On the other side of the Atlantic we also suffer from this, engineering is associated with 'blue collar' dirty hands on work. Being a school govenor, attached to the science dept. and working in scientific research for a living I can understand why so many don't want to do STEM subjects, it's hard work and the end results really don't pay very well compared with middle (mis) management and 'clean hands'...
That's a point. I've heard a lot of "duelling statistics" that claim to prove that the "STEM Crisis" is real, or that it's a myth. A lot of the "myth" crowd argue that the *real* crisis is pay rates for qualified STEM workers, and that the STEM shortfall is a myth promulgated by employers who want more H1B visas issued so they can get STEM talent at lower pay rates. At this point, finding a clear, unbiased opinion on the issue is almost as hard as finding an unbiased set of statistics on global warming -- I don't know who to believe.
.... or companies could just pay for STEM jobs. What else would draw students into the field? Cool tech doesn't pay the iphone bill any more than banking or flipping houses. Why bother learning all those equations? A person who has the skills and the discipline to be a good engineer knows that they can make a lot more money doing something else (and usually does).
Giving students Autodesk products will teach them how to use Autodesk products. It will not assist them (much) in learning mechanics of materials, or even that drilling a 1/4" diameter hole (sorry, 6.35 mm hole) through 300mm of steel is a non-trivial exercise.
Autodesk products will make portions of STEM education more fun, easier, etc. They will not eliminate the need for a solid grounding in physics, mechanics, materials, etc.
Good comments, Thom. There seems to be a disconnect between young people's love of technology products and their interest in participating in that technology as a career. The programming merit badge for Boy Scouts is a tiny move toward connecting tech products with tech activity. Additional programs that make the connection between the tech products kids love and the education to participate in developing those products need to be created.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
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.