Engineering education for a post-industrial world

TitleEngineering education for a post-industrial world
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsWei, J.
Secondary TitleTechnology in society

The production structures of the US and most developed countries have evolved from agriculture to industry to services, but today the trajectories have passed their peaks and are now in steep decline. The causes of this decline are continual manufacturing and productivity improvements, demand inelasticity vis-à-vis income growth, and international outsourcing. The consequences are a continued movement of manufacturing plant investment abroad and the loss of engineer positions. Engineering education has traditionally concentrated on preparing students for professional careers in manufacturing and construction, but now those industries employ fewer engineers than ever. In view of this changing employment pattern, there should be a re-examination of education for engineers to make both education and engineers more relevant to the post-industrial world.