Understanding the Engineering Education-Workforce Continuum

Project Status
May 22, 2019
National Science Foundation
Final Report
Understanding the Educational and Career Pathways of Engineers
Authoring InstitutionNational Academy of Engineering
Publication DateJanuary 01, 2018
Over a 20-month period, an ad hoc committee will explore a set of questions about the career choices of engineering graduates and those employed as engineers with non-engineering degrees in the United States in order to provide a comprehensive view of the career pathways and related decision making of engineering graduates and working engineers in the United States.
Key Contacts
  • Beth Cady
    Director, Practices for Engineering Education and Research (PEER) Program
    National Academy of Engineering

The committee's objectives:

  • Objective 1: Collect and synthesize data from existing sources that shed light on the characteristics of those working as engineers and those formally educated as engineers who are not working in engineering in the United States. These characteristics will include age, gender, educational background, occupational sector, job category (e.g., engineer, management), compensation, and job-related competencies.
  • Objective 2: Collect and synthesize existing data that shed light on factors that influence the career decisions of those working as engineers and those formally educated as engineers who are not working in engineering. These factors will include personal values and beliefs, motivation, self-efficacy, educational experience, economic incentives, job satisfaction, and job mobility.
  • Objective 3: Based on the data reviewed and/or collected, consider the implications of current career pathways of working engineers and engineering graduates more broadly for undergraduate engineering education, post-secondary engineering programs, continuing engineering education initiatives, employers of engineering talent (e.g., on-the-job training), and US national interests.

Based on its analysis of the available information and data, the committee held a workshop and produced a consensus report.