Do you love what you do, or would you go back to the classroom in order to find a higher paying job in a more secure field?
After all, hardware, as everybody knows, is hard. And the economy has hit manufacturing hard.
Electrical engineers and other hands-on hardware professionals have seen layoff after layoff, while their software brethren only seem to see increased demand and ever higher salaries.
According to the January Dice survey, there is "continuing demand for developers – the closer to the application, the stronger the job market."
With the mobile market burgeoning, Java developers are top of many companies' hiring wish-list. Dice said over one in five of the 77,000 jobs posted on its site contained some mention of the need for java know-how. That's closely followed by other mobile developers, NET professionals and then regular old software developers.
While software development is undoubtedly a skill, it's not one that's impossible to learn, especially not after having already slugged through the hard work required for an electrical engineering degree.
So my question is, do you love your job enough to stick with your field, or would you ever consider retraining to keep your options open? Let me know, I'm curious to hear your responses.
I can't begin to even COUNT the examples that show how ridiculous this "hypothetical" is! Here's the one I'll cite: I had a manager fairly recently who got not one but TWO master's degrees on-the-job, and pretty healthily subsidized by his employer too. When his (and maybe my) extraordinary efforts finally "pushed" the current job over the peak, his "reward" was to be pushed THAT MUCH further to the unemployment line because now his "net worth" made him all but unaffordable in his existing position! (I understand he "held on" but only by even STRONGER effort, my contract was over but of course I was expecting that.) To a corporation education is fairly inexpensive (their intense grumbling about it aside) compared to losing a business opportunity, the lesson here is don't assume that company-paid education "guarantees longevity", sometimes the very OPPOSITE is true!!
Sylvie, I think your article assumes that electrical engineers only do hardware, and that only software engineers do software.
I know many EEs who mostly or even exclusively write software. The application is what determines the most needed skills, not so much the knowledge of the software development process or knowledge of a particular programming language.
A great example is DSP. An engineering manager doesn't decide he needs a software engineer (in the generic sense) when the task is to develop a DSP application for a particular processor. He needs a DSP engineer who can also write code, and most likely that engineer has a EE degree rather than a CS or CSE degree.
My favorite example is digital IC design, where we write RTL code in either Verilog or VHDL. As I am fond of telling software engineers, "hardware design IS software design -- it's just that our compile times are measured in weeks and require large amounts of money to be spent before we find out how well we did."
I would love to move into a software job. When companies advertise for software people, they want fresh outs with 10 years of experience. In other words, they don't really want to pay for the experience. I just have to be happy with the software I get to do as an electrical engineer.
Yes, but nobody is offering training and a higher salary. This STEM crisis is nonsense. When companies say they are getting lots of resumes but no one is qualified, do you think they are getting resumes from high school drop outs? Companies can afford to be very picky. Sure, they fight over and pay large salaries to the top very experienced candidates but they are not desperate enough to hire and train less qualified candidates. This isn't just a grumbling engineer. There is a story on CNN Money about recent graduate nurses who can't get jobs. There was an article in the Washington Post about science graduates who can't get a job in their field. It is the same story in programming and engineering. Sure STEM graduates have lower unemployment but a lot are not working in the fields they were trained for.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.