New research from the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) has found 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 ETB’s annual Engineers and Engineering Brand Monitor, also shows a 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 a teacher, footballer, or doctor. However, the number of 7-11’s claiming they would categorically not want to be an engineer has dropped significantly from 70% to 60%.
Paul Jackson, chief executive, 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. 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.”