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Engineers in America: Too Young, Too Old

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Manfredv
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Manufacturing to return to the West?
Manfredv   1/23/2014 2:38:46 PM
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I find these comments hillarious and totally uninformed. Manufacturing has not left the west - the Anglo-Saxon world turned its back on manufacturing.

Germany has the world's biggest net trade balance - bigger than China. It has had a positve trade balance since 1952 - seven years after the war ended. Germany does not have a service industry - most of its exports are manufactured product. Incidentally they have a desperate (real!) shortage of engineers and technicians.

 

Britain lost most of its manufacturing industry but is now poised to have its car industry manufacture as many units as it last did in 1972 thanks to significant government incentives - so there might just be some hope for the US and Canada - provided the politicians and big companies do the right things soon.

The other signifiant impediment that I see is that unlike Britain, the US is unlikely to let foreigners take over an entire industry. In Britain, Bentley and Rolls Royce are now German and Land Rover and Jaguar are Indian - on the other hand Chrysler is now solidly Italian so perhaps there is hope for us in North America. LOL

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Not surprising really
MeasurementBlues   1/21/2014 11:05:56 PM
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@KB3001: "Manufacturing will ultimately follow."

It may follow, at least for some products because of quality and control issues. Communication is also an issue. I've been hearing this for years and I have heard of some companies that have pulled manufacturing back from China.

MS243
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Re: It just isn't attractive enough to be a young engineer
MS243   1/21/2014 6:08:24 AM
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Football has become a game of thugs and drugs --  all too much pressure on trophies and not so much onsportsmanship and building lifelong contacts for when you are too old to play competitively  --


On lawyers there even is a glut of these -- and many law students are turning to other lines of work


Yet the US economy which has trouble producing the energy it needs has trouble attracting enough people to work in this industry

betajet
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Re: It just isn't attractive enough to be a young engineer
betajet   1/20/2014 6:10:14 PM
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Rob Best asks: What ever happened to Dad and Son Parent-Child mentoring?

In my case, engineering skipped a generation.  However, I did get appreciation of art, movies, comics, and humor from my Art Historian father, and an appreciation of literature, languages, and music from my English Lit mother.


RB: In fact kids that do find joy in equation solving are scorned and mocked as geeks whilst great honor is given to football thugs.

That describes perfectly my high school experience many decades ago.  If anything, it's better now with more participation by girls and the popularity of shows like The Big Bang Theory.

RB: For decades there have been books written on the harmful dummying-up of our school systems.


Sounds like a waste of time to write books like that.  The people who need to read them are too busy watching TV or cat videos to benefit from them :-)  'Merca has long had a tradition of glorifying ignorance and holding learning in contempt.  I agree it has gotten worse as more of the work force grew up with TV destroying their concentration and attention span.

Susan Rambo
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Re: good internship programs can help
Susan Rambo   1/20/2014 5:46:47 PM
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Interesting. Maybe H1B is replaced by company internship programs for US engineering graduates---or some combo thereof: if your US company imports "work ready" talent using H1B, you have to hire the same number of newly graduated EEs who are US citizens and give them on the job training. Anyone know if that's already in the H1B regulations, or at least proposed?

Susan Rambo
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Re: Self fulfilling Prophecy
Susan Rambo   1/20/2014 5:14:56 PM
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Electrical engineering jobs in US went down by 10.4% last year. We lost 35,000 electrical engineering jobs and unemployment rate for US EEs went to 3.4%, according to an analysis of US Dept of Labor data by IEEE USA.  "The trend in electrical engineering employment is occurring despite the emergence of the so-called Internet of Things, which promises to put networked electronics into every imaginable consumer and industrial product," according to this article in Computerworld.

Rob Best
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Re: It just isn't attractive enough to be a young engineer
Rob Best   1/20/2014 4:30:34 PM
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Hi Jim,

Very unique comment.

k7jeb
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Re: It just isn't attractive enough to be a young engineer
k7jeb   1/20/2014 3:30:12 PM
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@Rob Best:  The best father-son interaction would be for the engineer-father to advise his son to join the debate club in high school as a prelude for a Juris Doctor degree and an appellate-court clerkship.

zeeglen
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Re: Engineers need a bit of cognitive psychology!
zeeglen   1/20/2014 3:00:58 PM
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@ gearhead63  When I have hired people before, their age didn't come into play, their ability and attitude were the biggest deciding factors.

That's because back then the interviewing and hiring decisions were made by the technical folks.  Now we have HR departments staffed by those whose major ability is using keyword-matching software to turn a big pile of resumes into a small pile.  Age does become a factor even though none will admit this.

Rob Best
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Re: It just isn't attractive enough to be a young engineer
Rob Best   1/20/2014 1:58:40 PM
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What ever happened to Dad and Son mentoring ? Maybe the culture of engineering should be passed on to children from the parents ?
 
Like the "good old days" of Heathkit, amateur radio, and electronic kits. Even grandpa in the garage with his crystal radio set. Many of the top engineers I know had such mentoring backgrounds as kids.
 
Unfortunately, I watched our cultural decay for decades now.  Whole families "vegging out" in front of the TV, internet, video games and don't forget a glut of porn.
 
Despite this pleasure drunk society with its many bursts of elations the kids and parents still seem to be more sad and lost than ever as time goes on.
 
We've lost our ability to find lasting joy in constructive things such as solving a difficult math/physics problems in homework books.
In fact kids that do find joy in equation solving are scorned and mocked as geeks whilst great honor is given to football thugs.
 
For decades there have been books written on the harmful dummying up of our schools systems.
 
Question is what to do ?
Answer: Dads get very involved with the joy of training your kids. Also join or start a "high tech oriented"  ham club. 
 
You may ask what's high tech in ham radio ?. Well AMSAT, Space Balloons, Moon bounce (EME), Meteor scatter, Laser comm. and the such. Of course there are many ways of using digital techniques in ham.  But far more neglected and brain challenging is the analog side. Building amplifiers, Impedance matching, UHF/EHF engineering and much more.
 
 Electrical engineering should be a way a life for family and community not some dead zombie like science. No wonder why so many engineers hate their jobs. They missed out on the family and fun part. I lament you if that's the case with you.
 Perhaps it's not too late!  Rather than fret over our countries demise why not start something today ?
 
I don't think throwing more STEM tax (or inflated dollars) at the problem will get us very far. The solution is grassroots in nature.
Love and good works are not very expensive. It's more about attitude.
 

 

Saving our innovative American heritage is not some grievous duty. It's a ton of fun!

 

 

 

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