I Look Like a Civil Engineer

November 20, 2015 at 10:00 am 1 comment

Civil Engineer

If you have not caught on to the trending new website for civil engineers spreading across social media and the internet, it may be time to check it out. There is a new website titled “I Look Like a Civil Engineer.” The website was developed with a vision of providing stories and inspiration to the civil engineering community, while championing diversity. Not only diversity of gender and race and inspiring women and minorities to enter the world of civil engineering, but also diversity of experiences within the profession. The site is full of inspiring stories from civil engineers across the country who share how and why they got into the civil engineering profession and where their passion stems from. Real civil engineers of all races and genders and looks inspiring others to follow their passion while promoting the civil engineering profession at the same time. It is a great time to be a civil engineer, and the outlook for the profession continues to shine bright. Be sure to check it out. Share the site with your peers; invite a student who shows an inclination towards math and science to visit the site; or better yet, share your story!

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Matt Barcus
President :: Precision Executive Search, Inc.
Managing Partner :: CivilEngineeringCentral.com

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. bobgately  |  November 22, 2015 at 11:24 am

    In 1968 I was teaching a trigonometry class for surveying for airmen who were cross training into the Site Development Specialists career field, aka Civil Engineer’s Aide. I asked Jack what he was doing before he transferred into the Site Development Specialists career field? He said, “I was in missile maintenance” which I thought would be better than Site Development Specialists. I then asked Jack, “Why did you transfer?” He replied, “I failed the human reliability test.” When I asked him, “What does that mean?” he said, “I don’t know.”

    Months later I was entering the drafting office and noticed a trail of blood drops from the parking lot all the way to drafting room and right to Jack’s drafting table. I asked, “What happened?” I was told that the sergeant said something to Jack that Jack didn’t like so Jack punched the window and was taken to the hospital with a severe cut on his hand.

    It wasn’t until my MBA, class of 1992, that I learned how assessments predict future behaviors especially when stressed. Jack popped into mind as I pictured him punching a window and realized that had he stayed in missile maintenance he may well have punched a hole in the side of an intercontinental ballistic missile or his sergeant’s head.

    We all have talent but 80% of employees don’t have the talent their jobs demand which includes managers and above.

    When managers do not hire for job talent job success becomes a random event. 

    At the kick-off meeting in the late 1990s for a 12 town School-to-Work program in Massachusetts a labor expert from the state government presented an overview of the state’s employment picture. He had some interesting data.”In 1950 only 20% of the jobs in Massachusetts required a four year college degree; doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, nurses, etc.” He then asked the audience of 350+ teachers, administrators and business people what they thought the percentage was in 1995.

    The answers from the audience were from 35% to 80%.

    When the answers stopped being offered by the audience one person finally asked “What is the percentage?

    The labor expert said, “It is still 20%.”

    Only 37% of the adults in the US over the age of 25 have a four-year college degree, yet 20% (+/-) of the jobs require the degree. I suggest that many of the 37% are either underemployed or more likely in a different career or job than their college degree.

    Employers raise the minimal educational requirements for jobs to try and hire employees who will become successful. Unfortunately, job success is not about college degrees. The concept of job fit explains why so many degree holders do not become good employees; they lack the talent for job success. Come to think of it, unsuccessful employees will still be unsuccessful even if they acquire a college degree if they do not have the talent for job success.


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