"Is engineering dying? It isn't clear, but in developed countries around the world young people would rather go to the dentist than go into engineering," writes Dave Goldberg in the October issue of PE. "Law, business, and medicine—just about anything but engineering—seem to be the preference of today's youth."
Goldberg, a former professor of entrepreneurial engineering and president and founder of ThreeJoy Associates Inc., says the future needs more capable engineers, but something happens to students on their way to becoming engineers. He sees three reasons engineering may be dying:
1. Engineering education is upside-down and backward. Engineering education is a math-science death march in which mathematics and science are viewed as "the fundamentals" and design and technology are viewed as mere "applications."
2. Engineering education is embedded in a dysfunctional culture that delights in the failure of those it educates. It is common enough to have become a cliché. An engineering professor stands at the front of a class and says, "Look to your right, look to your left, two of the three of you won't be here next year."
3. Engineering is perceived as a low-status profession in which the engineer is socially captive to the will of nonengineers. There is a belief that engineers often work in organizations in which they have little control over the work they do, following the orders of professional managers, who carry out goals set by corporate chieftains.
Read the rest of Goldberg's article, including his suggestions for what to do in the October issue of PE.
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