Engineering is a daunting sector in which to be job searching; after all, it is filled with brilliant minds, men and women who are good at business and, usually, good with their hands; and there is a minefield of technical jargon that few people outside of the industry will understand. It is little wonder, then, that children are put off pursuing a career in engineering during their earliest years. What your children may not be aware of, though, is just how amazingly rewarding an engineering career can be, or the types of opportunities that are available to those who truly try. Isn’t it about time we tried to inspire them a little?
What is engineering?
A branch of science and technology that is largely concerned with engines, machines, electrical appliances and computers, and physical structures, engineering is central to Britain’s economic future; it is the field in which big structural, transporting, and electrical decisions and designs are made – a sector that helps to make our country the way it is, and run in the manner that it is. Combining science, maths, and hands-on experience to solve the day’s biggest, and smallest, problems, engineering can be a daunting subject in which to study or consider working; after all, a job in which you’re improving the lives of everyone around you has a lot of responsibility. What many people miss, though, is just how rewarding a career in engineering can be, and how many opportunities – for example, travel, job satisfaction, great rewards packages and salary potential, and career progression – are available to those who are willing to work hard, applying the skills they have to each problem with vigour and confidence.
Key figures in the world of engineering
According to EngineeringUK, the number of students taking engineering subjects is in steady decline, leaving the industry facing uncertainty. Luckily for the engineers of tomorrow, there are some truly amazing role models for them to look up to and be inspired by. History is filled with famous inventors, mathematicians, builders and designers, but it is those in our most recent history that can be the most influential; for example, the chairman of Meggitt, Sir Nigel Rudd, currently leads one of the most influential and important engineering companies on these shores. Having founded one of the country’s largest industrial holdings companies, Williams Holdings (which later became Chubb PLC and Kidde PLC), back in 1982, you could say that engineering and its successes are in Rudd’s blood, and he has held a chair position at some of the UK’s biggest companies. Other names you may wish to look out for, and encourage your children to research, are Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, Grace Hopper, an early computer scientist, and Frank Whittle, the inventor of the jet engine – you never know where your research will lead you.
As the numbers of students studying engineering, and taking on jobs in the field post-graduation, decline rapidly, it is more important than ever to find figures to inspire children; engineering is a fantastic field for both men and women, and there is no reason why children of both genders shouldn’t find incredible success as engineers.