Chuck, It may be that only a Science and Technology could get away with this kind of promotion to prospective students. Most of their players are probably not thinking about the NFL. Thanks for the interesting angle on engineering recruitment.
Chuck, MS&T was one of the schools my older son got into. He ended up going to another engineering school, but MS&T was a close second. We visited a couple of times and it is a great school and environment for engineering students. One of the things I hear a lot is how we don't have enough engineers in the US. I don't believe that, but with the talk about the issues in education in this country, the success of our engineering schools sometimes gets crowded out. It is good to see a school like MS&T getting the message out.
I agree, Naperlou, it's a great school. I worked with a number of engineers from that school, back in the days when it was called Missouri-Rolla. They've always had solid engineering programs. I think the name change is a good one, by the way.
@apresher: It looks like Missouri S&T was 10-1 last year, and came in second in their conference. I agree that most of their players are probably not headed for the NFL, but it is a very highly-rated Division II team.
I agree wholeheartedly that this is the kind of recruitment effort we should see more of.
10-1 is a great record. It is interesting to see that they also emphasize the non-NFL salaries for their players. A friend of mine played div. 1 football for a Big Ten school who majored in Art as it had little necessary class time. He now sells used cars.
@Cabe Atwell: Okay, but for every Flo Rida, there are thousands of aspiring hip hop artists whose net worth is zero or less. For every rapper with a Bentley, there are thousands who don't even have bus fare. The likelihood of becoming an award-winning multimillionaire hip hop artist is vanishingly small, even if you are very talented.
On the other hand, if you get an engineering degree and have a good work ethic, you can be pretty confident of earning an income somewhere on the upper end of the middle-class range. I'd say it's a much better bet.
It's great to see these student athletes excelling both on the field and in the classroom, in a worthwhle program that will pay dividends professionally and financially in the years after they graduate. They are debunking the stereotype that football players, especially at the college level, are just dumb jocks. Well done Missouri S&T!
An engineer is what I am, not just what I do. That is probably different from a whole lot of people in the various professions. But while I have been compensated enough to be comfortable, I find the results in the published engineering salary surveys to be quite amazingly high. In fact I find some of them to be a bit hard to believe. Either that or I have been taken advantage of for much of my career.
But I have been able to enjoy the majority of my work most of the time, and I count that as a great value, especially when I look at all of those poor folks who hate their jobs. Being able to look forward to each day is certainly worth a good bit, and having good folks to work with makes a job so very much better.
Of course, in my particular field I covered a wide range of activities, so there was never a chance for boredom to set in.
You raise a really good point that I didn't bring up in the story, William K. The best reason to be an engineer is that the work itself, even with its frustrations, is personally satisfying to many of us. Yes, good salaries are important, but most engineers do it because that's where their inclinations lie.
It seems to me that the extreme shortage of talent that so many claim is a large problem today is actually a shortage of "really cheap" talent. If a good engineer were typically paid as much as some of those financial weasels there would be no shortage of good engineers. The failure is in the lack of government regulation of the financial industry, which has allowed those who are willing to cheat the chance to make huge profits and get away with it. That is what has led to the terrible damage done to our economy.
Just tighten the regulation screws a few dozen turns and take a few of the "wild cowboys" out of the saddle, and things will turn around, making the scientific profession, which includes engineering, much more a source of better incomes. Suddemnly the shortage will be history.
@Cabe: Okay, but again, how many college dropouts wind up becoming Bill Gates and how many end up sleeping on their friends' couches? In the aggregate, getting an education is a far more successful strategy than not getting an education.
Industry wide, the degree is predominantly the foot in the door for most people. So, getting one is a good idea.
But, I am leaning towards no traditional education needed. I know quite a few self-taught engineers that are more adept than most I know with degrees. If I were to hire someone for an engineering job, I would base it on merit as opposed to the degree. However, that is me.
I know a few degreed engineers that are sleeping on couches, as you said. Jobs are scares. If you don't have the tech experience, most companies don't want you. I also know so many of my peers that cheated their way through college and received a degree. Hate to be the "lucky" company to get one of those people.
As I write/interview/research tech, I notice a lot of the "hot" products and some niche success companies are run/founded by people without degrees. They had an idea and lucked out.
IDK, a degree will get a lever throwing/button pushing job eventually. Others can rise to success based on their ideas. Others wind up doing nothing. It doesn't matter what path one takes.. it's always a catch 22.
I agree with you Cabe that the biggest role of the degree is to help get a foot in the door. But let's not forget how important that is. As you point out, jobs are scarce today. It's also worth noting that much of the math we took in school, which I initially thought was useless, turned out to be relevant in certain advanced areas of engineering. Like you, I worked with engineers who didn't have degrees and who turned out to be very good engineers, but I would still advise my own kids that it's better to have the degree every time.
Also, keep in mind, college is a great place to network and work with others. Countless ventures began in college, among students. Some successful, others not. Nevertheless, it is a good place to begin the networking process.
The Chattanooga Engineers' Club actively recruits high school students for the engineering profession. On these recruiting "sessions", it amazes me every time I go, to find junior and senior students who have no idea as to what engineers do and the salary levels they might achieve. We discuss the varying branches of engineering; i.e. mechanical, electrical, industrial, etc etc and it's like Moses coming down from the mountain. Also, the number of students who do not know ANY engineers is truly baffling. To many, if not most, engineers drive trains. Mention STEM, and you get blank looks. One great thing--after you start the discussion, the kids really become engaged. They WANT to know more. This is the most gratifying thing about our visits. I am definitely all for recruiting to drive qualified students into our profession. Great post Charles.
You're doing a great thing by talking to those prospective engineers, bobjengr. Most high school kids don't have a clue to what an engineer is (although they do seem to know that engineers are nerds), and many adults don't either. Years after I had graduated from college, one of my good friends told me he thought engineers and refrigerator repairmen were the same thing. It had never occurred to him that someone was needed to design appliances.
I am not sure about colleges helping place engineers into jobs. Between myself, my peers, and kids I know in college now, no one has been hooked up with a position at anything. Not even nonpaying internships. It is a bit tougher out there than you think.
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