While I accept the general premise of Dr. Kevin Ilcisin on engineering as a profession, I would not recommend that in the US to my children. I realize there are counter opinions on this... my obvious reason for the advise is the job market.
I have never regretted my choice to be an engineer, a multidisciplinary one at that. It has been fulfilling but not necessarily (financially) rewarding!
In regards to @docdivakar's comment: Are EEs having trouble getting jobs out of college? Anyone know? Most of the companies I speak with in our industry say they have trouble finding good people, especially those with RF training.
This quote: "The overriding goal is not domain knowledge, especially as a young engineer, it's about developing world-class skills -- first and foremost problem solving. If you become known as an exceptional problem solver, you will find a place in most organizations, in a variety of roles where you can enjoy what you are doing day-to-day and have a positive impact on the world around you."
Spot on. Engineering is a great profession for those who are passionate about it, and by college age, they already know who they are. We need more passionate engineers in the US, not fewer. I don't buy for a minute the doomsday scenario, although if we insist enough on it, it might just become a self-fulfilling profecy.
Of course, people who aren't passionate typically don't put up with the schoolwork, so there's no need to dissuade them.
Coming age will need cross disciplinary skills for most professions. Some engineers needs to acquire degree in medical field and vice versa. As time pass, it may need to acquire knowledge in other branches of engineering and low and accounts.
You can get most out of you as engineer, if your goal is to begin small startup with few similar minded members. Here, you can fulfil your dreams and gift some solutions to world. This can be very rewarding in all aspects.
As for monetary terms, if you are in first 1 to 3% in any profession or discpline, you earn as much money as you desire.
Positive advice like the one shared within this article will be helpful to any student who is seeking an engineering education. I have the opportunity to work with high school students through a STEM Program and advise college students who are interested in the area of engineering and computer science. My advice is the same; one must be willing to solve problems. But realize that some of these problems will not be solved in one day, a week, or sometimes months. The ability to work with others is very important, and possessing communication skills is always at the top of the list. The ability to take ownership of a project is very important too. I also encourage students to think about a life career, not just think about a job.
@Charles.Desassure: Having taught some college students and knowing many HS aged ones, here, I think is the challenge you have mentioned: "But realize that some of these problems will not be solved in one day, a week, or sometimes months." Students today understand immediacay very well. I wonder how we can teach them determination and patience?
Yes, actually the funny story is really not a funny story, it has many aspects covered in a short case. There is a glimpse of Teamwork, Belongingness to the Parent Company, ability and availability to help others and many more. But still the is a question mark in my mind Do HR Policies and Practices really can detect and appreciate these kind of instances.
I completely agree. But for a new grad, "problem solving" skills aren't likely to be the keywords that the automated system is looking for when screening resumes. So in addition to having a skill and a passion for solving problems, I think it's wise for a new EE graduate to have some of the expected acronyms and buzzwords on their resumes as well -- just to make sure the resume will make it to the stage where a human being actually looks at it.
I've written and argued about this many times going back to Is engineering a profession? in 2006. There, I say that you can become an engineer without an advanced degree, although a mater's degree helps. Also, you don't need certification to work as an engineer, even as a consultant. Try doing that as a doctor or lawyer, or even as an electrican or plumber.
But, engineers do get hired for their skills and often engineers are not interchangeable, at least not i nthe short term. Compare that to, say nursing, which requires a four-year degree but nurses can and do switch off tasks every day.
We do consider engineers as "white-collar professionals," do we not?