The lack of Liberal-Arts minded Engineers

This post is a response to this article/commentary from the CEO of BMW.

100% agree. The elephant in the room is that what we don’t need is nerds who cannot interact with people in non-technical ways. The stereotypical engineer still exists , in part, because of the systems in place in education. Most high school and university-level engineering (software, hardware) programs recruit and produce the exact stereotypes that have been there for 4 decades. Modern programs have to change their recruitment strategies to attract different types of students. It’s a self-fulfilling circle: stereotypical students are attracted, so they fill the classrooms, curious students look into the classroom and don’t see anyone who looks and acts like them so they don’t enter the classroom. The article talks about the need for engineers to be more balanced with non-technical topics, but I’ll challenge that, equally if not more important, is that we broaden our pool of engineers to be more diverse and inclusive. This means we get more people in the engineering field who ask different questions, bring different perspectives, and approach challenges differently. That kind of classroom both attracts and produces a different type of person….perhaps the liberal-arts-minded engineer that Knudt is referring to.

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