...it has a drop-in problem. From a 2008 paper by Ohland et al:
Engineering has the highest persistence rate of any undergraduate major. These are percentage numbers for matriculation-to-graduation: if you take a snapshot of all students at the moment they first declare their major, how many stay in that major 'till they graduate?
- engineering 57%
- business 55%
- science & math 44%
- computer science 38%
I dunno about you, but I can't remember the last time I heard someone bemoaning the high dropout rates of business school undergrads. So what's the problem?
Nobody's coming in. Engineering students "drop into" other fields, but other fields don't "drop into" engineering... likely for a variety of reasons. For instance, engineering tends to have a ton of course requirements and prerequisites, so someone switching to engineering is likely to need to tack an extra few semesters to their time in college. The difference is stark; whereas other fields have a "drop-in" rate (percentage of students who graduate with a major who had not initially declared that major) of 35-59%...
...engineering is at 7%. We basically have a one way door. You can't come in, but you can leave.