New research finds a 19% increase since June 2008 in the number of the general public that would recommend a career in engineering to their children, family and friends. The research also reveals an 8% increase in the general public and a 6% increase in the number of parents and guardians who regard engineering as a ‘desirable’ or very desirable’ career.
The research, undertaken by Turquoise Thinking as part of the Engineering and Technology Board annual Engineers and Engineering Brand Monitor, also shows a modest 5% increase in the number of 16-24 year olds who regard engineering as desirable or very desirable. However it also suggests this positive shift in perceptions of engineering is not yet filtering down to the under 16s, of whom only 18% considered engineering to be desirable or very desirable.
The least positive attitude towards engineering was amongst 7-11s with 49% believing being an engineer would be ‘boring’ and preferring more immediately visible careers such as teacher, footballer and doctor. Having said that however, the number of 7-11s claiming they would categorically not want to be an engineer has dropped significantly from 70% to 60%.
The key findings of the report were:
- 62% of education professionals, 35% of the public and 30% of 11-16s have seen, heard of, or visited something in the past year that presented engineering in a positive way and inspired them
- 85 % of the general public would recommend a career in engineering to their family, friends or children compared to 66% in 2008
- 62% of parents and guardians view engineering as a desirable or very desirable career compared to 56% in 2008
- 57 % of the general public view engineering as a desirable or very desirable career, compared to 49 % in 2008
- 45 % of 16-24 year olds view engineering as a desirable or very desirable career, compared to 40% in 2008
- 49% of 7-11 year olds think being an engineer would be boring
- The number of 7-11’s claiming they wouldn’t want to be an engineer has dropped from 70% to 60%
Paul Jackson, chief executive of the ETB, said: “Whilst we must not be complacent, there does seem to have been a significant increase in the number of people who see engineering as desirable or very desirable, and would recommend it as a career to their family and friends. There are many probable reasons for this positive shift in attitudes, from high profile engineering projects like the Olympics to the marked shift away from ‘financial engineering’ and towards ‘real engineering’ amongst the powers that be.
"The only thing we know for certain is that 62% of teachers, tutors and careers advisors, 35% of the general public and 30% of 11-16s have seen or heard something positive and inspiring about engineering in the past year. As a community, we must pull together to increase this promising trend, paying particular attention to targeting the Under 16s who remain our biggest challenge in terms of engagement.”
Electrical and Mechanical Contractor