Survey Provides Global Perspective on Engineering

May/June 2019

NSPE Today
Survey Provides Global Perspective on Engineering

DiscoverE’s annual Global Day of the Engineer celebrates and recognizes members of the profession worldwide. But the organization wanted to learn more. This year’s first-ever Global Engineer Survey looked at questions such as, What unites engineers? What inspires them? What are the biggest issues the world faces according to engineers?

DiscoverE hoped that the findings would help engage future members of the profession.

More than 2,800 engineers from 82 countries responded. Sixty-eight percent were employed full time and 14% were college students.

Key findings:

  • Environmental issues—topped by access to clean water and sanitation and economical clean energy—are the most daunting global challenges for engineers in the next 25 years.
  • Problem-solving, followed by determination and curiosity, are the skills engineers rated the most important for their job. Strong math and science abilities was second to last!
  • Both women and men ranked challenging and interesting work as the top factor in career satisfaction. However, women marked meaningful work that makes a difference a close second, while men rated using their skills and talents as second in importance.
  • More than half of respondents decided to become an engineer at 15- to 18-years-old.
  • Fathers were named by 27% of respondents as their inspiration to pursue engineering, but 23% said that their inspiration came from someone other than their mother, another relative, teacher, friend, or engineer.

The results were released on Global Day of the Engineer, April 3.