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Megatrends In Engineering Education Today

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Capacity Building: Engineering for Development & Megatrends

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.933.1 - 10.933.8



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Paper Authors

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Bethany Oberst

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Russel Jones

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session # 2560


Bethany S. Oberst, Ph.D., United Arab Emirates University (UAE)


Russel C. Jones, Ph.D., P.E., World Expertise LLC (USA)


In 1982, John Naisbitt published Megatrends, summarizing themes he detected from content analysis of media reports. Since 2000, the editors of the International Engineering Education Digest have been conducting a similar scan and summarizing the results in a monthly electronic publication distributed as a service to engineering educators and others around the world. In this paper, we take a fresh look at the events of the past few years and attempt to discern the most important trends which can influence the education of future engineers.


In 1982 John Naisbitt introduced a new technique of gleaning trends in our society in his best-selling book Megatrends – content analysis. He based his futurist predictions on a detailed analysis of what the news media were reporting, by taking time to connect individual events to begin to understand larger patterns. His premise was that the most reliable way to anticipate the future is by understanding the present.

This paper looks at recent and current events in engineering education at the international scale, as reported over the past four years in the International Engineering Education Digest, and attempts to connect them in ways that reveal megatrends in engineering education. From the rush of universities to get into for-profit distance education ventures, to the worldwide drive toward harmonization of degrees and their quality assurance mechanisms, to downturns in engineering enrollments due to student disenchantment with the profession, to career disruptions due to outsourcing, the topics repeated in the

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Oberst, B., & Jones, R. (2005, June), Megatrends In Engineering Education Today Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15358

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