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Poll results: How can young people be encouraged to pursue a career in engineering?



Last week we highlighted the growing skills gap which is threatening to leave engineering industries with a shortage of new young talent to take the place of the large cohort of older engineers who will be retiring very soon. We asked you what could be done to encourage young people to pursue a career in engineering and solve this looming skills gap. Here’s what you said…
How can young people be encouraged to pursue a career in engineering?
Of the four possible solutions that we presented, the clear winner was option 2 – ‘Work with schools to align education to engineering careers’ with 50% of all the votes cast. Aside from the votes you cast, this solution would seem to be backed up with strong data. A January 2018 survey found that 67% of graduates were working in a role completely unrelated to their degree. If engineering companies were able to work with schools to help them align education with the skills that they require this could do a great deal to encourage young people to work in engineering.

In joint second place with 25% each of all votes cast were options 1 – ‘Run public campaigns that highlight the positive social impact of engineering’ and option 3 – ‘Give the term engineering protected status’.

It seems that young people aren’t aware of what engineering really is, or if they are what it’s impact upon the world encompasses. A series of public campaigns could go a long way to changing this situation and encouraging socially-minded young people to consider engineering in a similar light to medicine, teaching and other altruistic careers.
Improved public campaigns and education initiatives were amongst the ideas that EngineeringPro readers thought would encourage more young people to work in engineering
Giving the term engineering protected status may also help to raise the prestige and ‘brand profile’ of engineering in the eyes of young people. The present scenario in which anyone can give themselves the title engineer (at least in the UK) means that what engineering is, and what it can mean from a career point of view, has been diluted. Giving the term protected status may once again make engineering a career to which young people aspire.

Surprisingly, option 3 – ‘Provide improved financial incentives’ received no votes! Perhaps readers felt that engineering is a career that you really need to ‘want to do’ rather than simply entering the profession for the money. In other words, it’s a vocation more than anything else.

What do you think?

Do the results above reflect your own position on the question? Are public campaigns and education initiatives enough to address engineering’s looming skills gap? Have your say in the comments below. The best comments will be featured in this week’s EngineeringPro Newsletter.

In this week's EngineeringPro Poll we ask 'Should fracking be allowed to continue?'

Tags: Engineering
Recent Comments
Whatever Herzberg says, MONEY is the BEST MOTIVATOR: in USA, my observation for PE's, over many years: BS Engineer gets $35-40,000 to start. MS Engineer, after (10) years work, may get $70.000. Compared to a NURSE: after only (2) years at COMMUNITY College and RN, gets $45,000. If (2) more years gets MS and RNP, gets $90,000. (aged 25-27 only) I know the Nurse $$ numbers, from my own MD Wife who is hiring them. My comment? MONEY TALKS. Cut the BS-pep talk, and give Engineers MORE $$$.
ANDRE GURSES, 07 August 2019
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Poll results: How can young people be encouraged to pursue a career in engineering? - Time to read 3 min
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