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The Importance of an ABET Accreditation & What Makes a Career in Engineering Unique

ABET Accreditation 2019

In a world that has become increasingly interconnected and where technology permeates everything we do — from ordering food to managing healthcare and navigating the morning commute — it is no surprise there is a shortage of qualified tech professionals.

Every day, thousands of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs go unfilled because not all students in today's higher education environment are exposed to the same level of preparation. That's where ABET accreditation plays a very important role — by assuring confidence and supporting global career mobility in the fields they accredit.

ABET accreditation:

  • Assures prospective students that a program has received international recognition of its quality
  • Promotes "best practices" in education
  • Directly involves faculty and staff in self-assessment and continuous quality improvement processes
  • Is based on "learning outcomes," rather than "teaching inputs."

So if you want to become an engineer, a computer scientist or launch a career in any of the STEM fields, you'll need to have confidence not just in your degree, but in the education you have received along the way. That is why it is important you graduate from an ABET-accredited program.

ABET accreditation is the global standard in STEM education. From engineering and computing, to the applied and natural sciences, graduating from an ABET-accredited program will put you in the best position to obtain a job in your field. With accredited programs in 32 countries, you can be sure that employers all over the world will recognize the value of your education, as they seek to find professionals prepared and equipped to handle the complex environments where they are expected to thrive. Universities and employers worldwide understand that high educational standards are an important part of finding the best tech professionals.

As the global accreditor of postsecondary programs in the STEM disciplines, ABET's job is to make certain students and employers have the confidence that a program meets the quality standards and produces graduates prepared to enter a global workforce. And as a specialized accreditor, ABET plays a critical role in ensuring the quality of education for future tech professionals, who will in return play a crucial role in the global economy by helping solve the world's most pressing challenges.

Accreditation Criteria

ABET seeks to promote excellence in technical education by focusing on continuous quality improvement processes, not by prescribing methods. ABET accreditation criteria are developed by technical professionals and members of its 35 member societies. Each society dedicates volunteers to perform program reviews related to professions in its field. Coming from academic, industry and governmental backgrounds, ABET Program Evaluators (PEVs) are trained experts who evaluate programs for relevancy, content and quality. In this regard, ABET accreditation not only ensures that graduates have met the educational requirements necessary to enter the profession, but it also provides opportunities for the industry to guide the educational process to reflect current and future needs.

This third-party peer review is critical in the technical fields — where quality, precision and safety are of utmost importance — and sets ABET apart from other accreditors. It is a process that has been refined for over 80 years.

By bringing together thought leaders from industry and academia, ABET ensures their processes truly align with the needs of employers and educators. Bringing both industry and academic perspectives together, the criteria remain both relevant and current.

For employers worldwide, ABET accreditation serves as an effective screening tool for identifying qualified new hires. Ask any employer in the STEM fields and they will confirm that the people they seek to hire must not be singularly good at engineering, science or technology. These new hires must also be strong communicators, business-minded and globally aware. In professions that are truly global by nature, graduates need to connect with customers, learn new jobs in different functions and work with diverse teams, all while maintaining technical currency and excellence in what they do.

Many graduate programs also consider ABET accreditation while reviewing applicants interested in pursuing advanced degrees. If a prospective student comes from an ABET-accredited program, admission officials and department heads will know that he or she has a solid education behind them and the foundation necessary to move forward and succeed.

Another key factor in the accreditation process is ensuring programs have the latitude to innovate and develop creative new approaches to education. Especially in these fast-changing sectors, it is important that programs keep evolving with the needs of industry and society. By instilling a standard of continuous improvement, ABET-accredited programs are always adapting and evolving to meet industry needs. This ensures students are well-equipped to serve the society in which we live, making our world safer and more comfortable for all.

Why an Engineering Career?

Engineering is the perfect career for those who dream of changing the world, for it is engineers that put their expertise to use in tackling the issues facing us all; whether it's devising new ways of efficiently and responsibly manufacturing vital commodities, helping liberate populations by creating new and improved ways to mobilize them, or erecting a building that will impact the lives of the population of everyone around it. Of course, changing the world cannot be done alone; engineers usually collaborate with other professionals such as lawyers, doctors and scientists in their work, which creates opportunities for high-level networking.

Being an engineer requires an immense amount of discipline, patience, dedication and creativity. They build upon a strong research foundation to devise a viable solution to a problem or to create a brand-new product – essentially pioneers on brand new frontiers. These qualities often go hand-in-hand with leadership capability, which is why engineers frequently advance rapidly through the ranks in their companies and tend to enjoy authority and autonomy in their positions.

Another unique quality of an engineering background is the knowledge that it will never fall out of favor in the job market. Not only does the world need engineers to keep the hardware and software of the world running, it also needs engineers to keep on innovating and improving to ensure the continued sustainability of life.

Take a look at the schools on the right if you are looking for a good global education in this compelling and lucrative area.

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ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental accrediting agency for programs in the applied and natural sciences, computing, engineering and engineering technology. ABET accreditation processes are ISO 9001:2015 certified.

For questions about ABET accreditation, please email comms@abet.org. To learn more, visit www.abet.org/.