Dear Huddie

Dear Huddie: Engineering Stereotypes

May 30, 2014

This week, Huddie takes on seven common engineering stereotypes.

Dear Huddie Common Engineering StereotypesBack for installment thirty-four of Dear Huddie! It’s time to address the elephant in the room, but first: Funny from the Internet.

Taking a break from answering your questions, this week, to talk about a headlining issue:  hurtful stereotypes. Some 80+ year old idiot made questionable comments – more “blatantly racist” then questionable, really – and it got me to thinking:

Are there stereotypes for engineers?  Are we labelled and judged, and if so, can I help dispel these harmful stereotypes?

Heck no, but it will be fun trying! So, below are some common engineering stereotypes I’ve encountered over the years:

  • Engineers are Public Tech Support

Yes, we can program your new TV remote. We can probably fix your car. It’s irritating and a little degrading to be treated as a public tech support service, though; we want you to love us for who we are, not what we can fix for you!

Besides, it’s 2014. Everyone on the planet should know that 99% of all computer problems can be fixed with a restart.

  • All Engineers are Star Trek Nuts

Not all of us watch Star Trek – witness!

My freshman year at RPI we had a pretty intense foosball night going. There were 12 engineers packed into this smaller room, a room that could barely fit the foosball table.  At 6:59 PM, the room was empty except for my roommate and me.

What happened?  Where did they go?

We peeked into the TV room and it’s packed, standing room only, with engineering students watching the latest episode of Star Trek!

So, maybe some engineers are Star Trek fanatics, but not all. Based on this example, only 83% of us fit the engineering stereotype.

Yeah, I know. I over-engineered a story.

  • Engineers Don’t Know How to Dress

This is ridiculous. We don’t all have to wear short-sleeve, button-down shirts, but where else would we put our pocket protectors and TI-89s?

  • Engineers Are Socially Awkward

This is only true when other people are around.

  • Engineers Think They Know Everything

We don’t think we know everything.

Thank you again for listening, that’s it for now. See you again in two weeks – don’t forget to send your Dear Huddie questions to dearhuddie@gmail.com or tweet them @EngineerJobs.

Sincerely,

Huddie