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More Parents Need to Know About What Engineers Do

Their knowledge about the field, or the lack thereof, affects the career decisions of their children.

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Making a choice which course to take in college is almost always personal, but it has its influences. These include inclination of skills and potentials, industry trends, salary rates, career perceptions, and parents’ preferences.

For high school graduates who rely so much on the last one, it is critical that parents know enough all the possible college courses so their kids could choose wisely and lead a good profession.

But it seems that engineering is not so popular, and that parents are not as familiar with the field compared with others.

A researched conducted by Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) revealed that while 93% of the 2,000 parents of school aged children surveyed said that they know what engineering is, only few of them – about 23% – feel very confident describing what an engineer does. The same parents were asked about describing other professions do, and they were very comfortable to tell what a teacher (64%), nurse (62%), and police officer (60%) does.

The IET also found in this study that parents are 6 times more familiar with Justin Bieber than Elon Musk. Such a statistic is no longer shocking, with the highlight of the media more on sensationalized celebrities rather than engineers and scientists.

Elon Musk who? Photo by Reuters

But something must be done about it. Because what parents do and do not know about the field of engineering in general, as well as science, hurt their children’s interests in pursuing a career in the industry.

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Nigel Fine, chief executive of the IET, said that career information on engineering is ‘patchy to say the least.’ This is a sad state considering that there is a global need for more engineers to instill changes in the society and be catalysts of making the world a better place to live in.

But to change this status will be quite a journey. Fine said, “Engineering has a long way to go before it is seen as a cool, trendy, or a glamorous career.”

Source: Telegraph UK

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