CNI Report 2023: Engineers Increase, Specializations Change


Emma Potter

Growth and transformation of the sector

The engineering degree continues to attract the younger generationspositioning themselves along with economic studies among the most popular academic choices. This interest is supported by favorable market conditions, with a demand for technical figures that far exceeds supply and degree courses that provide skills that are immediately marketable.

In 2023, the number of engineering master’s graduates has almost reached 26,700, one of the highest values ​​evercompared to 16,380 in 2013 and 13,536 in 2010. Similarly, the first level graduates have exceeded 30,000 unitswith over 80% of these going on to earn a master’s degree.

Emerging Sectors and Enrollment Dynamics

A significant change is taking place in enrollment in engineering courses, with a constant growth in the industrial and information sectorswhile observing a slowdown in the civil-construction and environmental sectors.

In particular, for the second consecutive year, the master’s degree course with the highest number of graduates was that of management engineering.

Me too’biomedical engineering has seen a significant increase, with a 22% increase in just one year, reaching 2,103 graduates in 2023.

L’mechanical engineering continues to maintain an average of 3,500 master’s graduates per year.

Decrease in enrollment in Civil Engineering courses

While the construction sector still records good numbers, the trend is progressively decreasing. In 2023, there were 1,755 graduates in civil engineering and 1,876 in architecture and civil engineering-architecture, marking a 78% decrease compared to 2022.

Despite this, the market continues to demonstrate a demand greater than supply even for the construction engineerswhich could encourage a recovery in enrollment in these courses.

Increase in female engineers

A relevant phenomenon is the increase from the women engineering graduates. Although they still represent a minority, a notable increase has been observed in the last decade. In 2013, master’s graduates made up 26.3% of the total, a percentage that rose to 30% in 2023.

Women are particularly numerous in the biomedical engineering and architecture and building engineering-architecture courses, where they represented the absolute majority in 2023, while in other sectors such as chemical, building systems and environmental and territorial engineering, they exceeded 45% of graduates.

Statements and Forecasts

The President of the CNI, Angel Domenico Perrinistressed how the data from the Study Center outline a constantly evolving engineering sector, with significant growth in management, biomedical and mechanical engineers.

He also highlighted theincrease in the share of female engineering graduates as a sign of a rapidly changing labor market, dictated by the technological revolution. The CNI aims to monitor and represent these complex changeswith strong implications on the work of engineers and many aspects of everyday life.

Challenges and opportunities for the future

The President of the CNI Study Center, Marco Ghionnacommented that current data highlight a radical transformation phase of the engineering sector. Management, information, biomedical and mechanical engineering are now very popular study choices among young people, indicating a significant change compared to the past. This scenario presents challenges for the order system, which must develop a capacity for dialogue with new generations of engineers and respond to their needs and expectations.

From the press release by Antonio Felici, head of the CNI press office