My research examines the relationship between engineering education and the modern economy, with the goal of determining how important engineering education is in today’s economy. The investigation focuses on the facts found in books, journal articles, and newspapers that illustrate the value of engineering education in today’s economy.
In his book “Engineering Education: Rediscovering the Centre: Proceedings, Sefi Annual Conference,” Hagström subscribes to the popular assumption that the world has become increasingly reliant on technology, and that such dependency can be quantified at some stage (60). Hagström said in his research that people’s the need to quantify the value of technology have enlightened the right priorities with a focus on the long-term economic and industrial investment (60). The researchers finding had impacts on the perceptions of engineers because it revealed details about essential cases where technology change, also known as system reengineering, has become the key driver of economic growth. It is, therefore true that most industries are focusing on recruiting individuals who are innovative and able to use their skills in areas of economic development.
In a different study, Engler used the case of U.S to demonstrate the relevance of engineering and other technical skills towards economic growth. The authors arguments revolved around the decision that was taken by the U.S government to shift from traditional education system to modern syllabus. The transition was significant because the government felt that its traditional education system did not provide the kind of technical skills that were required for individuals to progress in the current labor market. There was a need to shift the direction of education by launching the STEM program. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and the key objective of the government was to ensure that the countrys education system is in line with the overall requirements of the economy.
The incorporation of engineering concepts in the US system of education has equally led to significant institutional changes and structures that provide support to economic growth. Mazzoleni and Richard (1515) in their article, “Public Research Institutions and Economic Catch-up,” indicated that the current economy is characterised by growing scientific frameworks and contemporary technologies. Furthermore, the expected changes in international economic environment will be one of the key factors that will drive national economy. It is also true according to Mazzoleni and Richard (1515) that engineering has led to the establishment of institutional capabilities across countries and economic sectors. This follows from the understanding that engineering focuses on innovation, research, and effective system programing; initiatives that have remained key towards the development and implementation of economic policies.
Apart from the forgoing arguments, we must also understand that through engineering concepts, some of the worlds biggest companies have succeeded in developing new business models that focus on industrial organization and system integration. This argument is according to Hobday, Andrew, and Andrea (1112) who demonstrated how system integration has grown from engineering-based to current-day premeditated capabilities across different economies. Apart from engaging in in-house tasks, most producing companies have ended up establishing capabilities that are essentially used in designing and integrating production systems. Engineering concepts have equally been applied to design and manage network components and subsystem suppliers. The overall outcome of the various engineering processes according to the article include improvements in production, supplies, and employment that have direct impacts on global economic performance.
Moreover, the image of engineering has significant effects on student recruitment and retention in the USA and across the world. Even though the early phases of engineering were marked with employment opportunities within the agricultural and military sectors, the introduction of engineering principles in other economic sectors has created opportunity for subsequent industrial revolutions. According to Yurtseven (19), the role of engineering in the economy has been characterised by growth of advanced production techniques. Furthermore, there has been transition from a highly dependent economy to an independent, self-reliant, and highly spirited economic inventions.
The foregoing discussions reveal a close relationship between engineering and economics. It is clear according to the articles that engineering as a physical science focuses on helping member of the society to make a better living. On a similar note, economics deals with social issues that affect how people live or earn a living. During the industrial revolution that took place in 15th Century (Europe), researchers held the common view that steam engine, for instance, was an important driver of global economy. In some of the available economic textbooks, the researchers presented their views regarding steam engine as the key driving machinery and a prominent feature of industrial and commercial development (Hagström 62). Engineers who were involved in steam engine construction believed that the available energy was enough to produce greater economic changes and improve the total productivity of both men and women. Other significant improvements occurred within the transport sector as individuals and companies were now in a position to more goods from source to destination at relatively lower costs.
In our modern society, engineering has become pervasive, and influencing the performance of different sectors ranging from communication, entertainment, finance to health. Engineering has also become more visible and widely applied in the construction, manufacturing, and transport sectors. An investigation of how engineering affects the performance of these sectors reveals the relevance of engineering towards economic development. Economic progress is driven by creativity, dynamic thinking, curiosity, and experimentation. Even though economic resource are finite, people have succeeded in devising affordable solutions through engineering and ensuring that the available resource can be allocated in ways that meet the needs of individuals.
According to the statistics resealed by the USs Labor Department, there are close to two million engineers in the country, and this is only 1 percent of the total American population. Following the improving economic condition, USA over the past 10 years has been experiencing 10 percent annual growth rate in absolute employment for the position of engineers. While a large number of these engineers occupy other sectors of employment, only very few individuals find employment in areas that are relevant to their fields of profession. In the 21st century, most individuals use engineering as a means of concerting excellent research skills into newly and highly improved economic goods and services. With such skills, engineers contribute significantly to economic development. It is, therefore, true to say that innovative engineering is the most substantial approach towards economic growth, and individuals must explore their intellectual capabilities and creative talents in order to take advantage of existing economic opportunities.
Other available pieces of evidence reveal that engineering concepts are important to all economic sectors because they prioritize government industrial strategies. It is also true that the perception people towards engineering courses has changed over the past 20 years following some of the new developments that provide opportunities for both social and economic growth (Hobday, Andrew, and Andrea 1015). There has been, for example, growing boundaries between old disciplines and more exciting discoveries that demonstrate an improvement on how people think and react to extreme changes in the economy. The most specific improvements have been witnessed in the global industrial biotechnology market with significant improvements in types and quality of chemicals and pharmaceutical products supplied to consumers. The interactions between engineering and economic make it possible for individuals to engage in new advanced explorations in order to improve human well-being and economic progress.
In conclusion, engineering as a crucial component of industrial strategy remains relevant to economic growth because it encourages inward investment, especially by international organizations. Countries across the world, focus on undisputed engineering research that can be used to promote world-class economic decisions, facility restructuring, and business processes (Mazzoleni and Richard 1520). The modern day economy is characterised by high-value and high-tech internal investments, and countries across the world seem attracted to innovative methods producing and supplying goods and services. Correspondingly, investors from different parts of the world today recognize engineering as important skills that can be countries to promote both national and regional economic development. All the activities ranging from innovation to production of new technologies fall under engineering, and have been pursued differently by countries to promote economic growth.
Engler, John. “STEM Education Is the Key to the U.S.’s Economic Future “. U.S.News, 2015, https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/06/15/stem-education-is-the-key-to-the-uss-economic-future.
Hagström, Anders. Engineering Education: Rediscovering the Centre: Proceedings, Sefi Annual Conference, 1 – 3 September 1999, Winterthur and Zurich, Switzerland. Zürich: vdf Hochschulverl, 1999. Print.
Hobday, Michael, Andrew Davies, and Andrea Prencipe. “Systems integration: a core capability of the modern corporation.” Industrial and corporate change 14.6 (2005): 1109-1143.
Mazzoleni, Roberto, and Richard R. Nelson. “Public research institutions and economic catch-up.” Research policy 36.10 (2007): 1512-1528.
Yurtseven, H. Oner. “How does the image of engineering affect student recruitment and retention? A perspective from the USA.” Global J. of Engng. Educ 6.1 (2002): 17-23.