD skills are good choices.
Electrical and Instrumentation Engineers may not be as popular in other industries unlike in Oil & Gas. If an Engineer got these skills and experience, then his employability will be much better than a single skill professional during recession times. A company will be more inclined to hire a single employee to do a specific job than hiring two employees to do the same job. This scenario is more prominent on Senior Engineers levels.
CAD skill is a big plus. A manager once told an Engineer that he is not being paid to do CAD works but as CAD designers were busy, delayed submission is eminent, the manager allowed the Engineer to do CAD anyway. Job postings sometimes specify that CAD skills is a plus but not necessary. Between two equally skilled Engineers with one candidate having the CAD skills, who will be chosen?