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ERIC Number: EJ892122
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-0304-3797
Why Don't Young People Want to become Engineers? Rational Reasons for Disappointing Decisions
Becker, Frank Stefan
European Journal of Engineering Education, v35 n4 p349-366 Aug 2010
The quest for engineers during the past boom and predictions of future shortages have focused attention on the low enrolment figures in science and technology (S&T) subjects. Normally, it is assumed that young people shy away from "tough majors" or make irrational choices, based on an absence of information. While not denying the fundamental necessity that a higher proportion of the population should have a background in S&T, this paper pursues a different approach. Only by identifying potentially valid reasons for the lack of interest in S&T will it be possible to change not just some "misguided" perceptions among the younger generation, but to categorise the facts and make targeted recommendations for necessary changes. Therefore, this article will discuss the importance of image and status, the influence of society and peer groups, as well as financial rewards and career aspects. It will be shown that the universally observable trend away from S&T is not due to a dislike of technology on the part of the younger generation, but is caused by the fact that careers in this field do not seem attractive enough, especially in comparison with alternatives available in developed countries. Some recommendations to improve this situation are offered. (Contains 1 table and 14 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany