Starting and Developing an Engineering Career: The Barriers and Opportunities 2014-01-0625
There has probably never been such a demand for professionally qualified engineers, and yet both the number and diversity of people entering the profession continue to decline. Worldwide, there are very many initiatives - some generally encouraging interest in the profession, and others targeting specific audiences. The reports speak of local success, but the overall picture remains discouraging.
In this paper we focus on the “pipeline” from primary education through to the transition from graduate engineer into an experienced member of engineering staff. We have based the discussion on both the presentations and comments made during a panel discussion held at the 2013 SAE International Congress. The paper is intended as a summary of the points raised during that discussion and, we hope proves to be starting point for further investigation and analysis.
Of particular note is the sheer diversity of initiatives, and the pressing need for role models and mentoring. The experience of engineers during the early part of their career continues to be highly variable and even at this late stage there is a talent drain from the profession and diminishing diversity.