Engineers: Future Prospects

Posted on June 19, 2007  Comments (5)

In the The Future is Engineering I discussed some of the benefits of engineering education. And previous posts shows that S&P 500 CEOs are more likely to be engineering graduates than any other discipline. The future of engineering looks at what is in store for students of engineering today:

I doubt many of the incoming freshmen at Lehigh who are about to enter the College of Engineering have any clue what they are getting themselves into. I suspect they will end up very pleased with their choice… especially when they realize large numbers of engineering graduates before them did not take jobs as engineers but instead were hired as consultants – as a result many graduates are paid much higher salaries than they would have dreamt of as freshmen.

But are they waging a rearguard battle, will the US become a services-land where most of the real engineering is outsourced to countries that value science more, and where the so-called engineers are number-crunching problem-solvers who stare at computers all day long? Or will the pendulum swing back in the engineers’ favor after a Sputnik-like incident that will bring engineering back into the list of national priorities?

It is very important to remember that the benefits of studying engineering cannot be measured solely by looking at engineers in the workplace – many go into different job title and are promoted into management… and as stated above CEOs. The second point will be an important determinant of the economic strength of the USA as I have addressed many times I think it is important the USA maintain science and engineering expertise. The multiple benefits of having research centers here, manufacturing engineering expertise… is huge. See: Engineering the Future EconomyScience, Engineering and the Future of the American EconomyEditorial: Engineers of the FutureEngineers in the Workplace and many more posts in the career and economics categories.

I believe the USA will make a renewed commitment to science and engineering and reduce the rate at which the comparative advantage for such work in the USA has been reduced over the last few decades. There are many advantages the USA has but still the trends are not moving in favor of the USA now. See: Diplomacy and Science ResearchComparative National Scientific Strength and U.S. Slipping on Science.

5 Responses to “Engineers: Future Prospects”

  1. CuriousCat: Two Top Google Engineers Move to Benchmark Capital
    June 21st, 2007 @ 11:57 am

    an example of what I mentioned the other day… two of the masterminds behind Google Maps and several other Google products, have joined the firm as “Entrepreneurs in Residence.”

  2. CuriousCat: Great Speech by Marissa Mayer on Innovation at Google
    August 8th, 2007 @ 9:41 pm

    Marissa Mayer speech at Stanford on innovation at Google (23 minute speech, 26 minutes of question and answers)… She joined Google in 1999 as Google’s first female engineer. Excellent speech. Highly recommended.

  3. CuriousCat: Engineering Education Study Debate
    November 25th, 2007 @ 11:25 am

    As I have said many times the economic future will be greatly influenced by science and engineering. Those countries that succeed in creating a positive economic climate for science and engineering development will find economic rewards those that fail to do so will suffer…

  4. CuriousCat » Entrepreneurial and Innovative Engineers
    February 29th, 2008 @ 9:11 am

    “In today’s competitive world, the dividing line between an entrepreneur and a professional is getting blurred. Whatever one is pursuing, one has to be entrepreneurial ‘and’ professional in his or her mindset…”

  5. Armetra
    October 13th, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

    Agree with this article. I’m also engineers myself, that currently working on engineering consultants firm. And the thing is, I found very hard to progress on my career during my fresh-graduate period. But, after gained some experience in engineering design field, than I realize how much thankful and competitive the engineering career, indeed.

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