That's what stood out to me as well. What a waste of tallent. Engineers on a production line? Maybe only long enough to figure out how to do (x) more efficiently, but no longer
I think this is just another unfortunate by-product of central command/control. But it could be a positive in the long run. How many of us engineers say about management, government types and many other professions "What they really need is an engineer in that position!" Well...
For engineers who leave/left for finance, it's all about money. But it requires gaining a level of insight into the technology industry, which makes you stand out versus those without a background in tech.
A typical Chinese career path is like M's. After the graduate work as an engineer. And later, we don't have many choices as those engineers in here in Canada. As an experienced engineer, the future path can be technical(system analyst, architect), marketing(product manager) or management(project manager). In my opinior we chinese engineers lack the 1st route, being techinical. Everyone (hope) switches to be a manager. If you see an old techinical guy, he must be laughed at by the constantly influxing fresh grads. Management seems to be the ultimate goal.
EE is not a wrong choice parents made for her. This just a typical, and good, start, which has a potential to stem multiple pathes.
I'm an EE, I love my major, but I hate my daily job, even with a great pay benefit package...wait, I don't really hate my company, I think I hate to be here 9-5 after so many years working in a cubic cell.
Either I'm getting lazy, or bored.
For my Chinese peers, we're in the same boat.
As an engineer I find it hard to imagine that one might be really unhappy about his/her job. There are better and worse days of course, but it is usually a blast. I also acknowledge that engineering is a tough job, and it requires passion to enjoy it, otherwise you will not endure its challenges. It is my feeling you cannot force engineering to someone, one has to be born an engineer and then he/she really has no other happier choice in life. That could probably explain why there are so many unhappy engineers in China, since people are not really choosing engineering.
I have observed that many a engineers who immigrate to US from India to do their Masters in Engineering, finally end up taking positions in Finance related jobs as business analysts.
Is it because they don't find engineering jobs or it is just that the finance career is more lucrative?
Is the situation similar in China?
Very good article, Junko. It is refreshing to hear the details of an engineering career in another country. I don't see a lot of difference from the careers in the US at this point in time. Many of the engineers here start in positions that are not much fun and work their way up to more interesting work. Not many get to start in the position they want.
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