More American engineering degrees could incorporate real-world tasks such as electronics manufacturing in their coursework as higher education institutions in the US look to ensure they are preparing their students for economic success.
A report published by the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE), led by the University of Washington, combines quantitative and qualitative data in order to provide a full picture of how newly qualified engineers in the US are equipped for their roles.
Sheri Sheppard, professor at Stanford University and lead investigator on one component of the report, the Academic Pathways Study, says that work is already being done to deliver hands-on teaching.
"There's been a national movement to include project-based learning activities, or activities that more closely resemble real-world problems, in regular coursework," she says.
Research strands pursued by the CAEE include looking at engineering pathways, such as how a student might progress from their degree course into employment in disciplines such as electronics manufacturing, innovation and development.