Science and Engineering Jobs Stall in the U.S.

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willard

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As an engineer myself, this is hardly news to me. It's harder than ever to find a job in engineering, much less a good one. Many of the people I graduated college with ended up taking the first offer they got, going back to school or ending up severely underemployed.

Part of the problem is shipping jobs overseas, but another aspect is nobody wants to even talk to you anymore unless you graduated from MIT, have a master's degree or ten years experience. Nobody wants to grow talent any more, they just want to buy it.
 

scook9

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I can believe this, I had a hell of a time finding a job out of college with a BS in Electrical Engineering!

Glad I am ok now but I feel sorry for the new graduating classes
 

scook9

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[citation][nom]willard[/nom]As an engineer myself, this is hardly news to me. It's harder than ever to find a job in engineering, much less a good one. Many of the people I graduated college with ended up taking the first offer they got, going back to school or ending up severely underemployed.Part of the problem is shipping jobs overseas, but another aspect is nobody wants to even talk to you anymore unless you graduated from MIT, have a master's degree or ten years experience. Nobody wants to grow talent any more, they just want to buy it.[/citation]
Completely true on so many levels....my first year out of college I had to take a sub-prime job making 70% of what I expected....fortunately a year and a half later RSA picked me up and is compensating me very well now (They are a kickass company btw)
 

d_kuhn

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Getting started is always tough for Engineers... and hiring is very cyclical. When I graduated I took a BS job just to get some money coming in, then made a move when a better opportunity presented itself, then moved again when a better opportunity presented itself... rinse and repeat for about 10 years until I found a company to stick with. This year is my 15 year anniversary with my current employer and I'm on the hiring end of things. It's absolutely true that hiring managers are looking for targeted skill sets, which results in unemployment at the same time as folks like me bemoan the lack of qualified candidates.
 
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Don't you see the unemployment rate going down? We've been hiring a lot McDonald engineers and Starbuck Chemists. No college degree needed.
 

xenol

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Part of me wonders if there's just a saturation of engineers right now. With the economy all over the place, it's all too tempting to pursue an engineering field when pretty much all fields of it are within something like the top 20 paid jobs for recent grads
 
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You mean that teaching kids that Jesus pushes the electrons through the internet tubes isn't sufficient to create a competitive science and technology sector in this country?
 

jacobdrj

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This has not been my experience at all!

I am not an engineer, however, I have heard about NUMEROUS positions open in my area that haven't been able to be filled from a lack of US Citizen applicants. There are just not enough mechanical engineers with citizenship.

Companies are looking for people with zero experience, accredited ME degrees and US Citizenship.

Federal Mogul, Ford, Ricardo, just to name a few. There are so many open ME jobs it makes me regret not pursuing Mechanical Engineering...

The problem is, Americans don't pursue ME degrees. Some of these jobs are federally regulated, and can't be outsourced.
 

jellico

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This is a deceptive statistic. Since we have lost millions of jobs, and people are now permanently displaced in the work force, saying that engineering jobs hold a ~5% share of the job market and calling it flat is a lie. 5% of something that is smaller than it under to be means that engineering jobs have also decreased, they simply have kept pace with the rest of the job market.

It really cheeses me off that they are trying to invent an improving economy for Obama to run on. The unemployment rate has NOT fallen. So many people have given up looking for a job that they are no longer counted in the statistic (these are the permanently displaced). Inflation is calculated by EXCLUDING the cost of food and energy (meh... we don't really need those) making it look flat.

The facts are very simple and they are:
- Less people are working
- Incomes are declining
- Cost of living is increasing sharply
- Gas prices (which affect most everything else) are increasing daily and on track to hit a new record high

We are in serious trouble!
 

crysex

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Guys, come to Houston! I receive average 3 jobs calls per day on engineering positions. Jobs at Houston are swelling!
 

ddrum2000

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Part of me wonders if there's just a saturation of engineers right now. With the economy all over the place, it's all too tempting to pursue an engineering field when pretty much all fields of it are within something like the top 20 paid jobs for recent grads
My experience tells me no. I work in academia and many of the engineering/science students are attracted to the profession by the good salary but aren't willing to do the work. This is one of the many reasons that many/most engineering schools only graduate ~50% of their incoming freshman. The other 50% transfers to other majors for a variety of reasons. The two most common self reported reasons are:
-Science/engineering majors are too work
-Business degrees are less work and you will get paid more upon graduation

Its a simple problem that as a society we tend not to value science and math education (and many other subjects for that matter) enough to employ well trained primary and secondary school teachers. In addition, many school districts are beginning to place limits on the total number of hours of homework that can be given per night at elementary and middle school levels. Its something low like 1-1.5 hours maximum. By the time kids reach high school, on average they are already behind compared to most other developed nations in the world. So once the reach college they are already at a disadvantage and will be playing catch up. If you extend this further to grad school and the professional setting, its no surprise that Asia is taking us to town in technology industries. In general, they have better scientifically trained workforces than the US and both the student and parents are willing to do the hard work in school necessary to complete a technology degree and get a high paying technology job.
 

ap3x

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This is sad although I am sure it depends on the type of engineering. I know that recruiters are extremely active for people with IT Security Engineering and architecture skill sets. I am sure allot of lack of math and science/engineering has to do with the politics of the day as well.
 

spacemonkey211

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I have a BS in chemistry with a minor in math and just out of school could only find a crap job that paid below the poverty line, but at least it was in my field. After 2 years of putting in the time, got a great R&D job. However where I work, there has been a hiring freeze for 3 years and 2 great contract employees can't get a full time job even after 2.5 years.

This has been my experience. Places don't want to train and they only want to hire contract employees.

Now I'm transferring to an engineering position, but once again only because I already know the equipment I will be working on/with.

My best advice is to take any job in the field out of school for almost any pay. Put in your time (2-3 years) and then keep moving. You need to start at the bottom. People need to understand that. There is no easy and fast track to money.... unless you marry the bosses daughter like my brother.
 

ap3x

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[citation][nom]spacemonkey211[/nom]I have a BS in chemistry with a minor in math and just out of school could only find a crap job that paid below the poverty line, but at least it was in my field. After 2 years of putting in the time, got a great R&D job. However where I work, there has been a hiring freeze for 3 years and 2 great contract employees can't get a full time job even after 2.5 years. This has been my experience. Places don't want to train and they only want to hire contract employees.Now I'm transferring to an engineering position, but once again only because I already know the equipment I will be working on/with.My best advice is to take any job in the field out of school for almost any pay. Put in your time (2-3 years) and then keep moving. You need to start at the bottom. People need to understand that. There is no easy and fast track to money.... unless you marry the bosses daughter like my brother.[/citation]

This is great advice. Unfortunately kids are told that once they get their degree they can get a high paying job. Not the case at all in most cases. Companies look for experience first so spacemonley hit the nail on the head. This especially applies to engineering jobs. Internships help with that however still a person with a degree and no experience will loose out to a person with experience with no degree almost 100% of the time. So get your foot in the door and get the experience and in a few years the money will come.
 

upgrade_1977

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Thats cuz most people in the country don't have imaginations. You tell people you want to build robots and they think ur crazy. Go to japan and it's the norm..
 

ikyung

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Funny how little under 50% of the current researchers (scientists, engineers) in America are foreign-born. Weren't they saying couple years ago how there is a lack of mathematics and engineering majors who were US-born? They were also saying how the field of engineering and mathematics will grow big within 2020.... hmm.
 

blurr91

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[citation][nom]keyanf[/nom]But we passed the nearly trillion dollar stimulus bill! Unemployment can't be above 8%![/citation]
That's not enough. We must throw more money at the problem. We need more regulations and more bureaucrats to solve a free market dilema. Only the government knows what to do in this situation. People are just too stupid.

/sarcasm
 
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