Enticing More Undergraduates To Take Up Electrical Engineering

Electricity is power, literally and figuratively. Without electricity, everything stops. Everybody is dependent on electricity.

Electricity has long been existing in our world. The prehistoric people were curious about that bright, shining moment each time lightning struck. Over time, that curiosity about the amazing power of electricity has not waned at all. As a matter of fact, electricity has powered all facets of life that without it would mean total catastrophe and destruction. There’s just no doubt that  the importance of electricity in our everyday life is blatant.

Now, that is the reason why my job is exciting. As an electrical engineer, I am always part of a team that gets to tap that power to make things happen. That  same power makes things happen in all kinds of industry. Suffice it to say, there is a tremendous need for electrical engineers. The message in the video is clear:

“We are the past. We are the present. We are the future.”

So my advice to the kids out there is simple. Become an electrical engineer and grab the power! This is one exciting job that is always in demand. But sad to say, there has been a decline in enrollment.

According to an article on EETimes, electrical engineering degrees are at an alarming decline:

“Graduates numbered 14,584 in 2004-05, but declined to 14,209 in 2005-06 and 13,783 in 2006-07.”

Paul Kostek, IEEE-USA’s vice president for communications, thinks the overall economy is partly to blame. He also adds:

“The trend there would be that, as engineering and computer science employment decreases, or is perceived to decrease, enrollments go down.”

Albert Helfrick, chair of electrical and systems engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, describes the current population of engineers.

“The population of experienced engineers is aging. There’s a serious problem in our country with people like me: gray-haired people who could retire tomorrow. If large numbers do retire, the U.S. faces a severe engineering shortfall.”

Clearly, the field of engineering is in badly need of fresh ideas from young blood. But sad to say, the infusion of young blood is scarce.

Suffice it to say, that’s a very scary scenario. But the good news is that some universities are finally taking some steps to pump up their engineering enrollment. For example, Texas A&M University has announced their plans to attract more students to take up engineering.

“Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp today (Jan. 23) announced plans for Texas A&M University to grow engineering enrollment to 25,000 students by 2025.”

Called the “25 by 25 initiative”, Texas A&M said that this was developed primarily to address the growing “critical need to increase the engineering workforce of the state and the nation.”

This initiative will have three guiding principles. These principles are the following:

“Increase accessibility to engineering education at all levels;

Transform the educational experience to better prepare students to engage in and meet the future needs of the engineering marketplace; and

Deliver engineering education in a cost-effective and affordable manner.”

These are definitely realistic principles to entice more undergraduates to consider engineering.

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