Bobjengr, now a day's the competition is more and most of the fresh job seekers from campus didn't possess the required skills for fitting to the current market. So it's always better to have a finishing school course, which can bridge the gap between university and industry. In the current market scenario "Finding a Job is the first Job".
Thank you for the information. I have several friends who find themselves out of work due to movement of companies to China, India and Mexico. I'm saying the obvious but, the rigor associated with the engineering profession and what we go through just getting our degree means a great deal when searching for a job. Two of the guys I know changed professions just to find work and have excelled due to their work ethic. They don't rush from the building when the bell rings. Company owners realize that. One other great asset is resourcefulness. The engineering profession requires that ability for successful project completion.
Hello Dave, I agree with you completely on the job satisfaction aspects of engineering. I would not have chosen any other profession. I also agree that the $15k was a great salary for the time. As it turned out, Viet Nam was raging, I was right up there with a very high lottery number so I joined the service. Brown bar making a whopping $321.00 per month plus subsistence pay of $48 and change. I was very fortunate in that I actually did work as an engineer. I have difficulties in gaging starting pay now but I can certainly tell you the pay check I made right before retirement was significantly lower than the starting salary of some engineering disciplines. I know the numbers are "region-specific" but if a person can't live on some of the salaries Lauren indicates the person probably needs a financial assistant.
@bobjengr: A starting salary of $15,000 may not sound like much, but $15,000 in 1966 dollars is $106,240 in 2012 dollars. As the survey shows, that's more than most experienced engineers make these days. I suspect that there are very few, if any, engineers who can make that much straight out of college.
I made less than half that much in my first job out of college in 2006 -- and my starting salary was more than most of my classmates, because I already had several years of industry experience.
That being said, engineering is still a very rewarding career, not just in terms of income, but also in terms of being able to do interesting work. I wouldn't trade an engineering career for anything.
Bobjengr, now the unemployment statics are categorized to many subtitles based on the main stream. Quiet sometimes back unemployment in engineering and medical professional is absolute zero, when compare with the science and arts steam. According to the recent study, the global unemployment rate in medical profession is 1-2% and in engineering steam is 5-8 %. But when it account for individual countries the rate can be changed.
Lauren, I think we have to give due weightage for all parameters. We used to have similar survey every year from our corporate office. They includes all the parameters including salary, perks, transportation, canteen facility, work environment, culture, challenges, availability of other services and including the service from admin and HR teams. Each has its own weightage and finally the tabulated value is out of 100. I personally feels that such type of surveys are more realistic in nature
Excellent article Lauren. I think this annual survey is a great service Design News provides to all working engineers. It's good to know where you stand relative to others in your profession. When I joined the engineering workforce in 1966, I was offered $15,000 by Pratt & Whitney. At that time, it was the "going rate" for mechanical engineers and new graduates. I remember wondering how would I spend "all that money". Times have indeed changed. There are several things that struck me about this survey, as follows: 1.) The length of time within the same company. Engineers are not "job hoppers" by any measure. 2.) The level of satisfaction is somewhat higher than I expected. 3.) We, for the most part, are driven by the rewards of the profession and not always the money provided by the professon. 4.) There seems to be a growing awareness that the future might not be as rosy as the past has been relative to employment. Does anyone know the unemployment rate for graduate engineers? I have heard around 4.00% but really don't know if that's correct. I have several associates who constantly look for qualified engineers and indicate, in their opinion, the pool of acceptable candidates is smaller each year. I think the profession is extremely rewarding. Let's hope it stays that way.
Satisfied and happy can also factor in a lot more than money. There's the type of design work you're doing, the overall company culture, the people you work with, the ability to create an effective work/life balance and the list goes on. I think for a lot of engineers, being able to have state of the art tools and tackle the type of engineering problems that causes them to think out of the box might be more cause for satisfaction/happiness than a few dollars extra in the paycheck no matter how you slice it.
@Cadman-LT: Actually, 92% of the survey respondents were satisfied with their careers in design engineering. 56% represents the number who were "very satisfied" or "extremely satisfied," but another 36% were "somewhat satisfied."
As for the 8% who were "not very satisfied" or "not at all satisfied," well, there's just no pleasing some people.
The survey only looked at satisfaction, which is different from happiness. Happiness means having a feeling of joy in your day to day life. As you point out, that doesn't correlate very well with income (provided that you make at least enough so that you're not constantly unhappy about your financial situation).
Satisfaction is more of a sense that things are going well for you. This correlates more closely with income. But it's possible to be satisfied without being happy, and it's possible to be happy without being satisfied.
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