For those within engineering, it's a fascinating, all-encompassing subject with no end of possibilities. Some of the most impressive feats of the human race have been brought about thanks to engineering and indeed, the world would be a very different place if engineering did not exist.
However, to outsiders, engineering still has a hard time shaking off the stigma of being a stuffy profession, which is mostly down to the fact that the wider scope of engineering is often overlooked. With the UK Skills Shortage List dominated by engineering-based roles, this misunderstanding has resulted in very real consequences as more and more younger people shun engineering in favour of other professions. Although government programmes in recent years have worked to build interest in engineering, such as Tomorrow's Engineers Week, a renewed passion could be found for the subject if its breadth was more widely acknowledged. If more people understood how engineering benefits society, then it stands to reason that engineering would receive more consideration as a potential career choice.
Innovation, Innovation, Innovation:
Engineering is at the heart of innovation, claiming many great accomplishments throughout history and into the present day. Everything from space travel through to modern medicine and healthcare, as well as many of the devices we use every day such as transport, electronics and connectivity, are incredible works of engineering.
Any physical, functional product requires at least some degree of engineering in its design and manufacture
Any physical, functional product requires at least some degree of engineering in its design and manufacture. Whilst engineering is an industry within itself, it also coexists and overlaps with almost every other industry, which is what makes it so essential as society continues to advance and develop. To put it simply, without engineering, innovation could not take place!
Engineering also offers a very broad spectrum of niches. STEM-based careers, though less popular in recent years, really do offer a front-row seat to the continuing development of society and cutting edge technology, with plenty of choice on offer. For instance, aerospace engineering helps to accelerate air travel and space exploration; mechanical engineering is essential within the development of new mechanical systems, and electrical engineering is responsible for innovation within modern technology.
Engineering the Modern World:
It is safe to say that modern society as we know it, would not exist without engineering. Much of the infrastructure that we rely upon on a daily basis is engineered - especially as we become more and more reliant on speed of data processing and connectivity to operate within our everyday lives.
Modern society as we know it, would not exist without engineering.
Imagine if we lived in a world without mobile phones, TVs, cars, planes, energy, medicine, or microwaves. All of the aforementioned are excellent examples of engineering, which goes to show just how important engineering is to society at large. If we took all of this away, everyday life would look unrecognisable and our progress would set back hundreds - if not thousands - of years.
Engineering is responsible for our increased life expectancy and quality, the ability to travel from one side of the globe to the other, and the ability to speak to anyone, anywhere in the world, at the touch of a button. So many aspects of engineering are overlooked or taken for granted; however, engineering has shaped the landscape of the modern world and will continue to do so throughout the human race's existence.
Engineering the Future:
Technology is at the front and centre of our existence in modern society and we are only at the beginning. Look at how far we've come in the past century and then consider what we could be on the brink of achieving in the years to come! Everything from Mars exploration through to nanoengineering (engineering parts on a molecular level), renewable energy, reusable rockets and robotics is already in progress, making this an especially exciting time to consider a career in engineering.
If we do not have the engineers in place to fuel innovation, then we cannot expect to progress as a society.
Engineering satisfies the human race's curiosity and need for development. If we are to survive as a species, then engineering and continued innovation is absolutely essential. This is what makes the skills shortage especially worrying - if we do not have the engineers in place to fuel innovation, then we cannot expect to progress as a society.
However, this is a fixable problem and it's not too late to turn it around. If we can inspire and educate more people about the potential that engineering has to offer, then engineering will surely become a more popular career choice. STEM-based careers have a lot more excitement to offer than most, meaning that it's time to break the stigma and start giving engineering the credit it deserves.