A study from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) and
The RAE surveyed over 400 engineering companies to help shape the format of engineering courses to ensure better alignment between education and the need and practices of engineers.
The study, entitled ‘Educating Engineers for the 21st Century: the Industry View’, starts by examining undergraduate and graduate courses, but also identifies the need for more encouragement for school pupils to take maths and physics.
David Birchall of
Birchall went on to say that with increasing student numbers being educated with less money, courses tend to focus more on theory and less on practical engineering. This causes problems in an industry where the technology changes so rapidly.
“The industry recognises that there is an onus on them to attract more young people into engineering and give them more experience, especially through sandwich courses,” he said.
The report reveals that while the
Part of the problem, according to Birchall, is where
Another problem is that only half of all engineering graduates pursue engineering as a career.
“The industry needs to show graduates what exciting careers there are in the field and what interesting challenges they will face,” said Birchall.
In summarising the report, Birchall said, “It paints a picture of an increasingly complex industry that has many more exciting challenges available to graduates than they realise.”