Pathways into the Engineering Workforce

Source: American Society of Mechanical Engineering (

Source: American Society of Mechanical Engineering (

When researching for the fourth edition of Is There an Engineer Inside You?, I came across this graphic from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). It’s a very informative snapshot of the varied paths to get to a career in engineering. The only differences I uncovered in my research is that you can go from an A.A.S. in Engineering Technology into a B.S. Engineering program – it’s just more difficult. I know because that is what I did. I got an A.A.S. in Electronic Engineering Technology and then transferred into a Biomedical Engineering Program. I had to retake several science classes because they weren’t calculus based but I found that retaking those classes improved my math skills and made the rest of my degree easier because I had such a strong foundation. I don’t advocate this route but there are certainly advantages to it too.

Another difference I uncovered is that Engineering Technology now has a doctoral degree.

It’s the Season for Engineering Education Events

Dad's can come too!

Dad’s can come too!

The next few weeks will be very big for me. I’m the luncheon speaker for the Women’s Tech Council and the following day, I’m facilitating a Mother/Daughter (Parent/Daughter) TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) hosted by Weber State University. As you might remember, the Mother/Daughter TEA is a half-day event, usually held on a Saturday, where Mom and her middle school daughter learn about engineering careers and design projects together. It is one of the most successful events that I have ever seen at getting girls to consider engineering.

In a nutshell, girls leave the TEA with increased confidence in their engineering abilities, as well as seeing that they can be creative, innovative and smart about design. They are less likely to shy away from engineering classes because they have been exposed to it in a meaningful and less threatening way. They also will have more support at home if they choose that direction.  The TEAS and all middle school engineering projects are usually an introduction to get the girls confident enough to take this route in high school. It integrates all of STEM.

Shortly after I get home, I leave again for the East Coast. I’m providing a session at a middle school counselor conference hosted by NASA Langley and for a finale, I’m the keynote speaker at the Virginia Children’s Engineering Conference (VCEC). I’m very excited about this event! The VCEC participants will experience technology-based activities that contribute to the development of technological awareness. Workshop highlights will focus on experiences that enable children to:

  • explore how people create use, and control technology
  • apply knowledge in mathematics, science, English, and History and Social Studies in solving problems associated with technology
  • use tools and materials to explore personal interest with technology
  • exhibit self-confidence through the use of technology

It’s going to be a great time!

Engineers Arise! New Book Release

ITAEIY4_300x450Big news today! My very first book, Is There an Engineer Inside You? is being released in an updated and completely revised fourth edition. It now includes engineering technology and covers 38 different types of engineering and engineering technology, college options, how to succeed in engineering school, women and minorities in engineering, wow careers in engineering, how much money engineers make and much more.

I wrote the first edition when I was in engineering school. It was the book I wished I’d had when making the decision to go to school. I wrote it because I wanted my fellow students to know what they were getting into and have a clear idea about all the amazing pathways that engineers could follow.

Some new features of this book include helping students choose between engineering and engineering technology; more information about college choices, engineering curricula, and articulation agreements; additional approaches such as Engineers Without Borders, engineers in business and engineers in politics; and seven new discipline specific sections on engineering technology.

To celebrate the occasion I have several opportunities to entice you:

  1. For every educator that orders this new edition before the publication date (March 5, 2013), you will also receive a PowerPoint presentation that you can use in class to explain the differences between engineering and engineering technology. It’s colorful, engaging, and designed to save you time.
  2. Did you know that you can customize this book? You can add your logo to the cover and title page at no additional cost (minimum order is 100 books).
  3. Looking for a conference presenter or workshop facilitator? I can provide a free presentation or workshop at your conference, meeting, or event for every group or organization that orders at least 160 of these books. If you are interested, contact me right away to reserve your date – my calendar fills quickly! More information

Please join my celebration! As you probably know from a sneak peak at the Next Generation Science Standards, engineering is going to be a bigger part of the educational landscape. Is There an Engineer Inside You? will help you get ready and hit the ground running!