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.
Design News readers spoke loudly and clearly after our recent news story about a resurgence in manufacturing -- and manufacturing jobs. Commenters doubted the manufacturers, describing them as H-1B visa promoters, corporate crybabies, and clowns. They argued that US manufacturers aren’t willing to train workers, preferring instead to import cheap labor from abroad.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
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