Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sucker bet: An engineering degree

Did you know that the majority of engineers graduating from college here in the United States never manage to find an engineering job?

The big companies are only hiring Indians and Chinese on H1B's, and ya gotta know the right person at a small company to get a job there 'cause else it goes to the second cousin of the wife of the Vice President of marketing. While overall unemployment is low for college-educated people, there's a helluva lot of kids with college degrees delivering pizzas and driving taxis or saying "do you want fries with that order, sir?".

Meanwhile, a good fixer is never out of work, whether he fixes cars, motorcycles, plumbing, or electrical wiring. Frankly, it makes me wish I'd stuck with that whole electrician thing, a good electrician is never out of work...

No, I'm not unemployed right now. Was just reading an article about an "engineering shortage" and how there wasn't enough engineers graduating to fill all the available jobs, and snorting "Bullshit!". If there wasn't enough engineers graduating, companies would be swarming even the smallest engineering schools looking for engineers. They're not. The big companies only look at the "top twenty" engineering schools, and otherwise hire from Tata and its ilk. The small companies don't look, period.

- Badtux the Bushit-smellin' Penguin


  1. well ya can't believe everything that you friend

    as i work in a university and we have what are called job fairs..where companies from all over come in search of the grad(s) of their choice to work for them..and the students they do come -- in droves - to these fairs..

    and what i have observed is

    that these companies are looking to hire more people, than grads that come to these job fairs...and they want to hire any kind of degree that has engineering in it...even for jobs that didn't need any engineering knowledge before...

    sorry - from watching this hiring right up-front-and-in-person -- i just don't see what you quoted...they love the women engineers especially when they wear heels...

    ps. the best thing that happened was meeting a haliburton rep and snagging a baseball cap with their logo -- will be worth some money when they fall on their knees ~ smile

  2. We have an engineer who is our salesman.

    The IT field has been hit the same way. Our salaries also droped by 50%.

  3. I have a college degree in English. I could make more money if I was flipping burgers.

  4. azgoddess, there are only two universities in the entire state of Arizona that have real engineering programs, in a state that has enough population to support at least half a dozen engineering programs. What you see in Arizona is *not* what is happening elsewhere in the United States. If you want to see something pathetic, I suggest you go to, say, University of Louisiana at Monroe. You will see a few big companies there, but they are only going to hire the top five percent of the graduates. Most of the rest will soon be delivering pizzas or working in call centers. This is true of most mid-tier engineering programs outside of large metropolitan areas. The kids are getting a decent education at these mid-tier engineering programs, thanks to the surplus of engineering doctorates on the market which makes high-quality professors affordable for even mid-tier state universities like U of L, but they're not getting jobs at the end of it. The numbers do not lie -- nation-wide, half of engineering graduates never get any engineering job after spending five years of their life getting a degree of engineering.

    And yes, the big companies love the woman engineers, especially the minority woman engineers, who allow them to meet two affirmative action goals at once -- woman, and minority. Well, and one non-affirmative-action goal: eye candy. Sexism within the engineering field is rampant, in my experience. In every company I've worked at, the woman engineers either had to be super aggressive personalities, or were swiftly shunted off to QA and technical support so they could be eye candy at company functions but otherwise not distract the geeks.

    -Badtux the Engineer Penguin

  5. I have a female friend with a Masters in Human Factors Engineering from the University of Iowa. She pretty much writes her own ticket, but I've also never seen her take shit from anybody. I was teasing her once and we almost got in a fist fight.

  6. Yes Azgoddess, I believe on it.
    I have double master in solid State Physics (GPA= 3.8) and second master in Electrical Engineer (GPA = 3.5), and I am looking for a job for two years now, in silicon Valley!!!
    My entire classmate had a job even those who have a GPA <2!!!
    The problem is connection, I don't know any one who can forward my resume to the hiring manager, and if it happens and they call me for an interview, they usually cancelled, because the position is already filling it out internally.
    I fell really sorry for all the years that I spent studying Engineering!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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