Mind the Engineering Gap – An Engineer’s Survey

Update: This survey is now closed.  For further information on the findings click here.

As a company we are curious about, and committed to developing the future engineering workforce in Kenya.  As a rapidly expanding company, in an environment where oil and gas is just beginning to be discovered and extracted, we need engineers, and will continue to need many more in the future.

As we launched our Graduate Internship Program we asked ourselves what are the opportunities for students and graduates; what are the impediments and encumbrances to becoming a fully qualified engineer; and how might Bentworth be able to assist with these areas in the future?  Our research lead us to look for data on the following areas:

  • number of people who dropout of their engineering course before graduating?
  • why people drop out?
  • what jobs engineering graduates take after university?
  • how many of these jobs are in engineering?
  • We were also interested to know what these figures by gender.

Our desk based research found that there was limited information available to assist us in answering these questions.  Some general statistics from  The College of Transitions indicates that “a gulp-worthy 60% of engineering students eventually drop-out or change majors. Over 40% don’t even make it through year one.”

A news article was published in 2017 based on data from the Engineers Board of Kenya stated:

  • 8 women (2.3 %) and 355 men were in the list of registered consulting engineers.
  • 86 women (5.4%) and 1,597 men were registered as professional engineers
  • 757 women (8.8%) and 8,639 were listed as engineering graduates

While the statistics are very interesting in terms of women vs men in the industry the fact that 9,396 students had graduated with an engineering degree and only 1,683 (less then 17%) went on to register as engineers is extremely concerning.  The stark fact is that around 83% of people who spend a minimum of 4-5 years undertaking an engineering degree, and graduate, go on to work in other fields.  Why is this attrition rate from engineering so high?

At Bentworth we have decided to embark on our own study to try and understand what it is that students need to continue on in engineering and how we might be able to support this going forward.

If you are a graduate or undergraduate engineer in Kenya, we would really appreciate it if you could take a few moments to complete this survey.