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Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers
10

Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

(OP)
If supply and demand is a major determinant of salary levels, why are engineers so keen to encourage people to become engineers? I also notice that engineers are keen to encourage under represented groups to become engineers. Are we really so altruistic?

HAZOP at www.curryhydrocarbons.ca

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Really??

I've never, ever encouraged someone else to be an engineer.  Not even my own engineering course-mates (accountants, lawyers now).  Not even my own kid, who is smart, but prefers thea arts.

- Steve

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I don't and wouldn't. It would be immoral of me to actively promote engineering.  

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

If someone was inclined and already looking at Engineering as a possible field, then why not give them the extra boost of "this is why I love doing what I do"?  I hope that my kids grow up and enjoy their jobs as much as I do mine, which ever their path takes them.  I don't want to push them one way or the other but I will sit them down and explain what I do and how it affects the world around them when they start asking me what I'm doing and working on.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I don't encourage engineering for the masses, either.  

I think that there is a lot of corporate and academic misinformation involved.  The corporations want cheap engineers and the universities want to fill their classrooms.  So keep the university classrooms full and fresh new faces showing up on the job and then burn those new faces out on their careers and bring in the next batch.

Another aspect that I think smells is that universities are cranking out product that does not produce the desired results.  Companies want engineers who can produce practical solutions.  Universities are mostly run by academes who have no concept of performing an engineering job in the workforce.  The result is frustrated new workers who think that they are not doing the work they were "trained" for and company leaders seeing little value from hiring degreed engineers.

I think that engineers need to demand more say in the quantity and quality of engineers entering the workforce;  and, for that matter, the quantity and quality of work we perform.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

DVD, I couldn't agree more.  I think that an internship should be required as a part of the curriculum.  I worked in New Product Development at a company in the last 2 years of my education and I was amazed at how much more I understood the courses (and could find where the professor was BS'ing) after getting some real world experience.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Don't get this started.  I got in trouble a while back for questioning the premise of 'encouraging women into engineering'.  Why should we expect engineering to be a proportional representation of all sexes, ethnic groups, sexual orientation...

I'm not saying we shouldn't check for inappropriate discrimination etc. stopping any group but I'm saying it should be up to the individual to decide if they want to be an engineer.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I think part of the problem is universitys tend to train people in what they know. However in several fields there are an excess number of people.
In other fields there just isen't enough people, so companies have to train people from a simular field. Example: electronics firms do pay well, but then try to burn out engineers (not to say how they treat the fab people). In the power system field, we have to train people, although we don't seem to pay as well, and have fewer burn outs, and layoff's.

So to me I do encurage people to become power engineers, because of the lack of good people and with my years of experence I have very little to worry that a younger will take my place.
 

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

The profession is set up to provide a certain amount of training in University, then spend a supervised internship with progressively increasing responsibility.  I always shudder when I see someone right out of school expected to independently do engineering--we see them on eng-tips.com every day and they are a scary bunch.  

Co-ops really help shorten the internship, but many colleges hate them.  My son was an ME student at a state University and I told him that he needed to start looking for a position early in his first semester.  His $^#^@ "advisor" told him that the school did not allow co-ops or internships until the summer between a student's junior and senior years and didn't encourage them then.  I called the guy and asked him about the view of the world through his belly button and he had the gall to tell me that my thoughts on co-ops were "old fashioned" and that today employers did not value them.

With that kind of advice I don't see how anyone gets through and becomes productive.

David

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Too bad more professors don't spend about 30 years in industry before hitting the classroom.  We'd all be a lot better off.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I had several professors who had industry, or at least practical (they built stuff and tested it on a regular basis in the real world) experience.  I called them "teachers", as they had a lot to teach.  Any fool can "profess" knowledge, and I had many courses in college whose figurehead I addressed as "Professor".

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

it's either (or both) ...

1) we really enjoy our work and want to share the joy, or
2) we really effing miserable and want to share the pain.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I've changed careers 4 times, and the only times I've been happy is when I was in a really technical Engineering role (to my way of thinking, Management is a horrible place to be).  I can't imagine being happy doing anything else.

Both of my sons have inherited whatever it is that makes me have to be an Engineer, and neither one went that route.  The oldest is a bomb disposal guy and in addition to the problem solving he gets the added "benefit" of the real potential of getting blown up, he seems really happy.  The other son quit college to get married and is working as a field tech, and has zero latitude to make things better.  He is much less happy.  

Those two are the only people I've ever tried to convince they should come into this profession (and you are really obligated to try to do what is best for your kids).  Other than them, when someone tells me they want to "go into Engineering" I start quizzing them on why they would do that.  I try to make sure that no one who drops out of Engineering school can blame me for "making" them go in the first place.

David

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I prosyletize neither my religion nor my career.  If my example is not enough to spur interest, I have nothing to talk about.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

We're in the Far Side comic, with the lab full of mutated scientists swarming around, offering the only normal guy a hit from the flask they all drank from.

Misery loves company!

We know what we do is important to society, but we feel misunderstood and undervalued.  We feel that promoting the profession to others as a job option will make us somehow more important to society at large- when in fact, the exact opposite is probably true.  

To some degree, the profession and engineering academia also buy the same non-sequitur that governments buy- that since engineers are important to the economy, more engineers will make the economy better.  In reality, we train too many engineers and many end up working outside the profession not by choice but by default.  That makes engineering an increasingly commodified pseudo-profession, and an engineering education is reduced from training for a true profession to "the new liberal arts education".  Sad, really.

For the top 10%, this is still a great profession offering plenty of opportunity, decent compensation etc.  My advice to anyone entering engineering is to figure out if they have the interest and aptitude to be in the top 10% early, and if not, consider bailing to something which offers a better reward to risk ratio.  Apparently this is what 2/3 of Canadians with engineering educations do.  Forewarned is forearmed.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Molten

Hard to compare Canada to the US when they (Canada) has no exempt industry.  They require everyone with an Engineering title to be a registered PE, correct me if I'm wrong Canadians (I swore I heard someone state that recently).  So if you did the same in the US and classify everyone in an exempt industry as non-engineers then you would find that the only ones left are those in the top 10% with PE certs.  It's not that those in exempt industry have any less education, it's just that they haven't taken a test and paid for insurance.  Should we require PE to be classified as an Engineer?  That has been debated to death already.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

NomLaser,
This really is not a P.E. vs. non-P.E. discussion.  When I worked for a Major Oil Company, we had a job function (in addition to other duties) that they called "Technical Authorities".  This group was the companies "top 10% of engineers" and only one of us had a P.E.  The group was people who understood the business, understood the physical world, and were able to contribute to a geographically diverse set of projects.  It was the company's way of leveraging experience (much like eng-tips.com).

The thing about the Technical Authorities was that every single one of us loved Engineering and were excited to see the next opportunity to contribute.  That kind of commitment has nothing to do with the choice to get a P.E. or not.

I am in total agreement with MoltenMetal's last paragraph.  Life is really good at the top of your profession (regardless of what that profession is), and if you don't have the fire in your gut to strive for it then maybe you should look for something you can be passionate about.  Passion is a far more important component to success than skill with arithmetic.

David

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

When I was in my second year of my engineering studies i carry a "T-Square". Im kinda embarrass to have a lot of loads when going to school. Actually I nearly drop my studies then because im already stressed. One time as im riding at the public vehicle, there's a little boy who looked at me during our trip. When we jump off the bus i heard the boy saying to his mother, "mom when i grow up i want to an engineer like her". Its kinda amusing, this boy actually changed my mind. He encourage me to continue my studies.

When a young person ask me if its good in my field, i would say yes because it is what I feel. But when they ask me if its ok for them to take my course, i let them think first if its what they want at first. You can't do the job well if you are not happy on it. Yes, jobs are stressful even if you do like it but there's a big difference on doing your job because you love it and doing your job because you need to.

Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree. engineers creates wonderful buildings, but only God can creates wonderful minds

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Not that I want to encourage thread-jacking, but I do need to clarify something:

NomLaser:  current "capture rate" of Canadian-educated engineers into the licensed profession (i.e. the % of grads who obtain a P.Eng. license at some point) is about 20-25%.

We have no "exempt industries" per se, aside perhaps from government, but the most populous provinces all have industial exemption clauses.  These exemptions are written very narrowly but are not enforced as written.  We also grant firms a Certificate of Authorization which permits one signatory engineer to have as many non-engineers and unlicensed engineers working under their responsibility as they feel they can handle.  The result is that it is rare for an employee engineer in anything but structural engineering to actually require a license to do their job.  Some employers use the license as a "minimum employee quality standard", whether truly required or not.

The result is little different than what you see in most states in the US:  the only real determinant of whether or not you need a license is demand-side legislation.  Certain other acts and regulations require an "engineer's stamp" on certain documents.  Aside from wishing to act as a guarantor on someone's passport application, these acts and regs determine whether or not you actually need to be a P.Eng. to do your job.

End of thread-jacking...move on, continue the conversation about what madness prompts engineers to promote engineering as a profession to others- there's nothing to see here!

 

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Good to get a good explanation, sorry wasn't trying to jack the thread.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

If someone asks me I tell them this is not a job that makes a lot of money, so don't go into the industry thinking you will be rich.  On the other hand if you are like to solve problems and can get through graduating, engineering might be a good thing to look at.

I was told about the profession at an early age.  If I was interested in how someone designed that tab on top of a soda can, I should look into engineering.

Civil Development Group, LLC
Los Angeles Civil Engineering specializing in Hillside Grading
http://civildevelopmentgroup.com
http://civildevelopmentgroup.com/blog

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

The money thing always gets me.

Do I make a lot in comparison with say, an AIG trader who ran their company into the ground, no.

Do I make a lot more than a sales assistant in say, Rite Aid (Drugstore/Pharmacy), heck yes.

It's all relative.  You can probably find some profession and/or location that you consider comparable that makes more and leaves you disgruntled.  You can probably find others that leave you thinking you're doing OK.
 

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

A butcher a baker a candlestick maker...

The options for me would have been some sort of mathematician (not really), some sort of physicist, some sort of academic, or some sort of mad inventor.

I'm guessing the median pay for an engineer is at least at parity with the median pay of any of those.





 

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

this is what I say

if you want to get rich in your profession, don't go to engineering,
if you want a stressful,mind bugging job go to engineering

if you are looking for a profession that challenges you (without lying or something) go take engineering course

Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree. engineers creates wonderful buildings, but only God can creates wonderful minds

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

moltenmetal, you got to start thinking positive.
You will make us Canadians look like a winy bunch.

Not to be rude or anything, but every post I read of your in this forum says the same thing.
You know what they say about dogs barking up the wrong tree too long...

peace
Fe

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

FeX32, yeah, I say the same thing a lot.  I'm on a soapbox on that topic for sure, but that's because I keep hearing contrary messages that don't match the facts.  I always acknowledge my country not to give it a bad rep, but because our situation is unique here and may not apply elsewhere in teh world.  All I'm trying to do is provide people with the information they need to understand their situation better- they can draw their own conclusions. Too many of us generalize our own anecdotal experience to everyone else, and that's both egotistical and unlikely to be of much practical use.

Like most people I didn't care much, since my own situation was OK and I'd made some good decisions and had some good luck along the way.  As I've said before, engineering suits me fine, thanks- though I'd be even more satisfied with double the pay!

Then I saw first hand our immigration policy wrecking the lives of thousands of foreign-trained engineers every year, simply because governments and people in our own profession had drunk from the flask I was talking about earlier.  I heard them calling us a nation of hypocritical racists and bigots because they assumed we were deliberately excluding them from the profession merely because of where they came from.  And I had young engineers offering to intern with my company for free to get some experience to have a hope of finding a job.  I got the information-the real goods on the supply side- and got angry.  So you'll escuse me if I want to get that off my chest at any opportunity that presents itself, in the hope that it saves at least a few people from unnecessary suffering.  If that makes me sound like a whiner to you, you can stop reading my posts.

Though I actively discourage engineers from immigrating to Canada (and have plenty of data to support that point of view), I neither encourage nor discourage people from going to engineering school here.  I just remind them that the pay's no longer anywhere near the same as it is for any of the REAL professions, the stress and responsibility can be just as intense, and 2/3 of people who get engineering educations  here don't work on anything related to engineering.  All of that is factually accurate.  To a really passionate kid who is ideally suited to the profession, that won't dissuade them at all, and it shouldn't.  It will give the less-than-passionate pause for thought, and it should.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I got roped into being involved in a mentoring program for female students at a local community college.  The students are generally from low income and immigrant families, and many of them are working two jobs to pay for school.  Compared to what they know, engineers are like wealthy robber barons.  If they have the smarts, I definitely encourage them to think about engineering.  Certainly not because they are female but because it is still a profession that one can get into without incurring a huge student loan debt.  Not only that, it can be very rewarding and satisfying.

IMO engineers' salaries are close to what they should be.  We generally get paid an honest wage for an honest day's work.  Lawyers, AIG type people and such are making way too much.  The whole current economic system is just not sustainable.  If we keep on this way, more collapsing is on the way.

Meanwhile, the world will still need infrastruct and engineers to design and maintain it.     

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Quote (graybeach):

We generally get paid an honest wage for an honest day's work.

I think that an honest wage for an honest day's work should be a lot better defined than what is deemed acceptable by many in engineering.  Part of my reason for not recommending engineering as a career is that many engineers are not compensated fairly for their overtime efforts.  

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

As opposed to those lawyers who work 90+ hours a week on salary?  Most salaried professional fields seem to be abused in that regard.

Hg

Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

> well I think that if your intelligent enough to get into engineering you should do something else that will pay better (at least in the uk). Unless of course you have a mad love of engineering.

Guilty, and still hoping for a cure smile

 

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Lawyers who work 90+ hours are working themselves into a position.  Once they reach that point it all comes back onto them very nicely.

Not abused at all.  Unless you suck and work 90+ hours and can't get ahead.  Well you picked the wrong field many many years ago.

Civil Development Group, LLC
Los Angeles Civil Engineering specializing in Hillside Grading
http://civildevelopmentgroup.com
http://civildevelopmentgroup.com/blog

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

What's that point, partnership?  What percentage of them will get there?  And do the partners really kick back and go to 40 hours a week?

Hg

Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

graybeach:  you think the others earn too much- I think we earn to LITTLE!  

We were once on par with the other licensed professions, and now in Canada the only profession we can compare ourselves with in pay terms are the teachers- and we don't get the two months off in the summer!  Again, in that comparison I feel we're under-paid and the teachers are getting something close to what they deserve for what can be a really tough job.  

The economy is valuing our services correctly based on the supply of our skills and the market demand for them.  If we were in truly short supply, our wages and benefits would rise to former levels, to attract more of the 2/3 who leave the profession (here in Canada) seeking greener pastures.

I also remind prospective students of engineering that the last Council of Ontario Universities survey I saw had engineering grads about 20% more likely to be unemployed 2 years after graduation than the AVERAGE university grad.  Unfortunately they make no measurement of whether or not those employed are employed in their chosen profession- if they did, the story would be even clearer.  The stats don't match many people's perceptions of our profession as a fountain of limitless opportunity, but the stats tell the average story far better than the anecdotes do.  
 

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

So it's difficult for chemical engineers to find jobs?

I must admit that I did not pay attention to where the best jobs are when I started college. But I sort of ended in a nitch market, and yes I do recommend others to enter this nitch. It just dosen't seem glamerious, but there are jobs that pay somewhat well.
The down side is most universities don't offer cources that are specific enough.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

"So it's difficult for chemical engineers to find jobs?"
You bet ya. With an attitude like some here one will hire you.

Of course we earn too little...but what are YOU going to DO about it.

Seems some like to shoot in the air....machinegun      

peace
Fe

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I don't encourage or discourage anyone to choose engineering.  I encourage all to pursue the field in line with their aptitudes, and discourage all from entering a field simply because it's what they want, or the pay is good.

Every field requires certain innate abilities that most people don't have.  All of us have around 1 to 3 things we can do really well.  Outside of those areas, we can function, but not excel.

I encourage all students with great math and science aptitude to pursue engr because that is what is needed.  Those w/o said skills would not be well advised to study engr.  The desire is not enough.  Aptitude is required.

Claude

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

im not good in math on my primary and secondary years, but im in engineering.

logic is very important in this job. We do have a chance to excel in this field even if we don't remember the multiplication table because calculators are already engineer's best friend.

Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree. engineers creates wonderful buildings, but only God can creates wonderful minds

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

After twenty-five years of practice, I love engineering as much now as when I started.  I would gladly recommend the field to anyone who truly has a love for problem solving.  I am in a field where on rainy days I can sit in the office and prepare reports and on sunny days I can schedule trips into the field.  Working as a consulting engineer, I am able to choose interesting jobs that offer me the opportunity to expand my horizons.  As far as the pay goes, I can't complain.  When we look at the salaries of high priced lawyers, or doctors, or executives, we often look at the top of the scale.  Likewise, the principals of the largest engineering or A/E firms do quite well.  However, many average members of these professions do not make the high salaries that we hear about.  My primary care doctor was chagrined to find out that I earned more than he did - General Practitioners in the US do not get the high dollars.  A friend who is a family practice attorney makes approximately what an entry level civil does (~45K).  That being said, I fear that most aspiring engineers do not have a firm grasp of what their fields will be like.  Fortunately, I went to a college where the majority of the professors had real-world experience and often had companies on the side.  Their wisdom and insight greatly helped me decide my chosen field.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Without reading all 38 posts on this subject, I can give you some recent observations about academia. I am 46 years old and just completed a Masters of Engineering - Green Energy Design.  In one of my courses I was talking to the Mechanical Engineering professor about super critical steam boilers fired on coal.  He did not know what I was talking about.  I really liked this professor but I can tell you that some of these people do not live in the real world when it comes to practical application of engineering principles.

Cvanoverbeke

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

.... but some do, and do so very very well.  

peace
Fe

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

maybe your professor never practiced engineering on the field. There's also some of engineers whose good on theory but never work outside the school so they don't have enough knowledge in practical sense

Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree. engineers creates wonderful buildings, but only God can creates wonderful minds

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Slightly off topic but....I'm surrounded by nurses and teachers, all in their late 40's/early 50's and they are all looking forward to taking early retirement as soon as they can as they just hate their jobs - too routine and beaurocratic. Me...? I cannot contemplate retirement...I just love what I do and will never completely stop unless my body (or more likely my mind) gives up on me.

Might go part-time or consult, but couldn't possibly turn my back on this much fun....

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

TPL:  great that you love your job so much.  I do too.  I know teachers and nurses (and engineers) who feel the same way.  I know others who don't- some who never had it, and others who got bored after a time.  What you're talking about is a highly desirable match between person and profession, rather than the state of the profession itself.  

What I see is the vast majority of people that my country educated as engineers (their education subsidized in large part by tax dollars), working outside the engineering profession.  Most never enter the profession, leaving right after graduation.  Some leave after a few years of work:  some by promotion, some out of boredom, some because of economic necessity after a lay-off.  Some join later in life.  Their reasons are as diverse as they are.  But the steady state in Canada as of the 2006 census was 2/3 outside versus 1/3 inside- including engineering managers etc.  In this case, the average tells the story far better than the anecdotes ever could.

These facts will not deter those who are truly passionate about our profession- I'd argue these are the people we really want as colleagues.   

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

If pay was all I ever wanted, I should have choosen politics. The pay is much better than engineering, and they always seem to be able to find another job.
 

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

My son is an architect - so I encouraged him to be a client, not a competing engineer!!!

 

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

"If pay was all I ever wanted, I should have choosen politics. The pay is much better than engineering, and they always seem to be able to find another job."



This is actually the best advice that you can give to those who want to have a great pay in their job LOLZ

 

Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree. engineers creates wonderful buildings, but only God can creates wonderful minds

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I try to encourage msishapen, stupid, odoriferous, and unpleasant people to be engineers, same as in personal life hanging with ugly, anti-social reprobates. It makes me look better by comparison.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

More like, "I may be butt ugly, but look at the guy next to me."

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

(OP)
cranky108 wrote - "If pay was all I ever wanted, I should have chosen politics. The pay is much better than engineering." That is what our chem eng prof told us when we started. Of course we all knew better and stayed the course.

HAZOP at www.curryhydrocarbons.ca

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

(OP)
I also wanted to thank you all for your posts. Now moltenmetal and I don't feel so alone.

HAZOP at www.curryhydrocarbons.ca

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I had the opportunity to do a high school presentation about engineering and what it was like.  This was aimed at a class of students interested in engieering and wanting to know more.  I told them that if you are interested in problem solving and/or find yourself watching shows on TLC and Discovery alot then engineering MAY be right for you.  As for what types of engineering they should research this before university, as all universities do not have all the options available.  I told them that engineering is in general a profession that requires you to constantly be working in groups and that people that try to carry the burden by themselves are usually burnt out after the first year of classes.

Regarding money I told them that if they are thinkng of it so that they can be rich they're miss-guided and there are plenty of easier ways to make money.  At the same time I stated that engineering pays a comfortable salary which if they wanted to do the minimal reasearch they can easily get information on and see on average what an engineer at different points in their careers make.  I also stated that with this comfortable salary comes a high professional responsibility to public safety, especially if you become a PE.  This responsability to many may be deamed too high compared to the compensation that you receive.

A co-presenter (older eng.) at one point when I was describing how many of my first year friends disappeared over the first two years of school commented that I shouldn't scare them.  The teacher (a former eng. grad) said that it was the truth and it's better they know it now.  I then proceeded to tell them about how one of my friends who got 100% on the grade 12 math final failed one of our first math classes and that high school marks mean little after getting accepted.  I also failed that math class but taking it the next time we both had A's... I blame it on flakey theoretical profs that can't tie down formulas to reality.

Finally when I was asked why I like my job I stated that I wanted to know how things work and how to make them better.  My curiousity is rarely bounded to any specific subject and engineering felt like it would best feed that curiousity.  Throughout school I took a broad base of topics and now with work I interact with many different groups of people.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

As a junior engineer being laid off immediately 1 year after college, I still remember very clearly the whole 'there's not enough engineers' saying throughout my years in college. Now, I've been out of job for about 8 months, and I seriously see no hope in landing a job in the near future. Seeing so many engineers got laid off in the industry, I find absolutely no reason why our fellow engineers are still encouraging people to become engineers and glorifying the prestige of our industry (apparently they're still employed so they have no idea how miserable it is out there). Engineering nowadays is not about a dream, let's get realistic here. Being an engineer is just a job. A job - the most basic necessity of surviving on Earth. Stop encouraging people to become engineers!

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

jeeze "a job' ???
There are many jobs that can make you money. I feel the pain of someone who wants work, but falls short for political or the like reasons. I see too many bums on welfare taking our hard earned dollars...
I like this quote:
"If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking." - Lyndon B.

I thought "we" as engineers were doing the thinking....at least we are supposed to be. pipe

peace
Fe

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Sorry that you feel entitled to an engineering job in the middle of a recession (sounds like you're from the entitlement generation).  In my 15 years of experience, I have seen when the economy was good to great there where many Mechanical Engineering jobs with one whole page ads, and now in this recession the wanted ads for Mechanical Engineering is close to nil.  Your only two years into this job market and I think it is unfair for you to make such an arrogant statement to tell passionate engineers to stop encouraging others to join.  Yes, I agree that a job is job, but this is a job I would rather do during my 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, and 46 weeks a year.  You have to find out what you like to do in engineering that you have passion. For me, it is analysis and test, for others, it could be design, project lead, field engineer, ...etc.  And, if it is the money, you have to really specialize in something in your field to get into the top 10% of the salary range (six figures).   

Tobalcane
"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I could not with clear conscience encourage anyone to enter engineering.  it is not like any other "profession".

If your chosen profession is law, then when you graduate, you invariably end up with a job where you use the stuff you learn in school and actually end up practicing law.

If your chosen profession is to be a doctor, you invariably actually end up in a job where you treat patients.

If your chosen profession is a teacher, you invariably actually end up in a job teaching students.

If your chosen "profession" is engineering, you learn quickly to forget everything remotely theoretical or  interesting that they taught you in university because in the real world, none of that's important as long as you are billable.  In other words, in engineering, it's got nothing to do with science and everything to do with billing.  Anything that resembles "engineering" is actually discouraged because it is perceived as needlessly expensive to pay somebody to draw stuff or solve equations - or else it is perceived that one who does so is re-inventing the wheel.  So, the collective "we" perpetuate a "profession" where things are sized on the basis of "I dunno but that's what someone did before" rather than on the basis of a calculation; where things are built but not designed; where designs are stamped (under pressure to meet a schedule milestone) without the fundamentals behind them being even remotely understood.  It's a pretty sad state of affairs, if you ask me.  One can always make the argument that those (yes, like myself) who are determined to not fall into that idiotic mode will ultimately do well and enjoy what they do in the long term, but it will be at the expense of being perceived by their employers and by society at large to be more of a constant irritant than a respected professional.

Not that I am in any way bitter...

A tad cynical, perhaps...

The solution for me has been to just refuse to do things that don't fit my criteria for what constitutes proper engineering.  Where I work now, it's quite clear that people need not trouble me unless they actually need - and want - something calculated or designed.  They'll get tired of me and fire me eventually, but in the interim, as long as I have anything to do with it, the things I that design will work and people won't die.

Regards,

SNORGY.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

SNORGY has some good points.
I too experienced this to some extent back as an intern.

"Hey boss my CFD calcs indicate that we are loosing 22psi on this bend....if we reroute it like this we only loose 4psi. "...."But sunny, WTF is CFD???, and stop calculating and start printing drawings.....its worked like that for years..."
LMFAO.

But, it still is a 'silent' profession, and in the R&D field things are much different...stick up for what you believe in.  

peace
Fe

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

The doctor and lawyer analogy is a very weak argument to compare with a person who graduated with bachelors in engineering (which I would guess most of our engineers have). Please let's compare apples to apples (that is what us engineers do right?).  The last I checked a bachelor in engineering still has the highest starting salary compared to other bachelor degrees.  Most doctors have a bachelor in bio or chemistry and most lawyers have a bachelor in political science.  Jobs in bio/chem and poli sci (which I would take a leap and say that these jobs are less than engineering jobs) I would guess would have the same career track as engineers as in learning the ropes of how a real business is run first (still wet behind the ear work) and then with some real experience get to actually do the work that they learned in college.  You are in charge of your career.  After five to 10 years after college (as long it would take to become a lawyer or doctor) and you're still doing things that you feel are not real engineering work, I have to say it was your decision to do so not the industry.  I have yet to see a job description for a Mechanical Engineering position that said "no engineering knowledge necessary" if you have a degree in Ancient Art, yes you can do this job too.  If you want to make more money, for me it was to take theory and use it in practice.  To see what other engineers (and designer who think they are engineers which is my other pet peeve) don't see, quantify issues, and find potential issues.  

Check this out (http://www.cnbc.com/id/29408064?slide=1) I don't see bio/chem or poly sci majors on this list!!  ME start is almost $59K compared to I would guess for bio/chem and poly sci would be in the $30k range.

Start salary of $60K plus four or five years from now for a BS in ME, I would encourage kids who just want to do 4 years of school to get into this field.
 

Tobalcane
"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Very true as well. But the top 10 there are all the most rigorous programs as well. smile

peace
Fe

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

(OP)
Thanks for the link Twoballcane. I note that the link states that short supply is driving salaries up, yet you would encourage kids into engineering and so increase supply and drive salaries down - a very altruistic point of view.

HAZOP at www.curryhydrocarbons.ca

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

LOL well bio/chem and poly sci may be easier, but to get real money, you have to go the rest of the distance of med school or law school and then take the board or bar, this is not an easy as it seems and this is defiantly harder and more money than going for your PE.  I guess my point is yes doctors and lawyers make a lot of money, but in a way they deserve it because they took on 4 to 8 more years after their bachelors to accomplish their goal.  If I had the time and money (and smarts!), I would have like to take a crack at it.  Maybe once my kids get thru college and there is some left over money in the 529 plan (LOL) maybe I would try paten law.  However, in any case, a bachelor in engineering will make more money than a bachelor in (put major here other than engineering).

 

Tobalcane
"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Don't worry, that is why we have weeding out classes like math and physics.  During my college time, I have seen maybe half of student switch majors after these classes.  The saying comes to mind from the professor "Look to your left and look to your right, by the end of the semester they wont be there!".  When I was a freshmen, I started with three other good friends, by graduation, I was the only one who graduated with my BE (Bachelors of Engineering) in ME.  

Tobalcane
"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

True story...

My father passed away in 1999.  He had had the same lawyer for his affairs for thirty years.

When I phoned his lawyer's office, as executor of the estate, to see if they maintained the most recent original notarized copy of his Last Will And Testament, they called me back an hour later and said:

"Our secretary looked in the file cabinet.  No, we don't."

Then they sent me a bill for $200.00.

Yes, apparently with lawyers, it *must be* ALL about the billing, because not even the most bitter engineer I know could find it within himself or herself to do that.

Regards,

SNORGY.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

WTF curse. I'd have gone nuts on them. But then again, that's all they are good for. nuttin....

peace
Fe

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

SNORGY, I do not think you will be fired for doing things right!  Or, if you do, you'll be better off.  Most engineers get these same pressures from management.  Our duty as engineers is not to cave!  We always have to walk a fine line between being too conservative and not conservative enough.  To me, that's what makes this job fun.  It takes time, but eventually management realizes that they need things done right too.  If for no other reason, causing people to die can get really expensive.   

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Can we be selective on who we will die? Maybe the copper theves that create the problem or hazard?

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I tried to show my daughter all of her possible career opportunities.  She had her own plans in mind and has chosen to major in Marine Systems Engineering at the United State Merchant Marine Academy.  In her second year there she spent 122 days on a cargo ship working in the engine room and sailing around the world.  Participation in overhaul and maintenance of a ship's many systems sure beats sitting at a desk looking at drawings of equipment and piping systems (my job).

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Hi
I am living in Germany and  germany is a country of engineering. They have a really well known reputation all over the world. However, now they want to import engineers/engineering students because the students living in germany, they either do not choose engineering or they are quite bad when compared to the previous students(who are now engineers).
I am an engineer, but I would never suggest someone to be engineer. At the end of the day, what you get is a little bit of satisfaction due to your work and some money. Obviously that was not the things that I was looking for.

Best Regards,
Sartor

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

You need to stand up for yourself. The satisfaction doesn't come from the irrelevant 'job' itself, it comes from doing what you love to do everyday.

peace
Fe

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I'd like to do what I love doing every day, but my wife said "no".

 

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

lol. Well, in that case there is always the local 'strip bar' or you could become a pimp daddy wink

peace
Fe

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I can't be a pimp, I've got a weak backhand. I guess I'll have to stick to fishing.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Brass knuckles go a long way wink  

peace
Fe

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

2
I have to laugh to myself when I hear a senior manager complaining about a skills shortage. What they really mean is that they can't find an experienced engineer to work for minimum wage so there must be a skills shortage right!   

Chris
www.value-design-consulting.co.uk

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

chris9, dunno if that makes me want to laugh or cry, but I agree with you.  

What he means by "skills shortage" is that the guy he wants to hire isn't already on layoff notice, ready to be recalled at no cost.  Forget about hiring and training people- that's for suckers!  Can't blame him, though- 20 years of successive recessions taught him well.  The governments and universities are only too happy to pour on more supply to "solve" it for him...

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I have never encouraged anyone to get into the engineering field, and never will.  As professionals with many degrees and accolades most of us are at the mercy of our employers and the economy.  As adults we get in "trouble" if we're not at work on time.  Come on!  Most of us are struggling to keep jobs coming in or working at all these days.  Go to school, get good grades, get a "career", they said.  Were they ever wrong. You end up having to work by the time you retire, because you just don't have enough benefits.  This country was economically founded on freedom and entrepreneurship, not job enslavement
.  Time to turn the tide.  Do your job very well while you have it, but get into your own business (not engineering, but commodities based) on the side, to survive and thrive.  I'm teaching my kids and others I know, to be entrepreneurs.  I've never been more glad.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

It is very easy for many to be frustrated at work and say "I'm going to start my own business and be my own boss, have more time for the family, and have financial security".  Well according to

http://www.businessknowhow.com/startup/business-failure.htm

those are the wrong reasons to become an entrepreneur and most likely lead to failure.  Yes we have to work for a company, but for me I have direction of where I want to go, a nicely paid salary so that my family and I can enjoy, and most of my healthcare is paid.  I look at myself as my own company and my manager and others are my customers.  I created a brand of me with specific key skills that I know my customers need and will pay, all of this without putting my house and the kid's college fund on the line.  One of the nuggets that I picked up at the many professional development classes is branding your self like the big boys.  If you do have the entrepreneur spirit, why don't you practice it in your own company?  Your commodities are your skills and your customers are your managers and internal stake holders.  Google Brand Yourself or even Professional Development and there are a host of good stuff that you can implement into your career as an engineer.

I remember back in the late 90s and early 2000s many have left the company to start working for these so called start ups.  By 2007, many have come back with the realization of "wow it's scary out there!".  
 

Tobalcane
"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Check this out:

http://www.payscale.com/education/average-cost-for-college-ROI

It looks like that you will get a bigger Return of Investment as an engineer from MIT than a CEO from Harvard.

Can some finance person explain this to me?

Tobalcane
"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Wow! Who'd a thunk that my little ole Georgia Tech degree would top the pack with a 14.2% ROI.

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

Yes annualy, but what does that mean?

Tobalcane
"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: Why do engineers encourage people to become engineers

I really don't understand all the negative comments on the profession of engineering... really.

For sure it is not the BEST for making big bucks, but it IS a sound profession and a decent foundation for possible future career moves.

An engineer is trained to think logical and critical, which in IMHO is one of the most valuable aspects of the trade in general and is quite easily "overlooked".

Wouldn't you think a Manager, after reading these comments, would think... "Man, those engineers have some issue's i tell you".

Maybe just maybe we inflict this situtaion on our selfs.



  

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