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Do Tough Employer Words Presage Better Engineering Employment?

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Beth Stackpole
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Re: Lack of Qualified Engineers
Beth Stackpole   6/24/2011 12:48:31 PM
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!

Charles Murray
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A war for talent
Charles Murray   6/24/2011 11:43:14 AM
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.  

Rob Spiegel
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Lack of Qualified Engineers
Rob Spiegel   6/24/2011 11:40:52 AM
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.

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