HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Wolfe's Den

Do Tough Employer Words Presage Better Engineering Employment?

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/4  >  >>
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Lack of Qualified Engineers
Rob Spiegel   6/24/2011 11:40:52 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, I've been hearing about this "lack of qualified U.S. engineers" for the past few years. I've heard a number explanations for it:

1. Engineering isn't cool any longer, so our best and brightest are not rushing to degree programs.

2. We no longer have the influx of engineers and engineering students from Asia, since the world is flat. The best and brightest from Asia can stay home and succeed now, so they're not leaving family to come here.

3. The boomers are retiring and taking their decades-long skillset with them.

I've also heard plant managers say they're seeing light at the end of the tunnel. As engineering begins to move entirely to software, new bright students are beginning to pay attention. They're beginning to see that engineering is like playing video games all day.

I've also heard that the thousands of engineers in Mexico have come up to U.S. standards in their expertise in recent years. A manager at a Detroit auto plant recently commented that Mexican engineers used to be far behind their U.S. counterparts and that has changed. Now this source believes Mexican engineers are on par with U.S. engineers.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
A war for talent
Charles Murray   6/24/2011 11:43:14 AM
NO RATINGS
Unfortunately, it's true that there's a war for talent out there, and the war is on both sides. Yes, companies like Siemens are battling to get the best talent. But engineers are battling, too. They're fighting for those jobs against an influx of H-1B visa talent.  

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Lack of Qualified Engineers
Beth Stackpole   6/24/2011 12:48:31 PM
NO RATINGS
As a mom of a 13 1/2 year old who says he's interested in engineering, I think anything we can do to promote and engage our youth in engineering early on is absolutely critical to nuturing talent and addressing the shortage (real or otherwise). I know I get a boatload of press releases on school-age competitions and there is a growing amount of TV programming (my kids love Myth Busters) dedicated to making engineering cool, a laudable trend in cultivating an interest among our youth. Take that and couple it with our kids' absolute comfort and ease with software and computers, and it's a great recipe in the making for a new generation of US engineers that can beat the pants off any one!

MBA-Motorsport
User Rank
Iron
Re: Lack of Qualified Engineers
MBA-Motorsport   6/24/2011 1:50:27 PM
There are a few problems with engineering, here are a few as i perceive.

1. Engineering is genearlly boring, not much glamour etc.

2. Engineering is actually hard work, it takes concentration, dilligence and care to be an engineer.

3. Nobody else in the world actually values engineering, mainly because they don't know what we do.

4. The pay is rubbish for the amount of study required to be an engineer.

5. The title engineer is devalued by its application to a bloke who fixes the washing machine for example, the title engineer should only be used for trades that really are engineering, not mechanics and fixers.

6. the image of engineers has been damaged by stereotyping over the years, and the stiff white shirt and tie image is simply not cool.

7. engineering is a disciplined carreer, and who wants discipline in a world of non.

just a few for now and just my perceptions after a long and tiring carreer as an engineer.

 

sensor pro
User Rank
Gold
Re: Lack of Qualified Engineers
sensor pro   6/24/2011 3:04:19 PM
NO RATINGS
You are so correct. Nobody understandus-nor repects us. The title "engineer" is constantly missused. I saw a few years ago on a mortgage application a school janitor stated that he is a sanitation engineer.

I'm sure that today we have too many great real engineers on the open market, however I feel that large firms are setting the stage to try and hire work force abroad and much lower cost. Lok at any large firm and their customer support stuff. It is located in countries I can't even find on the map. It is not new. Claim a problem and suddenly you fing a solution in south India or some other far away place.

I'm sure that qualification of our engineers is not the real problem.

 

K.I.S.S.
User Rank
Silver
Re: Lack of Qualified Engineers
K.I.S.S.   6/24/2011 4:40:12 PM
NO RATINGS
In the U.K., people that operate sewerage farms are now known by the title of 'waste water channeling operatives' it's a global problem, and one that in my opinion seeks to devalue qualified and experienced people in favour of cheap labour with exhalted titles...

K.I.S.S.
User Rank
Silver
Re: Lack of Qualified Engineers
K.I.S.S.   6/24/2011 4:51:24 PM
NO RATINGS
I understand and fully appreciate your frustrations, but isn't this the Design News website? by that, I mean that it's supposed to be a forum for designers, some of whom have little or no mechanical or electronic knowledge, but still desire to produce a quality product for the end user? Why not rather be constructive and use the site to tell people about things they can do? it's just a thought, and again, I appreciate your perspective,,,,,

sensor pro
User Rank
Gold
Re: Lack of Qualified Engineers
sensor pro   6/24/2011 4:52:18 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree. It is a global problem. In US it is abit more serious. Some firms actually post jobs with funky "******** engineer", however in the description it clearly states no engineering degree.  It is a big problem.

K.I.S.S.
User Rank
Silver
Re: Lack of Qualified Engineers
K.I.S.S.   6/24/2011 5:26:20 PM
NO RATINGS
At the end of the day, I suppose that it's a skill related issue - no matter how many letters after your name, if you can get the job done, within budget - then you're the man. Don't let any negative perceptions of your career get you down - it's still better than working in a fast food outlet..... And don't forget that your Company needs you - you have that power.....

sadanrose
User Rank
Iron
Devalued "Engineer"
sadanrose   6/24/2011 6:04:31 PM
NO RATINGS
We as a country have devalued the term "Engineer" for many decades.  I work for an industry that has less than 15% of its engineering workforce having an Engineering degree.  I feel that the term Engineer should only be applied to persons with an Engineering Degree.  I know I have worked extremely hard to complete my degree and to be lumped in the same category with people without a technical degree is a slap in the face of the work I put in to achieve that degree.  Therefore, I feel the term “Specialist” or “Designer” would better fit the individual without a technical degree especially in my field. 

On the flip side on this argument, as a person with an Engineering degree in a field with less than 15% of its engineering workforce with engineering or a technical degree, I should a have a promising future in this field.  Unfortunately, most hiring manager don’t the value the engineering degree.  Their primary concern is experience or seniority.  But how can someone get the required experience without be in the position to get the experience needed. 

So, when I read articles that state there are no qualified engineers for the latest positions.  I always think how many young engineers that they passed over because they didn’t the right skill set or enough experience for the position.  The one thing I know about a person with an engineering degree is that they have the ability to learn and learn quickly.

Page 1/4  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Wolfe's Den
Our LinkedIn systems and product design engineering group discusses if they are happy with their decision of remaining a technical contributor instead of becoming a manager.
Design News has launched its first Apple iPad app, and we want to give it to you for free.
Design News readers are asked to submit their captions for a cartoon, as part of our monthly reader caption contest.
Will the electric vehicle survive its current round of technological success?
Our LinkedIn group has varying opinions on government support for US manufacturing technology.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 18 - 22, Embedded Software Development With Python & the Raspberry Pi
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service