One of the most exciting industries out there right now is the engineering industry, which is tackling all kinds of new issues and innovations on a daily basis. The U.S. has come to the realization that it needs to be doing whatever it can to encourage talent to pursue their dreams and take up engineering. Of course, coming to this realization and then making it a reality are two very different things. Strong engineers help companies here at home. They also help the nation to be more competitive on the global field.
So, what can the industry and the nation do as a whole to help encourage students to take up engineering? Studies show that the U.S. is rapidly falling behind in terms of STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) education, so now is the time to change things.
Here are some ways we can be encouraging students to pursue a career in engineering.
A big deciding factor for students when they choose which career path to take is the job outlook. Obviously, they want to pick an industry that is growing not just now but where growth will continue. This will make it easier to find employment right out of school and give them hope that they will be able to work their way up the career ladder in the industry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical and electronics engineering seems to have a very solid outlook. While there isn’t any massive growth expected, it isn’t expected to drop either. What this means is that it’s a stable industry to get into. The median pay is also quite promising; it was $96,270 per year in 2016.
What’s also interesting is the geographic profile of the jobs per state. No one state really pops out, which means there are plenty of opportunities around the country. Some of the strongest areas for job potential are California, Texas, Colorado, Georgia, and Arizona.
Employers can also help to pick up the reins and encourage more students to get into engineering by offering educational courses to employees. This is something that will benefit the employee and the employer, as once those new skills are learned, they can be put to use in the company. Take, for example, PCB designers. The Altium Designer student price is extremely reasonable and could be covered by the employer as an incentive, and as a company Altium supports the use of cutting edge technology in education, as shown on the education section of their website here.
High school is usually the best time to capture the attention of budding engineers, which means large employers and even engineering schools should be taking advantage of this fact and visiting schools in person. While they can’t hold a job fair, they can certainly inform students about the kind of engineering jobs that exist out there, the responsibilities in the job, the kind of salary they’d be making, and then fill them in on what educational experience and background are required.
At this point, the more steps that the engineering community, colleges/universities, and large companies can take to appeal to prospective students, the better, as the U.S. simply can’t afford to keep falling behind in terms of talent.