Where did all the Engineers go?…


In the past, the general engineering profession has always been a popular choice among young professionals.  Today, certain engineering disciplines seem to be experiencing a major shortage, which the industry, in general, is having trouble to sustain.

As an employer in a niche industry, I’ve seen this first hand.  Competition among firms for already experienced and skilled professionals and technical personnel has increased significantly because of the lack of new graduates entering into the workforce. But the numbers of even these very personnel have been shrinking as this generation begins to leave the workforce. And with the lack of new graduates to eventually replace them, the issue becomes apparent on a company’s ability to maintain the same quality of personnel (and quality of work for their clients) for the years to come.

Over the years, the engineering profession has seen a major shift in the numbers of new engineering graduates entering into the profession. Why this is the case is uncertain, but through my own experience and seeing my own kids growing up, I can see a huge disconnect between what kids are being taught in school and the actual REAL world. Focus in our school system seems to have shifted from a more practical to a more technological approach to learning – in my opinion both a good thing and a bad thing. A common problem I see today is the lack of exposure and interaction (and connection) that children have to the REAL world. This type of interaction is important to helping the next generation to “find” their creative interests. The engineering and science professions RELY on this type of engagement for the future, as our children are the ones who will be driving us years down the road. Our children ARE the key to the future, and we need to help guide them so that they can clearly “see” what is in front of them.

We as parents need to help our children develop in a way that helps nurture and open their creativeness. We need to “force” them to put down the IPads and go outside to explore our world the same way our generation did, without the distractions that these “conveniences” bring. When we do, we help to open a world that we are forced to discover on our own… One in which we can experience first hand, interact with and LEARN from. This type of connection is the answer to opening up a “new” world and spark the imagination and creativity of our young, and to  help them to “find” their own path which they can be excited to explore…

ZLS Consulting Inc. (c) 2017

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