Engineer - Perception


The perception of engineering varies across countries and continents. In the United States, continental western Europe, eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Canada engineering and engineers are held in very high esteem. British school children in the 1950s were brought up with stirring tales of 'the Victorian Engineers', chief amongst whom were the Brunels, the Stephensons, Telford and their contemporaries. In Canada, a 2002 study by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers revealed that engineers are the third most respected professionals behind doctors and pharmacists. In the Indian subcontinent, Russia and China, engineering is one of the most sought after undergraduate courses, inviting thousands of applicants to show their ability in highly competitive entrance examinations. In Egypt, the educational system makes engineering the second-most-respected profession in the country (after medicine); engineering colleges at Egyptian universities require extremely high marks on the General Certificate of Secondary Education (Arabic: الثانوية العامة‎ al-Thānawiyyah al-`Āmmah)—on the order of 97 or 98%—and are thus considered (with colleges of medicine, natural science, and pharmacy) to be among the "pinnacle colleges" (كليات القمة kullīyāt al-qimmah).

The definition of what engineering is varies across countries. In the UK "engineering" is defined as an industry sector consisting of employers and employees loosely termed as "engineers" who range from semi skilled trades up to Chartered Engineers. In the US and Canada, engineering is defined as a regulated profession whose practice and practitioners are licensed and governed by law. In some English speaking countries engineering has been seen as a somewhat dry, uninteresting field in popular culture and has also been thought to be the domain of nerds. For example, the cartoon character Dilbert is an engineer. In science fiction, engineers are often portrayed as highly knowledgeable and respectable individuals who understand the overwhelming future technologies often portrayed in the genre. Several Star Trek characters are engineers. One difficulty in increasing public awareness of the profession is that average people, in the typical run of ordinary life, do not ever have any personal dealings with engineers, even though they benefit from their work every day. By contrast, it is common to visit a doctor at least once a year, the accountant at tax time, the pharmacist for drugs, and, occasionally, even a lawyer.

In companies and other organizations in the UK there is a tendency to undervalue people with advanced technological and scientific skills compared to celebrities, fashion practitioners, entertainers and managers. In his book The Mythical Man-Month, Fred Brooks Jr says that managers think of senior people as "too valuable" for technical tasks, and that management jobs carry higher prestige. He tells how some laboratories, such as Bell Labs, abolish all job titles to overcome this problem: a professional employee is a "member of the technical staff." IBM maintain a dual ladder of advancement; the corresponding managerial and engineering / scientific rungs are equivalent. Brooks recommends that structures need to be changed; the boss must give a great deal of attention to keeping his managers and his technical people as interchangeable as their talents allow.

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Other articles related to "perception":

Perception - Types - Of The Social World
... Social perception is the part of perception that allows people to understand the individuals and groups of their social world, and thus an element of social cognition ...
Cretien Van Campen - Fields of Interest - Perception
... He showed that the apparent rise of Gestalt psychology in perception research in the 1910s had its roots in late 19th century art history in Germany ... and scientific experiments with visual perception since the Renaissance ... After finishing his thesis, his interests moved to the perception of music ...
Common Coding Theory - Related Approaches
... tend to stress the relative independence of perception and action, some theories have argued for closer links ... Motor theories of speech and action perception have made a case for motor contributions to perception ... Close non-representational connections between perception and action have also been claimed by ecological approaches ...
Leibniz's Gap
... the Gap goes as follows “ It must be confessed, moreover, that perception, and that which depends on it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is, by figures ... one against another, but never anything by which to explain a perception ...
Legacy Of The Battle Of The Alamo - Perception
... In Mexico, perceptions of the battle have often mirrored those of Santa Anna ... Initially, reports of the Mexican victory concentrated on glorifying Santa Anna, especially among newspapers that supported the centralist cause ...

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