Washington, March 4 (ANI): A survey of U.S. public opinion has revealed that half of Americans expect India, China, Japan or Europe to emerge as the world's technological leader in the future.
Duke's Pratt School of Engineering commissioned the survey, which was titled "Americans' Attitudes Toward Engineering and Engineering Challenges."
Americans with more education are even less optimistic about the likelihood the United States will be the world's technological leader in the 21st century.
China was cited by 20 percent of all the respondents as being most likely to assume this position, followed by Japan and Europe at 10 percent each, and India at 4 percent.
Americans were just as likely to say their country's ability to compete technologically over the past century has worsened as to say it has improved.
Among those who see a decline in America's ability to compete technologically, 55 percent say the situation is temporary and 39 percent say it is long term.
"Americans understand that innovation is critical to their future, but also recognize that our country's continued leadership isn't assured just because we invented everything from the airplane to the personal computer," said Thomas Katsouleas, dean of the Pratt School.
In response to a list of major engineering challenges facing the world, those surveyed gave highest priority to developing better medicines, providing clean water around the world and developing environmentally friendly power sources.
They gave less priority to securing cyberspace against attacks or to restoring and improving deteriorating urban infrastructures.
The respondents said the best ways to improve U.S. global competitiveness are with more training for workers, improved K-12 math and science teaching, and tougher standards for public school teachers and students.
They were much less likely to endorse tax breaks for business and investment, or new immigration policies to attract foreign engineers and other technical experts.
A majority of the respondents - 58 percent - said engineering is losing out to other professions when it comes to young people choosing careers.
They said this is happening because engineering does not pay as much as other fields, requires extensive schooling and is seen as being difficult.
"Not as glamorous" was cited least often among seven possible answers in explaining why engineering has been a less attractive career choice. (ANI)