@Rob Best: The best father-son interaction would be for the engineer-father to advise his son to join the debate club in high school as a prelude for a Juris Doctor degree and an appellate-court clerkship.
@ gearhead63 When I have hired people before, their age didn't come into play, their ability and attitude were the biggest deciding factors.
That's because back then the interviewing and hiring decisions were made by the technical folks. Now we have HR departments staffed by those whose major ability is using keyword-matching software to turn a big pile of resumes into a small pile. Age does become a factor even though none will admit this.
What ever happened to Dad and Son mentoring ? Maybe the culture of engineering should be passed on to children from the parents ?
Like the "good old days" of Heathkit, amateur radio, and electronic kits. Even grandpa in the garage with his crystal radio set. Many of the top engineers I know had such mentoring backgrounds as kids.
Unfortunately, I watched our cultural decay for decades now. Whole families "vegging out" in front of the TV, internet, video games and don't forget a glut of porn.
Despite this pleasure drunk society with its many bursts of elations the kids and parents still seem to be more sad and lost than ever as time goes on.
We've lost our ability to find lasting joy in constructive things such as solving a difficult math/physics problems in homework books. In fact kids that do find joy in equation solving are scorned and mocked as geeks whilst great honor is given to football thugs.
For decades there have been books written on the harmful dummying up of our schools systems.
Question is what to do ? Answer: Dads get very involved with the joy of training your kids. Also join or start a "high tech oriented" ham club.
You may ask what's high tech in ham radio ?. Well AMSAT, Space Balloons, Moon bounce (EME), Meteor scatter, Laser comm. and the such. Of course there are many ways of using digital techniques in ham. But far more neglected and brain challenging is the analog side. Building amplifiers, Impedance matching, UHF/EHF engineering and much more.
Electrical engineering should be a way a life for family and community not some dead zombie like science. No wonder why so many engineers hate their jobs. They missed out on the family and fun part. I lament you if that's the case with you. Perhaps it's not too late! Rather than fret over our countries demise why not start something today ?
I don't think throwing more STEM tax (or inflated dollars) at the problem will get us very far. The solution is grassroots in nature. Love and good works are not very expensive. It's more about attitude.
Saving our innovative American heritage is not some grievous duty. It's a ton of fun!
Interesting reply. I'm glad that you posted this because I have been hearing a variety of opinions regarding the topic of us not having enough engineers in America. However, I do know quite a bit of engineers from a variety of backgrounds who are looking for opportunities. I think the issue is the number of engineers looking for opportunities and the knowledge to fill some of the open positions. Have you done an assessment of the number of jobs available and compared it with the available number of engineers looking for a job? I'm curious.
I thought the same Krisi but he was adamant. He did say it was just the cost of employment (excluding productivity). When I probed him further he said the state in France provide a lot of subsidies for employment and I believe that to be true.
I am not sure about Africa, Krisi, but Asia could definitely be a more expensive manufacturing base than the West in 40 years. Mind you it's not just about the money, there is also the availability of skilled labour, the rule of law etc. If you add everything together, I can well envisage a move back of manufacturing to the West in 40 years time.
PS. A French company CEO told me recently that China is now becoming more expensive than France to hire good Engineers for his company. This was based on a rigorous cost analysis according to him. I am seeing the gap reducing in my own line of business too. Manufacturing will ultimately follow.
Sure, money moves around searching for the lowest cost...but why manufacturing would return to North America? you are not assuming that in 40 years people in Africa will be paid more so it would be cost effective to come back here?
Good points. The export of talent requirements has hit me hard. I'm in the 20+ catagory. The companies I have interviewed for leave me a distinct impression that they do not want to hire someone who needs a manager. I think this stems from their business model driven by the fact that they can offshore what they need and leave the management part up to them. State side it's phone calls and video conferences that get the job done. I think they have shot themselves in the foot.