Has anyone investigated who DOES get hired in these engineering jobs that are "so hard" to find "qualified" candidates? My research shows it is those that meet diversification requirements and/or have foreign work visas. The USA is going downhill in engineering due to watered down academics and employers cutting costs by hiring foreign visa holders and less qualified engineers that only meet the diversification standards. Now what can be done about this is to go to the website www.myvisajobs.com and research the companies hiring foreign workers for 15-45% less pay and notify anyone person or group that can sue these employers for hiring foreign visa workers under false claims that no US citizens were qualified.
I think this article is fact what are we face in this time. having trouble finding jobs in this field you can try in another place, by visiting job listing web such as http://findjobsin.us you can find may jobs listing in this field and you can choose any company.
This article, on this website, brings tears to my eyes. My best friend was a self-taught electronic designer and tinker and, all his life, he was rejected by one company after another after another. The only company that ever believed in him was CMP Publications, then the parent company of EE Times. They hired him (Michael H. Mullin, 1956-1990) as the editor. God rest his soul and god bless the EE Times.
As for individuals, put something in the header of your resume/CV that stands out. Something that makes you unique. I did that. It took a while, but I found a great permanent job while in the meantime working contract.
I can see an enormous market opening up for people who can write software with that doesn't work in just 'binary', yes/no, pass/fail. It will take time to refine, but by weighing different features of a resume, rather than flat out rejecting an application who meeets 95% of a job requirement, software can assign applicants a ratio of 'meetings requirements' and have the top few percent turned over to a recruiter to finish sorting out.
Location is an issue for many employers, who don't (or can no longer afford to) offer relocation packages as frequently as in the past. Also, in the US, there is the issue of people willing to relocate but can't due to an underwater mortgage. In Oregon, I have seen reports on the local news of people who a) take out a PO Box or use a friend's address in Silicon Valley and/or b) declare that they will just walk away from their Portland-area home if a job comes through in Silicon Valley or elsewhere.
This is a strategy that most people overlook or even ignore. Tailor your application towards the words in the job description. You have to game the software filters, albeit in an honest way (i.e., as long as you don't claim skills or experience that you clearly do not have).
Gee I WISH I had a job where I could get consulting-class revenue and not "do what is assigned to me". It must be nice to live in an alternate universe like that! (Actually I used to consult in computer peripheral design but the advent of the $50 terabyte kind of removed the demand for supporting much in the way of engineering overhead.)