For most of us, it’s no surprise that many American-born kids aren’t interested in engineering careers, but a recent survey by Harris Interactive shows that the problem may be worse than we suspected.
The Harris survey, conducted for the American Society of Quality (ASQ), revealed that only about 20% of parents now encourage their kids to consider an engineering career. The results were particularly disturbing among girls, more of whom said that their parents were likely to encourage them to become actresses (21%) than engineers (10%).
The top reason for the problem? The survey suggests that it’s a matter of ignorance about the profession. Forty-four percent of the kids said that their lack of interest stemmed from the fact that they “don’t know much about engineering.”
The ASQ and other organizations are concerned by the apparent lack of interest because they believe a U.S. engineering shortage is imminent.
The question of whether engineers could have foreseen the shortcut maintenance procedures that led to the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979 will probably linger for as long as there is an engineering profession.
More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the country’s worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
If you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.