JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2010/01/engineering.html (20 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1264690356-627  NMM1AFan at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 14:52:36 +0000

I notice that they don't discuss the probability of being unemployed for one year out of every five, like most of us engineers...

jsid-1264691577-891  Jeff the Baptist at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 15:12:57 +0000

Agreed.  Aerospace engineers make the most because they're laid off the most.

jsid-1264693230-229  Bram at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 15:40:30 +0000

What about Art History majors?

jsid-1264693681-921  Kevin Baker at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 15:48:01 +0000 in reply to jsid-1264693230-229

"You want fries with that?"

jsid-1264693815-297  perlhaqr at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 15:50:15 +0000


jsid-1264695260-489  JebTexas at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 16:14:20 +0000

I think the starting salary for Aero at least is way off. I've a bro who graduated last year in Aero from a big Engineering college, Tau Beta Pi and all that. The best he could do was 59k. He had one larger offer in Cali, but liked the job in Texas better. And I surely can't see physics paying entry level salaries anywhere near that amount.

jsid-1264695293-925  karrde at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 16:14:53 +0000

I was gonna say that there's a heck of a lot of hard science degrees in this list. The only "Soft Science" present it Economics.

jsid-1264697147-651  plblark at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 16:45:47 +0000

The Structural engineers design the targets.
The civil engineers handily design a grid system around it to help you locate it :)

jsid-1264699077-864  Stretch at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 17:17:58 +0000

And English majors can diagram the sentance "Do you want fries with that?"

jsid-1264700517-168  Guest (anonymous) at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 17:41:57 +0000

So far aero is paying very well, working on boats of all things.

jsid-1264708440-317  Sarah at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 19:54:17 +0000 in reply to jsid-1264700517-168

Is that you, ben?

jsid-1264703966-39  Phil B at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 18:39:26 +0000

You missed out the No. 1 top earning engineering career - Social Engineering (ask Al Gore, Obama, etc.).

jsid-1264713676-319  Laughingdog at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 21:21:16 +0000

I can't imagine that many aerospace engineering majors get laid off any given year.  They'd have to be able to find a job out of college in order to get laid off.

I started out as an Aerospace major, and switched to Mechanical Engineering halfway through my sophomore year.  The wisdom of that move became very evident once I was a senior.  Pratt & Whitney, GE Aircraft Engines, and Boeing had no interest in Aerospace majors from my school, just the M.E. and E.E. majors.  I don't know if that was typical at all universities, or if the program at VA Tech for aerospace was just that bad.  Either way, it gave a new perspective on their pitch to freshman engineering students of "95% of all aerospace majors get a job or get into grad school after they graduate."

Yeah, 5% found jobs, 90% went to grad school, and 5% just pretty much gave up after realizing that they'd wasted the last four years of their life.

jsid-1264714767-439  James at Thu, 28 Jan 2010 21:39:37 +0000

As a ChE I can tell you there's very few jobs in the "blasty" world.  I got into the field because I wanted to do "blasty".  The jobs are in "keeping it FROM blasty" (or worse, in keeping it from emitting, or doing paperwork about keeping it from emitting).  Not so much fun.

jsid-1264745565-1  bob r at Fri, 29 Jan 2010 06:12:45 +0000

As one of those Boeing mechanical engineers, I can assure you that there is more work for mechanical engineers than for aero engineers on a passenger plane.  A lot more.

jsid-1264751710-448  Chris Byrne at Fri, 29 Jan 2010 07:55:10 +0000

Well... I've got degrees in two of the top three... and "mid career" I make about 80% more than their list... Because I build the systems that control the money.

The real secret to money, is making it using OTHER peoples.

jsid-1264780562-853  Rob at Fri, 29 Jan 2010 15:56:02 +0000

Best laugh in a couple of weeks.

jsid-1264795105-400  Armageddon Rex at Fri, 29 Jan 2010 19:58:26 +0000

I must concur with the comment about being unemployed every year out of five.  In Software and hardware around Silicon Valley these days, there are a lot of engineers asking "Do you want fries with that" or working at Home Depot part time to make up for their lost income because project hours have been cut from 50+ per week to 30 per week or less.  I've read in the WSJ and elsewhere that venture money is coming back, but I think a great deal of it is really going to Bombay, Shanghai, and Taipei.  I have several bilingual friends, indian-americans who speak Hindi, and chinese-americans who speak Mandarin, who now earn their living coordinating work done by teams of software engineers in Shanghai who earn about $35K per year each, and hardware designers (motherboards) in Taiwan who earn $45K per year each, and teams of IT support folks who earn $30K per year each in Bombay.  All this work used to happen in the U.S.A. 
Those wages are below the poverty line for a family of four in Silicon Valley.  We can't compete.  Silicon Valley is dead as a high tech center, it just doesn't know it yet.
It's just the corpse twitching at this point. 
I'll advise my kids to go into law and medicine.  Lawyers seem to rule the western world these days, and doctors will soon be able to get filthy rich providing services on the black market once our medicine is socialized.  There's no way I'll advise them to follow me into engineering even though both have extremely high math aptitudes.
The number of mid career software and hardware engineers who no longer work in those fields is disgusting.  Most were given the option to become project managers, or be replaced by fresh college graduates or overseas import or export engineers who work for peanuts.  You only need so many managers...unless you're the FedGov!!! 
Year after year the FedGov and big business lament the lack of engineering, math, and science majors.  That's all crocodile tears and bullsh!t.  They're lamenting the fact they still have to pay them more than minimum wage, but that's changing fast!
If you're still working in high tech, find something else to do.  The cheap Asian engineers are coming for your job next unless you work in a position that requires a high security clearance, and Obandit is getting ready to cut all the projects funding those jobs in 3, 2, 1.... in order to fund socialized medicine and not cut medicair.

jsid-1264798862-927  Mark Horning at Fri, 29 Jan 2010 21:01:02 +0000

Funny yes.  The not so funny: Looking at the rate for mid-field physicists... Damn I'm underpaid.

jsid-1265068119-342  markm at Mon, 01 Feb 2010 23:48:39 +0000

I've been an engineer in electronics manufacturing for 20 years now, and I've worked pretty much where I want to work (small companies in Michigan, but nowhere near Detroit). I'm a generalist. I can design a product, build a tester for it, and put it into production. I have had a heck of a lot of fun, and been out of work only once in all that time, for just 10 weeks. But my paycheck is still smaller than many engineers' starting salaries.

Specialization gets you bigger paychecks, but both specialization and high pay put you first in line for layoffs.

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