Although some researchers and policy makers disagree on the nature and extent of the engineering “shortage” in the United States, few dispute the need to attract the most capable students, especially girls and certain minorities, into technical careers.
Women, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and some Asian American groups are significantly underrepresented
in engineering, based on their proportions in the population at large.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, if current demographic trends continue, by 2050 almost half the U.S. population will be non-white. This means that in the future, engineering solutions will have to be acceptable to our increasingly diverse population, and the engineering profession will have to draw more heavily on underrepresented groups for the country to maintain, let alone increase, its technological capability.
Thus messages that effectively encourage girls and underrepresented minorities to consider careers in engineering could be crucial to U.S. success and leadership in the future.