Is engineering declining?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by rgoodman, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. rgoodman

    rgoodman New Member

    I read some articles said the number of applicants of engineering degrees (inc. Computer Sci) is declining. Does that mean they are not less popular among students? Or their job markets are poor?
  2. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member


    Computer Science and Software Engineering are among the tougest engineering disciplines to learn and maintain (you have to constantly update your skills). They pay is reasonable, but not as much as an accountant or other business person would make with simular amounts of education and experience. That coupled with outsourcing to India and China has made the profession less desirable.

    I am a EE but do Manufacturing Engineering due to the recession that has plagued the tech industry since early 2001.
  3. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    I have a great friend that I graduated high school with (years ago). He is one of the most brilliant persons I know and he was valadictorian of our class. He went on to finish a degree in chemical engineering through Virginia Tech. After a period of about a year of being unemployed he recently took a job working for a start-up company making $18k per year. Yep, you read that right, $18k. This is just my opinion, but I don't think engineering is a great field of work to get into right now.
  4. javila5400

    javila5400 New Member

    American engineers face numerous problems. It’s bad enough that American companies outsource to India and China. But did you know that American companies can hire engineers (and other techies) from other countries, bring them to work in the States and pay them less than an American worker with similar credentials? The last company I worked for had an army (well, more like a platoon) of 30 IT workers from India and Pakistan. Those guys were probably making as much as someone flipping burgers at McDonalds.

    Moreover, when companies do hire they usually want a 21-year-old with 30 years of experience paying 40 grand a year.

    I love being an engineer, but we have to do what we have to do to survive. In my case, I am slowly switching from the engineering field to the financial field as a personal financial analyst / planner. I am in the process of getting my securites license and eventually my CFP. I figured since the manufacturing sector is dwindling and more service-base companies pop-up I might as well go to a field where the money is promising.
  5. Mike Albrecht

    Mike Albrecht New Member

    The big demand for engineers these days are civil and environemntal.
  6. Rich Hartel

    Rich Hartel New Member

    The sad thing about this is that most of these foreign workers were probably educated from American colleges and universities and probably at the expense of the American tax payers!

    Rich Hartel
  7. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I'm a Canadian engineer and in the 90's it was common to see in the local newspapers engineering job opportunities to go to the US. I always wondered if there was a real shortage of engineers in the US, the fact is that many companies used to hire canadian engineers because on a TN visa you cannot switch employers easily.

    Many canadian engineers that relocated were able to find out that they were underpaid compared to local engineers but the paper work to change employers was not really worth the effort. Also, companies used to promised "green card" sponshorships to maintain the underpaid engineer in the same company.

    The main issue seems to be that companies are under pressure to low their costs and getting the cheapest labour is the best way to achieve this.

    Ther is a conflict of interest between american engineers and high tech companies that need to compete in the global economy.

    One way to balance this would be to offer tax incentives to hire american engineers instead of foreign engineers or at least outsource to local american companies.
  8. SnafuRacer

    SnafuRacer Member

    Would it be a bad time, then, to start studying for an engineering degree? I was considering the online degree from University of North Dakota in EE.
    Many people contend that work for engineers will always be plentiful. Yet, I hear also about all these foreign workers coming here on work visa, or jobs being outsourced.
    Any advice please?
  9. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    You did well by switching to Manufacturing Engineering. I used to work as a software engineer but switched to teaching after the whole computer business started to collapse.

    Is it really worth the effort to go for 4 or more years of university education and a debt of 50K+ to get a 10$ USD dollars an hour job?

    Just take a look at this company, they charge $10 bucks an hour of development work and I bet that their engineers get less than half of that
  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    It depends a lot on the type of EE, I would avoid telecommunications or computer engineering. Power and control systems seem to be still in high demand.

    On the other hand, an online EE degree has a lot of limitations since most of the learning is done in real labs. I can see computer and telecom engineering being taught online but I cannot see how they can teach you power and control engineer on a virtual lab.
  11. rgoodman

    rgoodman New Member

    It is shame! :(

    I know some guys who working in some Wall street banks also have a degree in engineering. They get more than $150K a year(yes, $150,000 a year) But they are always complaining and looking for a better post.
  12. Testing

    Testing New Member

    Could you please elaborate as to what an engineer is doing in a Wall Street Bank?
  13. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I used to deal with a Los Angeles area "banker" on letters of credit. He had been an aerospace engineer, got laid-off, then was hired by a bank because was knowledgable about aerospace inport/export and could easily handle financial equations. He told us his salary was around $250,000 (and that was about 17 years ago). My guess is that he could have been handling letters of credit for commercial aircraft.
  14. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    What better resource can a bank have than someone who has actually been in the tech business? I know a lot of engineers who have dropped out of the tech rat race and have become analysts, stockbrokers, bank execs. etc. That is what I want to do when I complete my MBA.
  15. rgoodman

    rgoodman New Member


    Take a look at UC Berkeley MFE web site, many engineering majors!
  16. horne

    horne New Member

    I worked in the US during the late 1990s and early 2000s. I was paid MORE than my coworkers. Of course I was not working in the telecom sector though.

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