Go everywhere and like a evangilist recruit for the engineer profession? Come on! I have been through three layoffs, left a couple of firms that were close to layoffs. Why would I encourage anyone for this profession. Get a business, medical, or law degree. (Well maybe not a law degree). Be happier. If engineering companies want engineers, then they will pay for engineers. Let supply and demand work as it always does.
I have survived many layoffs, left before layoffs, been laid off too many times to recommend this profession to anyone. You are like a migrant fruit picker, you have to go to where the work is. I have made a ton of money for various companies, moving companies, real estate agents etc. You are simply a cog in the machine while the masters search for another, cheaper cog, and cheat every way they can to find it. The CEO"s are unable to recognize talent, know its value of talent, they excel in self promotion and fuzzy arithmetic. If I was starting over, I think I would take physical therapy or prosthetics or something like that
As an engineering educator, I spend a lot of time on outreach to high school and middle school students. The main challenge is getting into the schools - public school teachers are "too busy" to even let us recruit students for robotics competitions, summer camp activities, and other engineering competitions. Busy doing what? Mostly coaching students to pass standardized tests. For the first time in my life, I understand why people homeschool. We are indeed facing a national crisis in science and technology, and it is imperative that we reach students in the early years to engage them in science and engineering. It is true that many of the engineering jobs have been outsourced overseas in recent years, and that trend will most likely continue. However, really innovative and leading edge technologies could and should be pursued in this country, and absolutely required a competent and education work force.
Archaic9bit said it all. Really, why would anyone encourage their children to go into Engineering? While I have been somewhat lucky to have avoided being laid off over my 20 year Engineering career, this latest downturn will likely end that. I can not even count the number of layoff?s I have survived, likely at least 30. You become numb and bitter at the companies for treating the technical soul of their company with such callous disrespect. It is not just one or two companies that act this way; it has been all of the companies I have worked for. Will I encourage my son (who clearly has my engineering technical abilities) to pursue engineering, absolutely not.
In light of your recent article on IBM's fixation on jettisoning their staff in favor of lower cost foreign workers, this really seems insane.
It is hardly encouraging if the children of engineers see their parents laid off on a rather continuous basis, while those in the medical and legal field have much more stable employment. As someone who just had his supervising engineer laid off, and many coworkers asked to leave, and my brother, an engineer, tells of his coworkers laid off, my son certainly knows the score. His aunt, a nurse, has never faced this.
I would suggest those thinking of an engineering career leave the USA.