Good question about other cultures - I find it an interesting comparison that while in the USA the leaders are mainly lawyers, in China they seem to be generally scientists and engineers. I fear that the social culture in the USA has drifted such that it is no longer "cool" to be a techie.
Go to any engineering school in the Sillicon Valley area, and look at how many native born studendts are enrolled in engineering programs.
Is the lack of native born students because:
1. They are lazy and don't want to study? Only the neive and racist believe that.
2. They don't have the inherent talent? Same as above.
3. They have caught on to the fact that this is not where the rewards are and recent immigrants haven't? Most likely
This article is right on the money. It's all about the incentives baby. Bust your ass, and end up having to report to an Art or Bus major? Only one person in a family does that 'once'!
Normally all engineers are motivated towards creativity. However, when the management focus is penny wise and pound foolish, in the hands of non-engineers, then all hell breaks loose. That is the part I would like to tweak.
Another question I have is why engineers do not have the same status in society as lawyers and doctors? Why are engineers treated as second class citizens, when the fact of the matter is that society would not have been at the current state of the art without engineers?
It is the nature under "GAS" (geek answer syndrome) to want to make things better. In the case of those who solve problems most problems are there to be solved and... well nothing is perfect for an engineer.
That is not inherently representative of discontent. It is the most common response I get from engineers. I'd like to tweek it a bit.
I resigned a six figure R&D scientist job because an incredibly bad manager just about a year ago. In the interim, I've been lucky enough to get some consulting work including a lucrative expert technologist position with a law firm that lasted a few months.
I am not sure whether I will ever be fully employed again as I am 59 and live in a smaller west coast city with limited employment in my field.
I do not regret leaving my previous position as I was unable to sleep most nights. I keep in touch with my previous colleagues who tell my how bad the working conditions continue to be at my previous employers.
I would rate my stress level now as minimal. I was careful with my earnings and have no bills, a house that's paid off, and a very understanding wife who is a senior-level manager (and still working). You only live once and continuing in a stressful position is simply not worth it. I made the right decision.
I would be happy to be working part time just to earn some additional money, but I will take opportunities as they come.
Well said and I agree! It seems that those who get an EE degree and do not have a passion for electronics are either complaining or are now in technical sales/marketing positions. Nothing wrong with the latter by the way, that degree still paid off for them.
The poll results don't surprise me. For 40+ years I have seen too many people enticed to enter the electronics profession with promises of an exciting career, yet having no real interest or passion for it. And should have picked some other career.
I will bet you the majority of the unhappy poll respondents were never amateur radio operators, never built their own stereo, alarm system or guitar amplifier, don't have a bench of test equipment at home, and probably wouldn't know which end of a soldering iron to hold.
If it isn't in your blood from the start, you're probably better off doing something else.
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.
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