According to a 2016 report on the future of jobs, growth for engineers is focused on biochemicals, nanotechnology, robotics, and materials. But more than 10 years ago, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) had seen the future earlier in the past.
During the course of one NAE workshop, four scenarios were considered, each of which was thought to capture trends that could dramatically affect the way the future would unfold.
All of the scenarios recognized that pending breakthroughs in fields like nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials, computing, and logistics would be factors engendering change regardless of other conditions.
At the end of that workshop, the NAE’s “Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century” predicted that the next several decades will offer more opportunities for engineers, with exciting possibilities in nanotechnology, information technology, and bio engineering.
The NAE also said other engineering applications for future engineers are transgenic food, technologies that affect personal privacy, and nuclear technologies.
Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century
The NAE’s Engineer of 2020 report was a bold optimism for the engineering profession, looking at what engineering students should learn in university to prepare for the future and how this might differ from what is taught today.
With the appropriate education and training, the engineer of the future will be called upon to become a leader not only in business but also in nonprofit and government sectors, the NAE said.
All 15 ABET-accredited historically black college and university (HBCU) Engineering schools are attracting the best and brightest students, with new teaching and training approaches.
Below are just a few examples of what’s on offer:
Morgan State University’s Department of Civil Engineering provides an undergraduate program of study in the planning, design, and management of civil infrastructure and service systems. Each student receives a broad, professional education in all fundamental areas of civil engineering, however, specialty areas of study offered include environmental and water resources engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, and transportation engineering.
Southern University and A&M College’s department of Mechanical Engineering offers a four-year-program leading to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Course offering also are aimed at providing a rigorous engineering education for students who may seek employment in engineering areas or in related interdisciplinary fields. Applications of modern techniques in computers and computer-aided design are encouraged in mechanical engineering courses.
Howard’s School of Engineering is among the top schools in the nation in the number of engineering degrees awarded to African-Americans. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has made significant contributions in this area. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering find employment in the aerospace, communications, computer system design, power distribution, consumer electronics, biomedical engineering and military industries. Many graduates pursue post baccalaureate studies for advanced degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering or related fields. Many apply their technical expertise to engineering professions as well as to business, law, and medicine.
Florida A&M University the Department of Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) offer three challenging undergraduate majors.
The Computer Information Systems major (Business option) prepares students for careers that apply information technology as a strategic component of running a business.
The Computer Science major (Science option) which is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org, replaces business courses with mathematics courses and prepares students for careers that explore and discover new technologies. The newly approved (as of July 2010) Information Technology major (IT option) prepares students to meet the computer technology needs of business, government, healthcare, schools, and other kinds of organizations.
Either major prepares students for graduate study. The rewards of completing these challenging programs include employment by major corporations into growth careers and at impressive starting salaries, and acceptance into prestigious graduate programs.
FAMU also offers a Master of Software Engineering Science degree for students with an academic background in computing.
Historically Black Colleges With ABET-accredited Engineering Programs
Alabama A&M University (AL)
Florida A&M University-Florida State University (FAMU-FSU) (FL)
Hampton University (VA)
Howard University (DC)
Jackson State University (MS)
Morgan State University (MD)
Norfolk State University
North Carolina A&T State University (NC)
Prairie View A&M University (TX)
Southern University and A&M College (LA)
Tennessee State University (TN)
Tuskegee University (AL)
University of the District of Columbia (DC)
University of Maryland, Eastern Shore