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I am an Engineer!

There! I've said it.

When all my school friends were planning careers as doctors, bank managers or Whitehall manadarins, I was taking televisions, radios, motors (and sometimes insects) apart to find out how they worked. Then I'd try and put them back together to see if they still worked, often without success (particularly with the insects).

I qualified at Marconi, and my career morphed through IT into banking and securities.

Nowadays, with the popularity of banks and banking in decline, maybe Engineering will become a popular and respectable career again?

I grew up reading of the great British engineers - Watt, who alledgedly turned his own top hat on a lathe from a solid piece of wood, Brunel, who built the Great Western Railway and numerous steamships. The names of many of these engineers are still immortalised today in units of measurement - the Watt, Newton, Farad, Gilbert and so on. Engineers in Germany, USA and Japan will argue over fathership of the electric fuel cell, while overlooking the work of a Welshman, Sir William Robert Grove, who first demonstrated the concept in 1839.

Until recently, in the UK, it hasn't been trendy to go into Engineering, and youngsters have been encouraged to train for careers with investment banks and hedge funds. With the change of sentiment in the industry, maybe this country will rediscover its engineering roots?

It is therefore timely to see an engineer (albeit a software engineer) replace an investment manager as the richest person in the world?

Hugh Cumberland

Product Strategy Director, BT GFS.


Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 16 March, 2009, 22:03Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I agree - in the rest of Europe being an engineer (with a diploma - 5 years long university course) is respected.

In the UK...

Maybe the problem is intent of engineers to simplify problems, so making them cheaper to solve next time? It seems that banks used to work other way around - they chose the simplest product (bricks) and made it as complex as possible.