Professional and Career Topics

Expand all | Collapse all

What size role does altruism play in attracting and retaining civil engineers?

  • 1.  What size role does altruism play in attracting and retaining civil engineers?

    Posted 07-07-2022 12:34 PM

    Further to my recent post asking the question if Civil Engineering needs to be more zoomy - click here for link - I wonder how much a desire to contribute to society plays in attracting talent into the civil engineering profession and retaining this talent. Clearly civil engineering offers the opportunity to work on some amazing projects, but this comes at a price in terms of lower pay relative to other engineering disciplines and the fairly steep requirement for licensure / certification to take responsible charge.  And to my earlier post, many civil engineering projects are just not zoomy. This leads me to believe that altruism plays a role in those that want to enter the profession and stay in the profession. Is this angle being sufficiently exploited in marketing efforts and are there unintended consequences?



    ------------------------------
    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: What size role does altruism play in attracting and retaining civil engineers?

    Posted 07-07-2022 08:30 PM
    Excellent question. I believe there's a definite role for altruism in making civil engineering attractive as a discipline. At my former university -- Mississippi State -- the Engineers without Borders group received favorable press coverage for their work bringing safe water to third world villages. That sort of positive message resonates with those who want to make a difference in people's lives and may not see it so obviously displayed in our work.

    ------------------------------
    William McAnally Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, D.NE, F.ASCE
    ENGINEER
    Columbus MS
    ------------------------------