Signing bonuses. They were the norm during this year's recruiting season, where managers and other suits treated prospective stars like royalty, all in an effort to lure them onto the team. Not the basketball or football team. The engineering team! Officials from several college campuses report that 1997 was one of the biggest years ever in terms of corporate recruitment activity. "We had more than 700 companies here talking to graduates," says Carole Ferrari, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "It was our busiest year of at least the last five," she adds. So many companies wanted to talk to graduates that Lance Choy, of the Stanford University career planning and placement center, told The San Jose Mercury News the school had to turn away 300 to 400 companies for lack of space. Recruiting activity was so intense at the University of California at Davis that one professor told the paper he began including in his class instructions on how to deal with bidding wars. And how high were the bids this year? Consider this: At MIT, the average offer to new mechanical engineering baccalaureates was $43,700. Those earning doctorates were looking, on average, at offers of $70,900. Graduates of the school's electrical engineering program received salary offers that averaged $45,300 for a bachelor's degree. Not bad, considering that the average salary of respondents to this year's Design News career and salary survey is $55,000. The reason for the recruitment rush is Economics 101: supply and demand. Nationwide, unemployment is down. The economy is growing, yet, according to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of engineering graduates dropped 18 percent between 1986 and 1994. It's a seller's market. That reality, plus the many challenging design projects in the aerospace, automotive, medical, and other industries, makes this a great time to be an engineer.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
People who want to take advantage of solar energy in their homes no longer need to install a bolt-on solar-panel system atop their houses -- they can integrate solar-energy-harvesting shingles directing into an existing or new roof instead.
Kaspersky Labs indicated at its February meeting that cyber attacks are far more sophisticated than previous thought. It turns out even air-gapping (disconnecting computers from the Internet to protect against cyber intrusion) isn’t a foolproof way to avoid getting hacked. And Kaspersky implied the NSA is the smartest attacker.
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.