Engineering technology describes a field closely related to engineering in which practical application of learned concepts is emphasized over theoretical knowledge. Although an increasing amount of emphasis is being placed on the importance of this experiential learning in all engineering curricula, and the specifics of engineering technology’s place among engineering and technical fields is becoming clearer, there are still significant gaps in our understanding of several key aspects of this field. One of these aspects is its perception by the general public, which is important in, among other things, determining the employability of engineering technology program graduates and encouraging the development of engineering technology curricula. Currently, existing literature on the subject is sparse, especially compared to the number and extent of similar studies done in related fields; the studies that are performed on the topic are generally restricted to a very specific demographic, and are not easily applicable to the entire population of engineering technology students and professionals. However, what information does exist suggests that this lack of research impedes the professional growth of those who are involved in engineering technology, including restricting the ability of faculty to recruit students interested in engineering technology programs, decreasing the effectiveness of guidance available to those students through advisors and outside programs, and preventing inequities currently present in the engineering field as a whole from being addressed. By acknowledging the gaps in current knowledge, direction for future research may be provided; thus, this review seeks to outline what research already exists on the public perception of engineering technology, and thereby highlight specific areas in which our understanding of this perception is particularly poor.
Date of this Version
Lucietto, A. M., & Tan, S., & Russell, L. A., & Johnson, M. E. (2020, June), Public Perception of Engineering Technology: A Literature Review Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35109