Are Engineers Educated?

Or are they merely trained?

2 min read
Illustration: Dan Page
Illustration: Dan Page

Every now and then, I’ve wondered how people view a person graduating with an engineering degree. Do they generally think that he or she is truly “educated,” or is this instead someone who has undergone vocational training aimed at a specific job?

I was thinking about this recently when I read an article about why a liberal arts education is more important than ever. This led me to read a number of other essays about the value of a liberal education versus one in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). As far as I could tell, virtually all the essays I saw had been written by liberal arts graduates or faculty. Perhaps that’s not surprising: They are more inclined to write essays, and understandably may feel defensive about the current emphasis on STEM.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

Keep Reading ↓Show less