DEVELOPING ENGINEERING WORKFORCE, DESIGNING A BETTER FUTURE
In this paper, various trends and challenges facing the world, due to the coming of the new Digital Revolution or commonly known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, are discussed. These include urbanisation and inequality in wealth distribution, clean air and clean water, food distribution, energy, global warming and climate change, aging population, and physicalspace and cyber-space security. To tackle the challenges, we require new ideas and inventions which will only be possible with excellent knowledge workers. New technological breakthroughs will require brand new skill sets, particularly Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skill sets, in the engineering workforce. Good engineering workforce (engineer, engineering technologist and engineering technician) is considered as the driver for the success of any nation in this globalised world. The paper also touches on the challenges faced by future engineers vis-à-vis globalisation and mobility of engineers, and what skills young engineering graduates should acquire to face the challenges. Some issues and challenges of STEM education in Malaysia are also presented. What is important now is for the educators to train future graduates who can embrace life-long learning and possess strong basic fundamentals of natural sciences and engineering, and who are ready-to-evolve rather than graduates who are just ready-to-market as many of the graduates will be entering a whole new sea of employment. Finally, the paper deals with the mobility of the engineering workforce globally and how the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) as a professional body could work with the institutions of higher learning and the Ministry of Education in the training of the required engineering workforce.