Articles/Miscellaneous/Other/Calling All Engineers
Many people in the United States recall the so-called Dot-Com Bust of the late 1990s. During this time, many high tech companies went bankrupt as investors pulled out and employees were laid off. The effect of this was that many students in computer science and engineering bailed out and went into other fields. The prevailing view in the United States is that such jobs are still unreliable and not in large supply, especially due to outsourcing.
However, these people don't realize how wrong they are. The United States is in dire need of engineers! For some time now, tech companies have been working with a supply that fails to meet their demand, forcing them to raise wages and send work off shores to countries with more engineers available (most notably India). While engineering enrollment is growing, it is not nearly enough to meet the demand for jobs that this country is facing.
The risk of this lack of technical labor is high. Without engineers and scientists, the country loses its position as a leader in technology and research. Additionally, its businesses are unable to compete with foreign companies that have plenty of labor. For the United States to maintain its position, it needs more engineering graduates.
The problem of low numbers of engineering graduates is further complicated by the upcoming retirement of the 'baby boom' generation. Many members of this generation became engineers due to the popularity of the space race and science in the mid 20th century. When they leave, companies in the United States need to be able to replace them with new employees as well as hire additional employees to meet growth demands.
Right now, a graduate from an engineering school has no problems whatsoever finding a job. In fact, they have an immense amount of power in choosing which jobs they want and companies will go out of their way to recruit them. The market for engineers has never been better, yet people stay away from the field due to fears from outsourcing and the dot com bust. The truth is that most outsourcing is only less-skilled grunt work and does not threaten engineering jobs in the United States.
As a recent graduate of a computer engineering program in 2007, I can tell you that everyone in my class had a job offer before they graduated and essentially all of the jobs paid at least $50k a year. In fact, most people made closer to $60k and were also given bonuses ranging from $5k-15k. The field of engineering is strong and needs you! That is why I encourage you to put aside your irrational fears of graduating and being jobless because the jobs are here and more are coming. Help your country and help yourself by pursuing a career in engineering!