Friday, July 16, 2004

"EDUCATION: Engineering schools abrim with talent"
The coursework is no picnic, and once you finish, the job market can be iffy. And yet, more U.S. students are enrolled in engineering graduate schools than ever before, according to a new report from the National Science Foundation. They numbered almost half a million in 2002, NSF says, a figure that surpasses by 5 percent the previous peak, achieved in 1993.
"To some extent the all-time high in graduate enrollment in science and engineering is following trends in the total U.S. college-age population," said Jean Johnson, an NSF senior analyst. But demographics alone can't account for the entire uptick, Johnson said, especially in fields like electrical and biomedical engineering, which jumped 10.7 percent and 20.3 percent respectively. Here, according to Johnson, engineering specialties on the rise reflect the students' practical eye for interesting employment opportunities. "Much of the increase in specific fields of science and engineering can be attributable to students going where they perceive the jobs to be," said Johnson. That's certainly the case for a trio of would-be engineers who have already begun to make a mark in the profession � Dat Truong and Landon Unninayar of Johns Hopkins and Alia Sabur from Drexel University.