Committee on Understanding the Engineering Education-Workforce Continuum
A Consensus Study Report of the
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This activity was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. (1344190). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-48560-9
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-48560-6
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25284
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Suggested citation: National Academy of Engineering. 2018. Understanding the Educational and Career Pathways of Engineers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25284.
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COMMITTEE ON UNDERSTANDING THE ENGINEERING EDUCATION-WORKFORCE CONTINUUM
JEAN-LOU CHAMEAU (NAE), chair, President Emeritus, California Institute of Technology
RODNEY C. ADKINS (NAE), vice chair, President, 3RAM Group, LLC
ERIC DUCHARME (NAE), General Manager, Advanced Technology Operation, GE Aviation
NADYA A. FOUAD, Distinguished Professor and Mary and Ted Kellner Endowed Chair of Educational Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and School and Community Counseling, School of Education, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
RICHARD B. FREEMAN, Herbert Ascherman Professor of Economics, Harvard University
JENNIFER HUNT, James Cullen Chair in Economics and Professor of Economics, Rutgers University
AMY JAVERNICK-WILL, Nicholas R. and Nancy D. Petry Professor in Construction Engineering and Management, University of Colorado Boulder
JULIA LANE, Professor, Wagner School and Center for Urban Science and Progress, Provostial Fellow for Innovation Analytics, and Senior Fellow in the GovLab, New York University
GARY S. MAY (NAE), Chancellor, University of California, Davis
RICHARD K. MILLER (NAE), President and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
DAVID NAGEL, Executive Vice President (retired), BP America, Inc.
SHERI D. SHEPPARD, Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Richard Weiland Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Curriculum, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
NICOLE SMITH, Research Professor and Chief Economist, Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University
National Academy of Engineering Project Staff
PROCTOR P. REID, Study Director and Program Office Director (until June 2018)
FRAZIER BENYA, Program Officer (until October 2017)
ELIZABETH T. CADY, Program Officer
LANCE A. DAVIS, Executive Officer (retired) (until March 2016)
CATHERINE DIDION, Senior Program Officer (until January 2016)
CAMERON H. FLETCHER, Senior Editor
MICHAEL HOLZER, Senior Program Assistant (since May 2017)
JASON WILLIAMS, Senior Financial Associate (until May 2017)
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This Consensus Study Report represents the work of many individuals, especially those who served on the committee and participated in the committee’s open sessions. The first thanks are to the committee members for their deep knowledge and contributions to the study.
The committee employed several consultants who collected and analyzed data and contributed commissioned papers that appear in the appendices. Thanks go to Donna K. Ginther (University of Kansas), Shulamit Kahn (Boston University), Debbie Hughes, Jason Owen-Smith (University of Michigan), Treva Stack, David Stevens, Isabel Cárdenas-Navia (Alta Vision Consulting), Sylvia Hurtado (University of California, Los Angeles), Bryce E. Hughes (Montana State University), M. Kevin Eagan (University of California, Los Angeles), and Robert Paul (University of Washington). Lynette Osborne evaluated the workshop and other elements of the project. Finally, Alexandra Lockwood provided invaluable support during the data-gathering and writing phases.
The committee benefited from presentations by several individuals who participated in our fact-finding workshop in November 2014. In addition to committee members and consultants, presenters were Samantha Brunhaver (Arizona State University), Jeri L. Buchholz (NASA), Dianne Chong (The Boeing Company), Constance J. Pritchard (The Pritchard Group), Darryll Pines (University of Maryland), Michael McKenzie (George Washington University), Steven Brown (Loyola University Chicago), Andrew Gillen (American Institutes for Research), Larry Bucciarelli (MIT), David Knight (Virginia Tech), and Hal Salzman (Rutgers University).
This report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Paul Gray (NAE)
University of California, Berkeley
Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Founding Director of Metal Processing Institute
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Jeri L. Buchholz
Assistant Administrator, Office of Human Capital Management (retired)
Professor, Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology
University of Missouri–Columbia
Norman L. Fortenberry
American Society for Engineering Education
Joyce M. Gleason
Educational Consultant (retired)
Immediate Past Laboratory Director
Sandia National Laboratories
Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science and Engineering, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering
University of Washington
Founder and Principal
Quality Evaluation Designs
National Technology Practice Director
Jayathi Y. Murthy
Ronald and Valerie Sugar Dean, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science
University of California, Los Angeles
Professor, School of Engineering Education
J. Jerl Purcell, III
Executive Director, HD Growth Program
Professor, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and
Senior Faculty Fellow, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Fred B. Schneider
Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Computer Science and
Chairman, Department of Computer Science
John J. Tracy
Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President (retired)
The Boeing Company
Bruce A. Weinberg
Professor, Department of Economics
Ohio State University
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Paul R. Gray (NAE), professor, vice chancellor, and provost emeritus, University of California, Berkeley. He was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
Thanks are also due to the project staff: Proctor Reid, Frazier Benya, Elizabeth Cady, Catherine Didion, Lance Davis, Cameron Fletcher, Michael Holzer, and Jason Williams. Special thanks go to the late Proctor Reid, who died suddenly in June 2018. Proctor planned and oversaw the entire effort and was instrumental in helping build consensus on the most salient topics of the study. In the final phase of the project he worked tirelessly on the completion of the report, often on weekends, and ensured that diverse opinions were incorporated while preserving the essence and major conclusions of the report. We will always remember him as a thoughtful and kind human being and miss him as a valued colleague and friend.
Jean-Lou Chameau (Chair),
President Emeritus, California Institute of Technology
Rodney C. Adkins (Vice Chair),
President, 3RAM Group, LLC
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Boxes, Figures, and Tables
1-11 Activities most often performed by (1) bachelor’s-degreed engineers in any occupation, (2) bachelor’s-degreed engineers in engineering occupations, and (3) workers in engineering occupations with or without an engineering degree
1-14 Mean wages for those whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s in engineering, science and engineering (S&E), or a non-S&E field; 10–15 years from degree, working in management occupations
3-4 Early-career graduates (less than 3 years postdegree) with engineering bachelor’s degrees: Highest degree earned. PhD degrees are not included in this because students are unlikely to finish a PhD program within three years of earning their bachelor’s degree