to be attainable if a course of action is set to reach them. At their core they call for us to educate engineers who are broadly educated, who see themselves as global citizens, who can be leaders in business and public service, and who are ethically grounded.

Chapter 4 takes the aspirations a step further by setting forth the attributes needed for the graduates of 2020. These include such traits as strong analytical skills, creativity, ingenuity, professionalism, and leadership.

This study suggests that if the engineering profession is to take the initiative in defining its own future, it must (1) agree on an exciting vision for its future; (2) transform engineering education to help achieve the vision; (3) build a clear image of the new roles for engineers, including as broad-based technology leaders, in the mind of the public and prospective students who can replenish and improve the talent base of an aging engineering workforce; (4) accommodate innovative developments from nonengineering fields; and (5) find ways to focus the energies of the different disciplines of engineering toward common goals.

If the United States is to maintain its economic leadership and be able to sustain its share of high-technology jobs, it must prepare for a new wave of change. While there is no consensus at this stage, it is agreed that innovation is the key and engineering is essential to this task; but engineering will only contribute to success if it is able to continue to adapt to new trends and educate the next generation of students so as to arm them with the tools needed for the world as it will be, not as it is today.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement