The company I work for is an engineer heavy company. That is, we tend to design, build, test, and produce custom electronics, so we have thousands of engineers working for us. Mostly related to satellite communications systems.
This company gives millions of dollars every year to Florida college's engineering programs at University of Central Florida, University of Florida, Florida Institute of Technology (here in Melbourne) and so forth.
They recruit from all over the country, frankly because engineers have generally been hard to come by for years. Consequently I've worked with guys with degrees from Purdue, Notre Dame, MIT, Ohio State, LSU, Louisiana Tech (me), Georgia Tech, New Mexico Tech, North Carolina State, Brigham Young, Tennessee, etc.
Today they sent out a company wide email to solicit help from any engineers interested in a program we have to go to local schools and encourage the high school age yunguns to consider engineering as a career.
The email had some facts in it that I didn't know. (I have taken the liberty of changing the "business speak" into plain English.)
- Decreased enrollment in Engineering and Computer Science
Freshman enrollment in Engineering has dropped for years now, and the trend seems that it will continue.
Computer Science and Engineering is one of the fastest growing occupations although it’s showing a 29% enrollment decline from ’02 to ’05.
The percentage of women enrolling in Engineering has been dropping for years, and the trend seems that it will continue.
Women are less interested in the largest engineering fields (Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science Engineering) and they gravitate towards industrial, biomedical, environmental, chemical engineering disciplines. (This is bad for our company because we don't use industrial, biomedical, environmental, or chemical engineers.)
Numbers of African-American and Hispanic college enrollment is low.
Minorities represent 25% of US population, yet they earn only 11% of all Bachelor of Science degrees.
- There are not enough people to replace the retiring current work force
78.2 million Baby Boomers start to retire in 2008 with 45 million genXer’s to replace and back fill
The thing that freaks me out about all of this is that I'm living proof that you don't have to be Albert Einstein to earn an engineering degree. I'm truly one of those people that people should look at and say, "Hey, if HE can do it, I can do it too. "
Yeah, it's a difficult curriculum, but the starting salary for a shiny, newly-minted engineering graduate is about $50k a year, and usually get a signing bonus too! There are young, single engineers that park in the parking lot in BMWs, Mercedes, etc. They ain't doing too bad.
I wish I had been making that kind of money when Lovely Wife and I first started out.