Understanding the Engineering Education-Workforce Continuum

Areas of Interest:

Education, Understanding Engineering

Project Type:

FACA Compliant Consensus Study

Latest Update: October 19, 2015
Primary Contact: Proctor Reid
  • Jean-Lou Chameau
    King Abdullah University of Science & Technology
  • Rodney Adkins
    Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy
    International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)
  • Eric Ducharme
    General Manager, NPI Engineering Operations
    General Electric Company
  • Nadya A. Fouad
    Distinguished Professor and Chair
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Richard B. Freeman
    Herbert Ascherman Professor of Economics
    Harvard University
  • Jennifer Hunt
    Deputy Assistant Secretary for Microeconomics Analysis
    US Department of the Treasury
  • Amy Javernick-Will
    Assistant Professor, Nicholas R. and Nancy D. Petry Professor in Construction Engineering and Management
    University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Julia Lane
    Senior Managing Economist
    American Institutes for Research
  • Gary S. May
    Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Richard K. Miller
    President and Professor of Mechanical Engineering
    Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
  • David C. Nagel
    Executive Vice President Emeritus
    BP America Inc., and founder, Lincoln Hill Group
  • Sheri D. Sheppard
    Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education
    Stanford University
  • Nicole Smith
    Research Professor and Senior Economist
    Georgetown University

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.

The committee will

  • 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 will hold a workshop and produce a consensus report.