Mechanical engineer designing 3D engine model
Mechanical engineer designing 3D engine modeliStock

To coincide with its upcoming conference on July 20, Afeka College of Engineering in Tel Aviv released the results of a special survey.

The survey, which included 300 young people ages 20-25, found that among those interested in academic studies, the coronavirus crisis led to a 50% increase in the willingness to study engineering compared to the period before the crisis.

This is likely due to the occupational stability that the profession provides, the low volatility in relation to other branches of the economy, and the level of pay which remains high even in times of crisis.

Global high-tech industry leaders are beginning to realize that we may soon reach the point where Israel is producing “enough” engineers to have closed a longstanding deficit. However, if we do not change the way we educate them, they will not meet the quality that is sought by the marketplace. Today, engineers must bring with them a broad range of teamwork capabilities, creative thinking, rapid adaptation to changes, etc. These are the skills the industry itself defines as essential for every engineer in the workplace today. This is especially true during the Corona crisis where staff have been working remotely.

The Afeka Conference for the Development of National Human Capital in Engineering aims to help promote and formulate a consistent and coordinated policy for developing national human capital in engineering areas. This policy will ensure the continuation of the prosperity of the Israeli high-tech industry and its status as a leading global innovation, while creating a suitable educational continuum from the kindergarten to the academy.

Minister of Economics and Industry Amir Peretz (Labor) will attend the conference, which will be hosted by Israeli journalist Dana Weiss. The conference will include a special industrial session with senior 5 C-level Israeli high-tech companies as well as leaders from academia including representatives of the Council for Higher Education.

The conference will also feature the K-12 perspective, linking the educational continuum in engineering studies and hosting two leading guests in the field of education and STEM: Jan Morrison of TIES, who served as the White House adviser for Education and scientific excellence in four different governments and served as a senior advisor for Education for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Andreas Schleicher, Director of the OECD Education Department OECD. will participate. Schleicher sets the international standard for education and higher education in the 21st century, including the PISA exams and PIAAC exams for academic skills.

President of Afeka College of Engineering in Tel Aviv Prof. Ami Moyal said: “The global crisis in the wake of the virus further sharpens the need to build an educational pathway from the earliest years of life through college and beyond that emphasizes those skills found in an engineering education – play, exploration, and collaboration. Today’s employment market emphasizes the acquisition of vital “soft skills.”