What kind of engineer uses Facebook?

Demographic data shows engineers using social media to be highly experienced decision makers working across a variety of industries.


In July, I provided an update on Control Engineering 's ventures into social media across Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But one important data point was missing—basic demographic information on the members. The inability to download this data for analysis made it difficult to develop a precise picture of just who was participating in our groups.

To help address this situation, while conducting a survey on Internet use linked to job-oriented tasks, we opened the survey up to our social media group members first. We then analyzed their response data separately before compiling all responses for the larger purposes of the survey (which is to ensure we are delivering information to you online in the way you most want to receive it).

What we found proved to be quite contrarian to the oft-touted description of social media users, which suggests engineers and/or decision makers do not use social media.

Here's what we found: Of the social media group member responses to the survey, 63% have more than 10 years of industry experience (at companies like Abbott, BP, Del Monte, Navistar, and Weyerhaeuser). Equally interesting is that 62% have been in their current position for less than five years. While this is surely evidence of the manufacturing and economic upheavals we've seen over the past several years, it potentially points to why engineers are increasingly turning to social media. And that reason is likely to be: While many practicing engineers may have several years of experience, current conditions have carried them into positions they may not be well-trained for or have the resources necessary to support them adequately. As a result, they are increasingly leveraging the Internet to tap the greater knowledge source available to them outside the four walls of their facility.

The word "increasingly" is not being used lightly, either. Control Engineering 's Linked-In group typically grows by about 80 members per week, while our Facebook group grows by 25 to 35 members each week.

With all this said, the vast majority of engineers are not yet using social media. After all, it's a relatively new medium that is just beginning to move beyond the early adopter phase. In the end, the majority of engineers may never use it. What is clear, however, is that more and more engineers are currently using it every day. And those who do are leveraging it to access the information they need when and how they need it. We're happy to be there to help.

If you haven't yet checked out our social media groups, follow these links: Facebook—http://budurl.com/CEFacebook ; LinkedIn— budurl.com/CELinkedIn




No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.