Engineering refers to a branch of Science and Technology that is concerned with the building, design, and use of machines, engines and structures. According to the thefreedictionary, Engineering is defined as being “the application of mathematical and scientific principles to practical ends like for instance manufacture, design and operation of economical and efficient structures, processes, machines and systems. There are various fields of engineering and it is always tedious and difficult for students joining undergraduate programmes to select or choose one of them. The fields of engineering are known to have both negative and positive impacts on the society all over the world. The use of engineering, like for instance the use of the internet is one of the best examples of how engineering has had a positive impact on the society. The use of the internet has enabled large amounts of information to become accessible to everyone in a virtual environment from any place of the world. From the on demand processing of the internet to the network interface card designing, engineers have been provided with endless opportunities for getting involved and making the world to become even better (National Academy of Engineering 2004, p. 80).
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Various engineering opportunities have also been created as a result of the need for faster transmission signals like for instance in fibre optics, a need for having better servers and having secure online commerce by various firms has been on high demand. The impacts of the engineering careers are known to directly affect the society and influence the way people live in the modern world. The effect of engineering on the society can be felt in the way people are transferring and withdrawing money electronically from their phones and bank accounts, balance their checkbooks through the use of online services, ordering and shopping for groceries, pizzas and other goods e.t.c. Engineering does not only have an impact on individuals alone but on companies and governments as well. For instance, companies in the modern world have cut production costs incurred in paper work by using electronic files and thus helping to conserve trees and the environment as well. On the other hand, most governments all over the world have sped up the processing of tax and reduced costs incurred by the tax payers through avoiding paper work and instead making use of the electronic tax filing systems. These are indeed clear indicators that the field of engineering has had tremendous effects on the society.
Engineering has had a tremendous effect on the society because of making it possible for information to become so easily accessible to each and everyone thus putting people in close contact with each other all over the world. The use of engineering has made it easier for people to communicate and therefore exchange various vital ideas. The use of communication due to increased engineering activities has made individuals to become ever more open minded towards different cultures and new ideas thus promoting peace and social integration. The use of engineering has also led to technological advances which have made families to be capable of communicating with their distant relatives through the use of online chats, emails and even internet telephones. The information superhighway has also continued to enhance classroom learning in that students, regardless of their age, are capable of researching on any topic and consulting with other students from distant places of the world. Teachers are now capable of giving their students homework assignments through the use of the World Wide Web and list vital hyperlinks containing online sources that may have relevant additional information- Thanks to the field of engineering and the many engineers who designed the web!
Through engineering, the future is known to hold endless opportunities. Engineers have devised and improved vital devices that have become essential in the daily lives of individuals like for instance videos, television sets e.t.c Genetic engineering, on the other hand, has enabled a scientific revolution which has enabled the best genes to be transferred from one organism to another. However, the use of genetic engineering of human beings has elicited hot debate among various people in the world who have voiced concern that genetic engineering is morally wrong and thus should not be encouraged since it is like individuals are “playing God”. Critics have therefore viewed genetic modifications of human beings and other species as being morally wrong. Others have however viewed genetic engineering as being beneficial because of its potentiality to treat and possibly cure various forms of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Despite the fact that the field of Engineering has various positive impacts on the society, the field is also known to negatively impact or affect the society because of its use. For instance, the use of computers, despite having positive impacts on the society, is also known to negatively affect the society because young children have become addicted to watching obscene and pornographic contents downloaded from the internet and thus eroding their morality. Engineering activities have also been known to negatively impact or affect the environment through buildings which have contributed to flooding. Computers are also known to negatively affect the society due to cases of data privacy, cost and the ever changing computer technology. The use of engineering has also led to high unemployment rates in societies because it has led to innovation of machines which have replaced the work that was initially done by human personnel.
Societies all over the world should strive to ensure that engineering affects it positively and not negatively. All efforts should therefore be aimed at countering the negative effects of engineering on the society with a view of changing them to the positive. Beneficial effects should be sought to be derived from the use of engineering activities rather than destructive effects. By so doing the society will be safe from any negative effects that may be posed as a result of using engineering activities. Technological innovations should be used for the betterment and enhancement of human life and not for its destruction. All stakeholders in the field of Engineering should therefore ensure that this is achieved.