India is all set to produce the world’s largest number of engineers. The first ever global report commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and to be made public on Monday has revealed that while just 20% of 16to 17-yearolds from the UK and 30% from the USA are interested in an engineering career, in India the rate is as high as 80% -the highest in the world.
The report will also unveil another interesting finding -India has closed the gender gap in engineering to an all-time low of 14% in 2015.
Around 66% of men in the world are interested in engineering while the figure stands as low as 43% for women globally . However when it comes to India, both men and women have shown great interest in engineering the highest in the world.
While 85% of Indian men have shown interest in engineering, the number stands at a close 79% among women in India. In comparison, 62% of women in China are interested in taking up engineering as a career, 55% in Brazil, 48% in Turkey , as low as 35% in the US, 33% in Germany , 28% in the UK and 27% in Japan.
Also when asked whether they would like to take up engineering as a career, 80% of 16-year-olds in India said it was their first choice, while the number rose to 81% among 18-24-yearolds, and 87% among 24-30 year olds.
“Emerging economies like India have narrower gender gaps regarding overall interest in engineering than leading economies of the world.This is astounding since women have a far more equal access to education in the US, Germany and Japan, yet their aptitude to pursue engineering careers is less,“ said professor Viola Vogel from ETH Zurich.
The report said: “To the contrary , in India where women of the emerging middle class are increasingly fighting for equal rights, only 29% of the population consider engineering as masculine, while an amazing 30% consider it as feminine.“
Source: TOI 26 Oct’ 2015