One other finding is worth noting:

•   The order of importance was reversed for engineers from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups (African-American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native), who considered high cost the most important personal barrier and time the second most important.

We also studied the engineers’ willingness to devote time for lifelong learning.


FIGURE 3 Graph showing the responses of 2,900 engineers to the question, “How many hours per week of your own time are you willing to devote to lifelong learning?”

The results (FIGURE 3) show that over half of the engineers surveyed would be willing to devote 1 to 4 hours per week for lifelong learning, and slightly less than a third expressed willingness to allocate 5 to 8 hours. We also discovered the following:

•   Men expressed willingness to give somewhat more time (slightly more than 5 hours per week) to lifelong learning than women (just over 4 hours per week).

•   Engineers with less than 10 years of experience are willing to allocate 5½ hours per week, while those with more than 10 years wish to give somewhat less time (approx. 4¾ hours per week).

•   The willingness to devote time to lifelong learning is independent of the highest degree earned by the engineer.

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