Most young people would consider an engineering career if it helped society

Two-thirds of nine to 18 year olds would consider an engineering career if it helped society, according to a survey conducted to mark the start of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week.

However, only 10% of the young people polled said they were actively considering a career in engineering. The goal of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, which runs from today until Friday, is to change that.

The ‘dream career’ research also found that 90% of young people want a career that tackled social issues, with helping animals, saving lives and tackling homelessness among the most desirable paths. A series of films have been created showcasing engineers on a mission to tackle such problems, and during the week EngineeringUK will work to showcase engineers in action for diverse organisations including the Red Cross, GSK and the Royal Veterinary College.

“Engineering careers offer young people what they tell us they’re looking for:  the opportunity to make a difference and to earn salaries that are higher than average, whether they take a graduate or apprenticeship route,” said Beth Elgood, EngineeringUK’s director of communications.

Thilo Pfau, a senior lecturer in bio-engineering at the Royal Veterinary College said engineering extended into every area of life. “For me personally, it has given me a career that allows me to combine my interest in computers, patterns and algorithms with my passion for animals,” he said. “I use engineering to help veterinarians diagnose and treat problems that restrict the quality of life of many animals.”

Sarah Cain, a reliability and maintenance manager at Mars Chocolate & Wrigley UK said said engineers were at the forefront of tackling global problems. “From my time working for the RAF fixing aircraft, to my current role where I ensure access to safe food for the millions of people who consume Wrigley’s products, I’ve been able to use my engineering skills to help solve problems that really make a difference,” she said.

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