August 06, 2006
Too Many Engineering Graduates in the U.S.?
The Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog (July 24, 2006) discussed an article by Paul Craig Roberts called Jobs Update: The Death of U.S. Engineering. Paul Craig Roberts pointed out that reports from Duke University that 30-40 percent of students in its master’s of engineering management program accept jobs outside the profession is an attack on the belief that U.S. is not producing enough engineering graduates. The Curious Cat Blog wonders if since the U.S. engineering graduates are highly paid and trained, if they have options to look at other careers to get more money or opportunities. Other words, there many not be extra engineering graduates, but that they are so highly trained that have more opportunities than other graduates.
I can say as a engineering librarian that originally received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering the Curious Cat might be right on target. I was told over and over again by engineering faculty members that engineering graduates probably have the most options that any other graduate, because of the variety of skills learned.
I decided when I finished my degree that traditional engineering was not my cup of tea, but I loved the information of engineering. Before pursuing a Masters degree in Library and Information Science, I did apply for various engineering jobs. I had dozens of opportunities if I wanted to travel extensively or move from Northeast Ohio, but both of those options did not interest me. Locally, I had recruiters and others approaching me to work in business, high school teaching, and corporate libraries. I believe engineers are often plucked by other career fields due to their education and skills sets, and the switch occurs due to family, personal, or other reasons. As the Curious Cat, I do not believe the U.S. is producing too many engineers.