Three trends are emerging from the top engineering colleges preparing students to be experts in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
These trends, plus proper education and training, are expected to cultivate the next generation of industry leaders and inspire technological breakthroughs.
Hands-On Learning Experiences
A hands-on education in engineering moves learning out of the textbook and into the laboratory. Facts can be remembered and statistics memorized, but hands-on learning creates a stronger, more effective learning environment for young scholars. Opening access to supercomputers and state-of-the-art facilities brings key concepts to life for young scholars and prepares them to use the equipment they’ll need in their careers.
Internships with Industry Leaders
As is the case in most other industries, the most effective way to learn best practices is through visiting an actual workplace. STEM universities often establish internship programs with top engineering companies to help students gain invaluable hands-on experience and advance their careers.
Competitive internships provide students the opportunity to learn from the most experienced professionals in the industry, receive an expert's career advice and work closely on real-world projects in their respective field. This type of mentorship allows students to adapt to work environments, deadlines and the types of tasks they can expect in their own careers.
Real-World Problem Solving Training
STEM-focused schools encourage students to apply their new knowledge to solving real-world problems. Developing new forms of sustainable energy and “green” building are one example. This type of real-world application teaches STEM students innovative thinking and the value of using their knowledge for good. Seeing science in action provides the knowledge, hunger and discipline necessary to become the change in the world.
These three trends in STEM education contribute to students’ ability to join the workforce as engineers and key contributors to their respective fields post-graduation. Hands-on experience, internship opportunities and real-world problem solving challenges will help students emerge as tomorrow’s engineering leaders.