Kaplan, Inc.

November 27, 2006 08:51 ET

Engineering Field in Crisis: Shortage in Industry Presents Opportunity

CHICAGO--(Collegiate Presswire - November 27, 2006) - There is critical need for talented young engineers, but many of America's promising math and science students are bypassing the profession because of misconceptions, according to the new book 21 Things Every Future Engineer Should Know: A Practical Guide for Students and Parents ($24.95, Kaplan AEC Education, 2006) by Pat Remick and Frank Cook.

"The high attrition rate in college engineering programs is especially troubling because there aren't enough engineers to fill all of the current openings in the United States, and there will be an even greater need as our country and our world face new challenges and rapid advances in technology," says Cook.

The authors note that thousands of high school seniors each year choose engineering as their college field of study, but a whopping 50 to 60 percent change majors before graduation.

21 Things Every Future Engineer Should Know cites statistics that show women and minorities, in particular, are not getting the message that engineering offers a myriad of exciting and rewarding opportunities:

-- White males comprise nearly two-thirds of all U.S. engineering graduate and undergraduate students.

-- Although the overall number of women and minorities entering college is increasing, the proportion enrolling in engineering programs is declining.

-- While half of college students are women, they comprise just 20 percent of engineering students and just 10 percent of the engineering workforce.

-- 61 percent of minority students leave engineering before graduation.

"People mistakenly believe that you have to be absolutely brilliant or maybe even a bit of a nerd to be a successful engineer," says Remick. "While it's true that you need to enjoy math and science, engineering is primarily about being creative, enjoying problem-solving and having a desire to improve things. It is a lucrative career that doesn't care about gender, race, or background." 21 Things Every Engineer Should Know... offers valuable insight and an abundance of advice for students at all education levels. It reviews how to explore the various engineering disciplines, discusses optimum curriculum paths, gives ideas on choosing the right college engineering program and succeeding on campus, and suggests how to find employment and even advance in the workplace.

Although top engineering educators and working engineers participated in its development, 21 Things Every Future Engineer Should Know is anything but stodgy and academic. It provides real-world, up-to-date direction in a quick-reading format that every student - and adult -- will enjoy, including:

-- Practical advice from students, working engineers, and educators

-- Key questions to help determine interest in -- and proficiency for - engineering

-- Guidance on high school classes and extracurricular activities for all ages to optimize college preparation

-- Detailed descriptions of the various disciplines, including innovative career paths, employment statistics and salary data

-- Discussion of what to consider in selecting the right college program

-- A review of the many groups and associations for students and working engineers

-- Expert insights into the world of working engineers

-- Countless additional resources

Pat Remick is a longtime journalist who has worked for United Press International, CNN, various newsletters and other publications, and also co-authored the career-guidance book 21 Things Every Home Inspector Should Know. She is based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Frank Cook is the author of the books 21 Things I Wish My Broker Had Told Me and You're Not Buying That House are You? He co-authored with Pat Remick the career guidance book 21 Things Every Home Inspector Should Know.

21 Things Every Future Engineer Should Know ($24.95, 224 pages, paperback, ISBN: 141953548X) is available now in bookstores and at www.KaplanAEC.com, 1-866-263-1464.

About Kaplan AEC Education

Kaplan AEC Education is a division of Kaplan, Inc., a worldwide education services provider and a subsidiary of The Washington Post. Kaplan AEC Education helps emerging professionals prepare and sustain their careers in engineering, architecture, and contracting. Kaplan is the nation's leader in standardized test prep for nearly 70 years. For more information, please call 1-866-263-1464 or visit www.kaplanaeceducation.com.

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