Educational institutions push students toward engineering

A number of high schools and universities in the U.S. are working to steer students toward engineering careers.

Electrical engineering recruiters could soon see an influx of qualified candidates looking for jobs in the sector. There is a strong push being made in the U.S. to get people excited about a career in engineering. This is being done through the creation of trade schools, college classes and even introducing high school students to the field using hands-on methods.

According to the Tyler Morning Telegraph, the Chapel Hill Independent School District in North Carolina has created an engineering program open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Upon completion of the program, those preparing to graduate and move on to college can earn a certificate in computer-aided design, commonly referred to as CAD.

"The engineering program is phenomenal," Lamond Dean, principal of Chapel Hill High School, told the newspaper. "Year in and year out, it is one of the most popular but most challenging classes."

Students enrolled in the program will learn to not only use computers for engineering purposes, but also how to draw manually using nothing more than paper and pencils. This introduces students to the way the engineering process was done before, and the technological improvements made in the engineering field today, giving them a well-rounded knowledge base that they can carry with them throughout their careers.

Houston Community College and the University of Texas – Tyler, team up
The engineering field is an important component of solidifying the infrastructure of an entire city or even small town. This is one of the reasons the field is rapidly trying to expand its workforce base.

According to a report from the Houston Chronicle, collaboration between the University of Texas – Tyler and Houston Community College has created a four-year degree program for future engineering professionals that is already recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

"Electrical engineers are versatile and needed in diverse industries," Yolanda Brooks-Brown, a spokesperson from the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering, told the Chronicle. "Using their electrical engineering degree and expertise, graduates will design, develop, test, and find ever-changing solutions to various tools, equipment, devices, and systems. From aerospace, oil and gas, utilities, telecommunications to numerous other businesses, electrical engineers will always have a place in industry."

Arkansas couple donates $100,000 toward electrical engineering scholarships
Hugh and Martha Brewer, who are both alumni of the University of Arkansas, recently created the "Hugh and Martha Brewer Endowed Scholarship in Electrical Engineering," through a donation of $100,000, the university wrote on its website.

Hugh Brewer graduated in 1959, signaling the beginning of his career in electrical engineering. This led him to purchasing Upchurch Electrical Supply Co. where he served as CEO and company president. His passion for engineering, as well as his alma mater, was the spark that caused him to create a scholarship fund for students interested in a career in this particular field.

"[Hugh] received help along the way, and we wanted to help someone else," Martha Brewer told the university.

The steps being taken in North Carolina, Houston and Arkansas is great news for engineering recruiters. With more people entering the field, this makes the candidate sourcing and recruiting phases that much easier.

Staffing industry professionals working in the engineering sector should begin paying close attention to any engineering programs being offered at both the high school and college level. In the case of the Chapel Hill ISD, students who complete its program will already be prepared for entry-level engineering jobs.

These programs and others like it can serve as a viable candidate pool that recruiters can draw from time and again. 

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