It was very good to watch the IET President Barry Brooks deliver his address over the web last night; it allows the good news about engineers and engineering to be heard by a far wider audience.
However, what does concern me is that when you get any gathering of engineers, you get the same old gripes about pay and their poor status in society. Not only are these views old and out of date, they are damaging and contribute the perception that people have about engineering. If we, as a profession, constantly moan about our status and pay, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy; the view we have ourselves needs to change.
The reality of the situation is, engineering is rapidly becoming a profession that young people are aspiring to, it is seen as a profession that provides a worthwhile and valuable contribution to society. What were once seen as ‘noble’ professions like banking, accounting and legal are now being seen as tainted professions.
This fact is evidenced by the increasing demand for engineering places at our top universities and the increasing demand on entry requirements, which means that we now have the best talent in the UK coming into the profession. There is increasing shortage of engineers, as outlined by Barry last night, this is, and can only have a positive impact on the salaries that good engineers command in the market.
So let’s stop moaning about status and salaries of engineers, let’s have a much more positive view of ourselves and rejoice in the fact that a new age for engineering is finally coming in the UK.