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Tomorrow's Engineers Week: Parents of teenagers believe engineering careers 'make a difference'

Professional Engineering

(Credit: Shutterstock)
(Credit: Shutterstock)

More parents of 11- to 18-year-olds believe that engineering careers will allow their children to ‘make a difference’ than nursing or policing, a new study has found.

The study, carried out for Engineering UK during Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, found 43% of parents of teenagers believed becoming an engineer helps make a difference to the world. Exactly half of those surveyed said the same thing about teaching, while 48% agreed for doctoring. Nursing, policing and being a vet or social worker all scored below engineering, with 40%, 37%, 37% and 36% respectively.

Almost half of the parents prioritised salary when considering their child’s future work. The average wage for a UK engineer is £47,896, according to The Engineer.

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week aims to highlight the positive work done by engineers across many different sectors. Highlighted individuals and groups include Dr Serena Cunsolo from the University of Portsmouth, part of the Ocean Cleanup team trying to prevent plastic from entering rivers and oceans, and two workers from Robertson’s Engineering, who have saved the lives of otters with an “innovative” road crossing.

“Engineering plays a leading role in tackling some of our biggest challenges, from developing sustainable energy to harnessing the power of AI to fight disease,” said Nusrat Ghani, minister for the Year of Engineering.

Today, institutions including the IMechE sponsored the Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly, reaching out to more than 40,000 pupils at 350 schools with a live broadcast.

Broadcaster Fayon Dixon, who hosted the event, said: “I’ve seen first hand how engineers can make a huge difference in the world and it’s encouraging to know that parents think likewise.”

She added: “The first ever Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly is the perfect opportunity for young people to find out more about how engineering careers can make a positive difference to society.”

The study surveyed 2,000 parents and weighted the results to be representative of the UK population. 

Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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