Americans say engineering is the leading profession driving U.S. innovation, TE Connectivity survey finds

BERWYN, Pa.  – February 11, 2014 – In conjunction with DiscoverE’s upcoming Engineers Week, TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL) today announced the findings of its Engineering Sentiment Survey, which examined American attitudes toward the engineering profession and its broader impact on innovation.

The survey of 1,017 adults in the U.S. found that the majority of respondents most commonly associate innovation and inventions in society with engineers (87 percent) when compared to other prominent and impactful professions such as teachers (77 percent), doctors (73 percent), and others.  This positive sentiment is reflected in respondents’ belief that the role engineers play in innovation and invention today versus 20 years ago has increased (73 percent).

“Engineers have an inherent and very meaningful impact on society,” said Rob Shaddock, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at TE Connectivity. “Although it’s not something consumers will typically consider as they turn on the light, get on a flight, make a phone call, stay fit, or push the brake pedal in a car—it’s the relationship engineers have with society that fuels the advancements that we all experience every day.”

Engineered Innovations Impacting Society

Survey respondents feel that connected devices, which allow consumers to connect their phones to TVs and cars, are most likely to positively impact society over the next 10 years (33 percent). This is followed by robot development (22 percent), and wearable technologies such as Google Glass, computer watches, and fitness bands (14 percent), 3D printing (13 percent), and driverless vehicles (12 percent).

Fueling the Growth of Engineers

The number of students receiving Bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering fields is growing faster than in other fields, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Since 2009, science and engineering degrees have increased by 19 percent, a little more than double the nine percent growth rate for other fields. This has a large impact on the number of individuals pursuing these professions. In fact, according to TE’s survey, a near equal amount of Americans know an engineer (48 percent) versus those who do not know an engineer (52 percent).

As an increased emphasis is placed on the engineering profession, Americans feel that positive experiences with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) during the formative years in elementary and middle school will most significantly contribute to advancing careers in these areas (31 percent). Other contributions to advancements include work preparedness programs (17 percent), mentorship (17 percent), internships (15 percent), and college or university resources and support to prevent drop-out from STEM-related fields (15 percent).

“From the steam engine in the 1800s to the autonomous vehicle today, transformative technology and engineered innovations will continue to drive the future forward,” Shaddock added. “Setting new trends, and doing so in a collaborative way, instead of following them are at the core of what TE’s engineers and scientists represent. To meet the evolving demands of society, an increased focus in cultivating interest and talent in the areas of STEM are paramount to the continued successes we experience at TE and throughout the world.”

For more information about TE’s approach to Innovation visit:


TE’s Engineering Sentiment survey was conducted by ORC International’s CARAVAN® Omnibus services and was based on 1,017 landline and cell phone interviews of U.S. adults conducted on January 3-5, 2014.


TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) is a $13 billion world leader in connectivity. The company designs and manufactures products at the heart of electronic connections for the world’s leading industries including automotive, energy and industrial, broadband communications, consumer devices, healthcare, and aerospace and defense. TE Connectivity’s long-standing commitment to innovation and engineering excellence helps its customers solve the need for more energy efficiency, always-on communications and ever-increasing productivity. With nearly 90,000 employees in over 50 countries, TE Connectivity makes connections the world relies on to work flawlessly every day. To connect with the company, visit:

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