The Future of Work: What is the Impact on Engineering Technicians?

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Conference Proceeding

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Two-year associate degrees in Engineering Technology, ET, will be significantly impacted by Future of Work issues that are arising rapidly. The question is how? This presentation will address the challenges that should be addressed within the two year ET programs from a national perspective. Typically, ET degree programs focus on the demands of industries within the college's service area. This is to be expected and is actually a valuable element of an ET associate degree program. Another essential characteristic is that these programs provide pathway options for completing the B.S. Engineering Technology typically in the same region. However, it is also important that the ET degree curriculum provides students with knowledge and skills that address the national need and interest. This requirement to have ET programs cognizant of national priorities is very relevant to the United States industry today because the rapid inclusion of new technologies into the workplace is directly impacting industry performance and product quality. The robotic and automated nature of complex manufacturing environments, Industry 4.0, virtual realities, smart sensors, and digital twins are just some of the examples of new technology disrupting the technical workplace of engineers and technicians. Implicit impacts include the increased need for large data sets to assure correct operations.

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The Future of Work: What is the Impact on Engineering Technicians? Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Online. 10.18260/1-2--35324 (2020, June)