Numerous reports have spelt out the chronic lack of young engineers. Now the Royal Academy of Engineering highlights that of those who do graduate in Engineering subjects less than 50% go on to enter the mainstream profession.
This dire fall out underlines a fundamental problem in the sector, and since engineering degrees are among the most expensive to deliver, it is also a huge waste of valuable resources. So why does this happen?
An engineering graduate’s tale
"After 3 year’s tough studies (compared to many degrees) I’ve just graduated with an engineering degree. Now I'm looking for my first rung on the career ladder.
Given scant guidance I start doing my own research. Where do I begin? - the web of course.
I discover dozens of engineering companies presenting me with pages of facts and specifications about what they do and the equipment they use. Little about people and nothing about why I would want to work there.
Here are some typical examples.
Disillusioned, a family friend suggests I cast my net wider– 'someone with a degree like mine is in big demand'. I search finance, media, and consultancies. Here I'm faced with a completely different welcome, no data here it's all about people and teamwork. Here's just one example:
So where do you think someone of my age would like to work? Somewhere where equipment seems more important than people, or somewhere with an embracing culture? I'll leave you to answer that."
Any organisation's website and media are far more than just a sales tool. They are also its public face projecting to the outside world what the business is about – its ethos and people, what makes it tick, why it does what it does.
Lose an engineer on the first rung of the ladder you're unlikely to ever get them back into mainstream engineering thereafter.