I realize it doesn't make as good a headline, but my take-away is that just 13% of the engineers willing to take an online poll are completely happy.
I theorize that those who are happy don't take as many online polls, because they're not as likely to be looking for a break from their job.
The problem with engineering is the reward vs. benefit ratio.
You have to be highly skilled, intelligent and educated to be a good engineer. This means you could also do a lot of other better paying jobs and you have high expectations.
In top of this you have the schedule. The long working hours, short vacations etc are the main problems in this job, IMO. At least in the US. Loving your job does not mean you are not allowed to love anything.
I believe one problem with the survey is the word "completely". Engineers being engineers are very literal people and completely means 100%... there are very few who are 100% satisfied with their job. The question should have been worded "Very Content"
I think that in engineering (and any other professional field, except finance) there is a huge gap between engineering (professional) activities, knowledge, application and experience, and those of the layman. The engineer or professional, however, necessarily does non-engineering and non-professional functions - and the more you have to do, the less happy you are in your job.
The problem is engineering jobs don't last and you have to be concerned about your future. With the current economic situation even Cop make as much as engineers.
Employers want to to sacrifice for the company but there is no capitulation. While engineering can be fun there are fewer and fewer job that or. I would not recommend engineering field to any one unless they have a green card. Yes the engineer field use to be good years ago.
I still believe that the opportunity to innovate and be successful is there and big breakthroughs (start-ups/venture $) will return as the economy comes out of this slower period. I find many engineers working at smallish firms who are excited about their role in creating/innovating and hopefully, looking for that big IPO/bonus in the near future….
Technical Marketing Manager
Any field is not that rosy when you don't have a passion for it. And about sacrificing life for the job and not happy at the end, my heart goes for you man. Engineering is still an interesting since you always solve problems which aren't really going to affect anyone much if you don't solve them.
Patrick, here's the short answer: The results are fairly aligned.
In the 2010 Salary and Opinion Survey we asked in question #20:
"20. How would you describe yourself in terms of your engineering career?"
The choices (and North American results) were:
1. Satisfied with career and employer (64%)
2. Actively seeking employer change (17%)
3. Actively seeking career change (5%)
4. Not satisfied with career (14%)
The question's phrasing is different and the choices are different, but i think the distribution is roughly the same. If you take results one and two of the happiness survey, you get 60% in the positive zone. People seeking a new career were 9% compared with 5% for the Salary Survey.
I'm interested in how we can take an admittedly spongey happiness thread (which we all care about but struggle to quantify) and build a survey that can yield data that enables us to write stories that might (just might) affect some cultural change in electronics companies.
Spring's here, summer's coming and it's time to disturb the peace!