Studying engineering may not be the easiest thing in the world; however, they are a variety of benefits that comes with holding an engineering or technology degree. Not only are engineering and technology subjects high in demand but salary figures keep climbing. With an engineering degree, it is easier to find a good paying entry-level paying job quickly and subsequently work your way up the ladder.
For example, in the USA nuclear power is a budding field that will require engineering and technology graduates. Locally, Kenya is currently undertaking several engineering projects from ports to railways to roads. So, for engineers the future has a lot of potential. Adding upon the several benefits of engineering and technology, new data by Approved Index revealed that engineering is the most common degree among the world’s top billionaires.
Approved Index, a business-to-business buying platform, analyzed the educational background of Forbe’s top 100 richest people in the world list to come up with that conclusion. According to the study, out of the 100 wealthiest people that were studied, a fifth of them studied engineering. Engineering graduates are also the richest among their prosperous peers. Even though in the Forbe’s wealthiest list, Africa only has 1 billionaire that falls under the top 100, this does not imply that engineers do badly in Africa. The reason Africa still lags behind in terms of the billionaires it produces can be attributed to colonial legacy, corruption and political instability. However, just looking at global statistics engineering graduates earn an average of US 26 billion; which gives an indication of how prosperous an engineering degree can be.
Moreover, in Kenya, engineering is among the ten highest paying professions. This should not come as a surprise as Kenya is a country that is striving to catch up with the developed world in terms of infrastructure and technology. The need and importance of engineers cannot be over-emphasized at this time in Kenya. Additionally, the increasing number of projects in Kenya accommodate a variety of engineering fields, from electrical engineering to petroleum engineering. For example, a project engineer has the potential of earning KES 550,000 or higher. Ultimately it depends on the firm a person is affiliated to or whether they decide to take the entrepreneurship route.
Still despite that, engineering students have the possibility of building successful careers; there are still many issues that stop engineering graduates from tapping into this potential. Nowadays engineering students in Kenya face numerous issues including registration problems, gaps in training in universities and unemployment that stem from firms’ distrust in their capabilities as engineers. Most high school students of this generation do not view engineering education as a profitable path or worthy years of rigorous education. Actually even for those who graduate as engineers pursue other paths in business, accounting or banking. However, it must be recognized that engineers are needed in Kenya as they vastly contribute to the country’s wealth production.
In several countries in Europe, Asia and North America, engineers head state organizations, major industry and other highly prestigious positions, and perhaps that is what is needed among Kenya engineering graduates. More Kenyan engineers are needed in position of leadership, the world is changing and for engineers to help each other and create a better environment for their fellow engineers then they should rise to noteworthy positions. For example, engineering giants such as Michael Bloomberg venture into political positions, donate money to engineering institutions, and ultimately serve as important role models for future engineers.
There is more to engineering than just technicians or technologists, which is what most engineering students need to understand. Moreover, fortune does necessarily not lie in employment but originality, innovation and self-employment. It is not an easy path to becoming a self-made billionaire, but it definitely starts with the ability to look past being a technician. A degree in engineering opens up many doors and not just in the engineering and technology industry.
Of course, there is more to engineering than fame and fortune. Engineers are drivers of economic progress and help improve the quality of life in their respective countries. Kenya should start relying on its local engineers and uplifting them to noteworthy positions, which will in turn encourage students to pursue the subject. Who doesn’t want to help the world while making money?