In the olden days, when I was at school, I didn’t have a clue what an engineer was. Not the foggiest, less still that I might want to be one ‘when I grew up’. And this despite my father being a water engineer: I remember having to admit “I don’t know” when asked the fatal “what does your dad do?” by a friend’s dad! He couldn’t believe this, and being a policeman decided it was a cover-up and he must be a robber!
Luckily these days a lot of people are working hard to inform our youngsters of the different career paths open to them. Not only that, they want to demonstrate just how exciting choosing engineering can be – who needs to be a footballer / ballerina / rock star (*delete as appropriate) when you could be travelling the world AND designing exciting structures AND making people’s lives that little bit better?
One such initiative is the Royal Academy of Engineering’s ‘The Engineering Message‘, which goes some way to not only explaining what being an engineer can mean but also demystifying the route to get there. Better use of resources like this in the classroom should help tomorrow’s engineers prepare for their future more wisely (and save a few parents from wrongful arrest!).