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IBM Systems and Technology Group

Kids Today
Engineers Tomorrow ?
John Cohn Ph.D.
IBM Fellow
IBM Systems and Technology Group
johncohn@us.ibm.com

2009 IBM Corporation

I want YOU
to help ME
get kids excited about
Engineering Careers

Engineering career trends


Perceptions of Engineering

What do kids want ?


Changing the conversation

What can we do ?

US Engineering Degrees
120K

80K

40K

0
1950

1970

1990

2010
5

Science and Engineering Degrees by Country


China

400

200

India
Japan
USA

0
1989

1997

German
y
2005
6

Engineering Graduates per Million


800

750

500
400

200

0
India

China

USA

2005 Data

22%
of the world's engineers
are women

Crisis?

80%
of kids worldwide would
not consider a technical
career

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Public Perception of Engineering


Attributes

Engineers

Scientists

Creates economic growth

69%

25%

Would make a strong leader

56%

32%

Cares about the community

37%

51%

Sensitive to societal concerns

28%

61%

Improves the quality of life

22%

77%

Protects the environment

17%

71%

Saves lives

14 %

82%

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What they hear:


1. Engineering is hard
2. Must be good at math and science
3. Its not for everyone

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What they dont hear:


1. Creativity
2. Collaboration
3. Value to society

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Doing Research

14

85%
of kids worldwide
want work that is
meaningful and
important

15

Volunteerism Rates in US College Freshmen


90%

80%

70%

60%
1985

1990

1995

2000

2005
16

Change in US Degree Choices 1985-2005


150% Psychology

117%
Biology
100%

81%

Sociology

71%
Business
50%

34% Comp Sci


12%

0%
-8%

-13%

Math Engineering
-50%
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We need to change
the conversation

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Left Brain | Right Brain


Logic

Creativity

Analysis

Empathy

Detail

Facts

Imagination
Passion

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Us Engineering Degrees The Sputnik Effect


120K

80K

Sputnik

40K

0
1950

1970

1990

2010
20

79%
of kids worldwide
believe that we
must address
environmental and
energy issues

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We must make conserving


We
will
pool
all
our
scientific,
energy, decreasing energy
technical
and managerial
consumption,
protecting the
talents,
with
financial
sources,
environment ..
to develop solar energy as a
We
restore
science
to
We will
willabundant
restore energy
science
to its
its
source
of
to
the
breakthrough
point and
rightful
place
..
rightful
place
..
power
our
economy
and
to
main fulcrum for changing the
transform
lives of growth,"
our
pattern ofthe
economic
people
We will
will harness
harness the
the sun
sun and
and the
the
. We
. winds
Chinese
Jiabaoour
the
soil
to
winds and
and
thePremier
soil Wen
to fuel
fuel
our
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

cars
cars and
and run
run our
our factories.
factories.

US
US Pres
Pres Barack
Barack Obama
Obama
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How do you fit-in ?


You !

Relatives

Peers

Teachers
Parents

Online
Media/TV

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The Importance of Outreach

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In Your Home

25

In Your Schools

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In Your Community

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In The World

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Never doubt that a small group of


thoughtful, committed citizens can
change the world. ..

Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.


-Margaret Mead

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