One thing to mention is that different disciplines have evolved in different slices of time in history. Electronics is among the newest. We can say that some disciplines are more mature than others. The current development is having a fast pace in electronics and computing. Mechanics is right now at a level in which is not functionality being seeked but design which is very related to artistry and sofistication. Perhaps there will be a time in which electronics and computing will become a 'commodity' and the demand for EE's will decrease but some other discipline will increase.
The only constant is the change.
Bill has made exactly the point that I was attempting to make someplace a few days back, which is that the majority of engineers are not involved with designing "system on chip" things. I am not attempting to minimize the engineering effort to pull off a successful SOC design, just pointing out that there is a whole lot of "other stuff" that is designed by engineers. That is why, many years back, I made deals with the various folks in the shop to learn how to use their tools. That education did not make me a master of all skills, but it did make me fairly literate in what each tool can do, and what a design engineer needs to provide for the operator to get the parts right, in a minimum of time, accurately, and with the least effort. The result being that I can assure that my projects can be built rapidly and correctly. That does tend to minimize the total cost
Interesting perspective from the trade show floor, but I keep hearing that most of the design jobs in biomed companies are EE jobs -- not ME jobs or even Biomed Engineering jobs.
On another note, the RP technology is pretty amazing, isn't it?