Engineering is the third most popular career choice for students aged 12 to 16, a report by EngineeringUK says.
EngineeringUK’s annual survey, which aims to get a broad picture of public perceptions of engineering and engineers, found that those aged 12 to 16 ranked being a teacher their top career choice, followed by computer games development, and then engineering.
The 2011 Engineering and Engineers Brand Monitor also found that knowledge of what engineers do had decreased significantly from last year amongst 12 to 16-year-olds – from 19 per cent to 11 per cent.
There was also a decline in the number of 12 to 16-year-olds who had considered a career in engineering.
However, knowledge of what engineers do has improved among those aged 17 and over, and the percentage of those aged 20 and over who have considered a career in engineering has increased from 2010, the report said.
Meanwhile, 61 per cent of the public see a career in engineering as ‘desirable’, primarily due to it being a ‘good profession’, ‘challenging’ and ‘well-paid.’
Forty-seven per cent of educators surveyed said a career in engineering was ‘desirable’, but 21 per cent said it was an ‘undesirable’ career.
Those who thought engineering was desirable mentioned that it was ‘challenging’, was a ‘good profession’ and because it was ‘interesting’.
Those educators who thought engineering was undesirable said it was ‘seen as a career for men’ and ‘not a well known career’.
Some other findings included:
- Seven out of ten 7 to 11-year-olds and 12 to 16-year-olds enjoy science and design and technology.
- Creativity and inventiveness are the two engineering attributes most perceived as lacking amongst the general public.
- Men are still significantly more positive and consider themselves more knowledgeable in most aspects relating to perceptions of engineering than women.