I have never been one to embrace stereotypes. Everyone from a certain part of the country is not the same. All members of a particular sex do not behave the same way. Those of a certain age don't like the same things. And so on...
The same thing applies to engineers. It kills me that so many non-engineers stereotype engineers. You will often hear statements such as:
"Engineers are introverts."
"Engineers only use their left brain."
"Engineers are all about logic versus emotion."
"Engineers don't care about people. They only care about things."
"Engineers are bad communicators."
"Engineers aren't good businesspeople."
"Engineers have no personality."
"Engineers have no sense of humor."
Any one or more of these statements may be true about some engineers, but certainly not all of them are. And they may even be entirely untrue about some engineers.
An engineering background is a good place to start for practically any career. It's just common sense to me that learning how to solve complex problems is a valuable skill – one that could apply to almost any endeavor or field of practice. Having knowledge of math, science, physics, materials, the planet – this is good stuff!
Yet so many people are almost afraid to admit that they like the idea of getting a degree in engineering and possibly even pursuing it as a career. It's just not "cool." The stereotypes are holding back the profession. They are keeping good people out of the field.
As the publishers of CE News and Structural Engineer magazines, we are all about fighting these stereotypes. We love engineers and appreciate what you do for all of us. I hate to think about all the problems in the world today and where we would be if engineers of all types weren't out there diligently working away to solve them. I think it's an important endeavor.
That's just one of the many reasons we're here. We want to show you – and your work – to the world. We want to help you be better communicators, businesspeople, and engineers as well. We want to fight the stereotypes on every level that we can.
The economics of the media business today make it tough, especially when you don't have a professional society subsidizing your efforts (as we don't). But we are committed to you – our readers – and are thankful for your support!
Enjoy this October issue of CE News. And hopefully you can take a break to get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather while you still can!
Mark C. Zweig