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Why is it that there are so few Black engineers?

╒ a c a d e╒ a c a d e Posts: 90Registered User Junior Member
edited August 2009 in Engineering Majors
Seriously, you almost NEVER hear of any black/african/african-american wanting to actually be one. It's a thought I've always pondered; to me, it just seems that the engineering fields are dominated by asians and caucasians.

The very idea of a black engineer seems almost outlandish and incomprehensible simply because there, well, aren't any really. I know this isn't the case, but dang, it looks that way and I'd like to know why and what can be done to encourage blacks to pursue this field.

Any thoughts?
Post edited by ╒ a c a d e on
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Replies to: Why is it that there are so few Black engineers?

  • PurdueEEPurdueEE Posts: 705Registered User Member
    I work with quite a few black engineers and only one asian. While this is probably not the norm, there definitely are black engineers out there doing well.
  • KytKyt Posts: 595Registered User Member
    It's not just the lack of black engineers, but blacks in higher education in general.

    I believe the lack of blacks in higher education is cultural. Many blacks grow up in poor neighborhoods that do not push for academic excellence. Intellectual pursuits in general are shunned by school age peers. I think that many of them simply do not internalize significance of a college degree.

    This push for academics needs to begin with the parents.
  • AuburnMathTutorAuburnMathTutor Posts: 1,770Registered User Senior Member
    There are a lot of African Americans majoring in STEM fields here at Auburn. I think the dropout rates might be a little higher than for other groups, but not by much. And I know Auburn is probably not the norm, being a school in the deep South.

    I wonder if there are statistics somewhere that say how races break down by major/field/etc. It seems like there must be... I'm thinking a government agency. I'll look into it if there's interest.
  • membermember Posts: 612- Junior Member
    Seeing how they only are a small percent of the population, I would say my university atleast in engineering was pretty well distributed. Though most black students went to EE.
  • fatpig554fatpig554 Posts: 432- Member
    the black bailiff on judge judy has an EE degree...
  • JapherJapher Posts: 1,350Registered User Senior Member
    I agree with Kyt. Social implications of family units and what they value flow into success rates in certain areas. I know a couple black engineers and scientists, and those I know are usually exceptional at it. Those I do know who I wouldn't classify as exceptional in their field are that way by virtue (or lack there of) of their up bringing and family and friends perception of their chosen field. People should support each other to do their best, regardless of anything... And I will remember this when my daughter runs off to clown school.
  • PlattsburghLoserPlattsburghLoser Posts: 5,487Registered User Senior Member
    I know there's the Black Engineering Society. I have a friend who just joined it a few days ago, and got thousands of dollars worth of free software (...and won't share) from joining it.
    But I think this is the case for a lot of groups, like women and hispanic engineers too.

    The college I did research at is doing a program for middle school and elementary school children, mostly minority, to educate them about engineering and encourage them to join the field.
  • vblickvblick Posts: 464Registered User Member
    the black bailiff on judge judy has an EE degree...

    not according to this
    Petri Hawkins-Byrd - Biography
  • AuburnMathTutorAuburnMathTutor Posts: 1,770Registered User Senior Member
    White males don't get any free software... *tear*
  • fatpig554fatpig554 Posts: 432- Member
    my bad, thanks vblick.
    maybe it was the bailiff on "the peoples court"
  • vblickvblick Posts: 464Registered User Member
    I just checked because i wanted to see the career path he took if he was EE. He didn't strike me as an EE or JD but you never know...
  • membermember Posts: 612- Junior Member
    the color of all major social programs is white. In fact Blacks are moving into the middle class at a drastically faster rate then whites. and no not all whites are middle class. The poorest people in the country are white, by far. While blacks tend to live in urban areas, with a high cost of living, poor whites test to live in rural areas, some dont even have running water and electricity. Its all about how you calculate it. I tend to think the people who have running water are doing a bit better than those who dont.

    Id also like to point out that becoming a engineer takes alot of work. Most minorities are looking to get into the middle class as fast as possible. In that engineering is not really a wise choice, considering other majors such as communications and business are much easier, give decent job prospects and have lots of room for growth.
  • uaprophetuaprophet Posts: 353Registered User Member
    White males can get the free software. Anyone can become a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and take advantage of the opportunities, including the free software it offers.
  • AuburnMathTutorAuburnMathTutor Posts: 1,770Registered User Senior Member
    "considering other majors such as communications and business are much easier"
    - Can we please not go down this road? Please?

    "White males can get the free software. Anyone can become a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and take advantage of the opportunities, including the free software it offers. "
    - Dude. I'm going to look into that.
  • PlattsburghLoserPlattsburghLoser Posts: 5,487Registered User Senior Member
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