The growth rate in any particular field is only part of the data needed to judge job prospects. You also need to know the number employed in a particular field and the age distribution of those employees.
A rapidly expanding workforce in a narrow specialty won't have a large number of open positions and it is more likely that the workforce will be skewed towards younger workers. A projection of rapidly expanding growth in a narrow field may cause more students to enter the field even though the actual number jobs to be filled won't be that great.
Training in a field that has many engineers, a modest growth rate, but a large percentage nearing retirement may well offer a greater chance of finding employment. New engineers will be needed to fill new positions as well as replacing the retiring engineers.
Most people have a career lasting about 40 years. Even if the size of the workforce was stable every ten years 25% of the workforce needs to be replaced.
After a new engineer gets his first job he starts to think about two things: how long will the job last, and how much will my salary grow. If his education was all about the newest technology and techniques he may become obsolete after a few years. If his education was more about math, science and engineering fundamentals he will be better able to adapt to newer technologies.
I agree. I am also an engineer with a background in computer engineering and I don't see these numbers in SE Michigan. So, there is a lot of detail missing to get a full understanding behind the numbers.
If the published results are true, this is a horribly depressing presentation. Here in southeastern Michigan controls engineers have not been getting nearly that much. And that is with a full degree in electrical/electronics engineering, the ability to do mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic system designs, and a good talent for customer relations.
So a breakdown by states could make the data a lot more useful and informative, and possibly demanding a copy of tax returns or W2 forms to verify the claimed incomes.
Excellent slides Rob. It's good to see the engineering profession is somewhat insulated from economic conditions and particular skill sets will remain valuable over the next decade. One take-a-way from your slides seem to indicate that contract and/or consulting fields should be more in demand than ever. I have an engineering consulting firm and notice that more and more companies wish to employ contract engineers rather than have overhead numbers on their books. When the project is over, we go home. I suspect this will be a continuing trend in this decade also. I was very surprised with the 62% projected growth rate of biomedical engineering. This is a very exciting field and hopefully will continue to attract the best and brightest engineers in the near future.
I have a friend who was a Nuclear Engineer at a reactor in South Florida; a skill he gained from his 20 years in the US Navy, as a Chief on a Nuclear Submarine. When I recently asked him why he was no longer working there, and instead is now an operations manager at a small HVAC company, to stared somberly at me, and said, "You just cannot imagine the stress".
Most people viewing the presented info will see two things for each engineering group:
Median wage (not average)
Top wages (sometimes defined - not always- as top 10%)
What is lost .. the observation that 1/2 of the engineers in each of these categories will be making less than the Median wage. With no indication of the minimum.
Young people can often be mis-lead with this kind of information.
- Where the work is (Northeasten seaboard, South Dakota, ?)
- The life style required of the work (many of these "engineering" categories require being constantly "on the road" / "in the field"....having any consistent time with your children nearly impossible.
- to get top money requires becoming engineering management.
- reflect the years of experience of the group. (median age of the group?)
All have dramatic impact on wage scale for the work being performed.
These often impact quality of life as much as the work.
I often find young people ignoring these very important aspects of their choices - only to be very un-happy later.
Life choices are rarely simple. And career choices are among the toughest.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
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