National Engineers Week is just around the corner, kicking off February 18–24, 2018.
Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, National Engineers Week ‘is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.’
According to the NSPE, Engineers Week is a formal coalition of more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. It is dedicated to raising public awareness of engineers’ positive contributions to quality of life and promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education. It further serves to promote a high level of math, science, and technology literacy in order to motivate youth to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce.
And the initiative seems to be working.
In fact, American colleges awarded more than 97,000 bachelor’s degrees in engineering between 2014 and 2015, according to research from the National Center for Education Statistics, marking the seventh straight year of engineering degree gains.
Many future engineering students, however, may not take the same educational path as their predecessors, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers reported, as instructional tides change how engineers of the future learn and engage with industry innovations. Predictions for changes to the engineering educational landscape include:
Just-In-Time Knowledge and Lifelong Training Will Be Required
While 46,000 master’s degrees were awarded between 2014 and 2015 according to the NCES, these post-graduate statistics are predicted to drop as students embrace cheaper online alternatives that are easily updated to match ever-changing industry standards.
Undergraduate Programs Will Also Focus on Soft Skills
With modern bachelor’s tracks overly focused on technical skills, a broadening of engineering education to include more liberal arts, soft skills and life skills – communication, teamwork, and global knowledge, for example – will better prepare future engineers for unpredictable careers.
Continuing Education Will Support Rapid Engineering Advancements
The half life for engineering is estimated to be three to five years, which means that often, once students graduate with engineering degrees, the information is already obsolete as the industry continues to grow at a breakneck place. As such, lifelong learning will prove essential.
If these predictions come to pass, employers will play a larger part in training the next generation of engineers. So whether helping them meet CE/PDH requirements or sharpening their skills with the highest quality solution on the market, Vector Solutions’ thousands of accredited online courses and monthly live webinars cover a wide array of mechanical engineering, civil engineering and electrical engineering topics – and more.