*This Editor’s Note will appear in the September/October Edition of ECN.
The beginning of fall actually brings in a couple of seasons—autumn and back to school. With the pervasive nature of technology in our lives, it’s no wonder that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is key for the next generation of engineers. According to the U.S. Department of Education, jobs in STEM related fields were projected to increase by 14 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Despite the employment opportunities in engineering and other scientific fields, not many students pursued higher education in STEM. The U.S. Department of Education notes that only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in math and interested in a STEM career. Even among those who do go on to pursue a college major in the STEM fields, only about half choose to work in a related career. What’s more, there is also a deficit in educators in these subjects.
The government is looking to change this with the Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) that is looking to invest in five areas:
- Improving STEM instruction in preschool through 12th grade
- Increasing and sustaining public and youth engagement with STEM
- Improving the STEM experience for undergraduate students
- Better serving groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields
- Designing graduate education for tomorrow’s STEM workforce
The goal, according to the Department of Education, is for students to move from the middle to the top of the pack in math and science within the next 10 years.
Though there is still a lot of progress to be made for the next generation of engineers, our current state of engineering is the focus of this issue of ECN. Our editors reached out to the engineering community to get their take on salaries and job satisfaction in our Salary and Career Survey on p. 14. We also got the opinions of major engineering players regarding challenges and trends in our Roundtable discussion on p. 10. Our interview with Valerie Balcom on “What It Is Like To Be a Female Engineer” on P. 18 offers interesting insights and a unique perspective on what is categorically, a male dominated field.
This issue’s main feature, “The Future of Engineering” by Cary Eskow, Avnet LightSpeed, on p. 6 explores how various trends and new technology will affect the engineer’s process to solving problems and developing innovation. It also discusses the addition of art and design into a traditional engineering curriculum. “Engineering Innovation Accelerated via Cloud CAE” by Ian Campbell, OnScale on p. 22, offers an in depth look at how the Internet of Things (IoT) has spurred engineer to use cloud CAE in order to speed their designs to the market.
Overall, the state of engineering looks promising, with new technology and advancement coming to the forefront every day. We look forward to what will be coming next.