You want a job? Become an engineer.

Back in 1986 over 14% of all undergraduate degrees were in engineering. Today, only 8% are in engineering.

In 1986 38% of all degrees were in engineering or business, where you could expect to earn a living to support a family. Today, it is down to 28% in those majors. The 10% shifted to Ethnic studies, Gender studies, English Literature, Psychology, Social Sciences, Communications, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, and Parks & Recreation. See for yourself:

Math is hard. It’s really hard when you have mediocre union teachers teaching a dumbed down government curriculum to under-motivated, i-gadget distracted, participation trophy infected kids.

If a kid wants a decent shot at landing a decent paying job, they should study like mad and earn a degree in a math based major.

24 thoughts on “CALLING ALL ENGINEERS”

  1. Years ago I couldn’t even spell Engineer…now I are one.

    Heck I’ve been a Quality Engineer for years in the automotive realm…demand..yep…good pay yep.

  2. Admin,
    Number one son will be dropped off for his final year for his Chemical Engineering degree this weekend, already has a job offer. Nephew’s degree is Criminal Justice, he’s a cop and made $120.000 last year with detail pay. Nice gig if you can get into the club. His brother’s degree is in finance he makes about a third of that. There is stupid good money to be made in the cop/TSA business while it lasts. Suburban cop outside of Boston can do very well and may never have to pull his or her gun. Their biggest danger is getting in an accident.

  3. Those stats tell a story, but we are still graduating more STEM students than STEM jobs available. Especially when you consider the sheer number of H1-B visa grads that are flooding in (and have been, every month, every year, since 2000). I’ve heard that from Dow Chemical, to Microsoft & Google, not to mention every big hospital and college, the numbers of non-accented workers continues to go decrease as worldwide accents become the norm.

    Here is a great article on the reality of our STEM employment,
    you can also visit, an immigration impact group that does in depth research – with many sources cited – as it tries to wake up people to the new reality of our technology “thinking” jobs and the real impact of unnecessary immigration. Immigration that has helped create stagnation of wages as non-indebted foreigners, whom are coming from the nearly third world to our modern shores, and can live much cheaper than we with our loan payments, fancy car leases and our big screen tv credit cards, sign up for thousands and thousands of dollars less in salary.

    Coming out of college with debt, and no clear cut way to pay it off as fast as possible, is a recipe for disaster.

    And millions keep signing up for the disaster wagon. Voluntarily and with grandiose ideas of future greatness.

    If my child was pursuing a degree using debt, I would very strongly suggest they plan on working two, or three jobs for the first five years out of school. One to gain experience and try to subsist on, and the others to put 100% toward that bitch, the student loan.

    I know this isn’t happening, I see the new grads, and drop outs, and their current McJobs and McPaychecks, and they don’t have enough to pay more, but are, by and large, refusing to do MORE to get out from under it. But they do have the latest and greatest phone, and they do have car leases and the associated expensive car insurance sitting in the drive.

    That I will never understand. As long as they have those debts, even if they are only having to pay $5 a month, their plate of shit will grow larger (thanks math!) and it will cost them everywhere they turn.

    We, as a nation, have sat back for the past 70 years and laughed as kid after kid gets ass-raped and lied to by academia, and the gubment, and the banksters. Any of us that went through it knows the waste, stupidity, and insanity (and theory) over reality and results, that college, taxes or compound interest, actually is/was. And now we are sending kids that have been judged incapable of drinking a beer into hundreds of thousands in debt. You can judge a people, or a person, by the way they treat the children, seniors, and invalids. Based on that we ‘murkins are true pieces of shit.

    We went off the rails a long time ago, now it is just the sickeningly amusing ride of watching things implode one-by-one.

    I, for one, can’t wait until these “ivory” towers implode into a dung-heap of worthless teachers that truly can’t teach, and definitely can’t do, struggling. Then, maybe, things can start to change.

    Until then, good luck, think outside the norm, hunker down and enjoy life. It’s all we’ve ever had.

  4. Sorry Boston Bob
    I didn’t mean to give you a thumbs down. I meant a thumbs up.


    Is there any doubt that US citizens are living under a vast, clever, and patient tyrannical force that is bent on our total destruction? This (the immigrant worker situation) is just one small portion of the tsunami of ill will that is incessantly directed towards us. Yesterday our fine governor of California, Jerry Brown, informed all Mexicans that they are absolutely welcome to come to our formerly great state whenever they please. It must be good to be king, especially when anyone who objects is immediately branded racist (if you say it right, the word can be HISSED).

    Every time I hear one more national “leader” cry fearful things about an upcoming terror attack from ISIS, while they refuse to secure the border, I get more angry, more hardened against them. They will not rest until my grandchildren are either dead (terminated in their interests) or living as slaves. Just wait until all these immigrants figure out they were duped too.

    I love our country but I absolutely hate our government.

  5. I say this, having degrees in Engineering and Comp Sci (Penn State 1972).

    A tech degree will serve you well – for a while.

    However there has been (starting around 1995) an assault with H1-B visas. These people are literally indentured servants, at low pay for a couple of years. Most of them know very little, rely on wrote memorization, and lie like hell.

    Once the ‘dot heads’ get into an organization – they load it up with more ‘dot heads’.

    But let’s get past the dot heads.

    The sad part is that management will probably ‘throw you away’ by the time you are 45 – cause you are too expensive – and they figure new grads – can build on what you have done.

    I was fortunate – they didn’t throw me away till I was 60. Now I do support for crappy MRP / ERP packages.

    My advice is have an alternative lined up by the time you’re 45 – 50.

  6. I’ll tell you why kids don’t go into Engineering and Science. Maybe they are not as dumb as you suspect.

    One example; Myself versus my kid’s middle school art teacher

    Public middle school art teacher;
    30 years experience, grades drawings and clay projects, Union contract dictates a 3% annual salary increases for the life of the contract. Has a retirement date

    Mechanical Engineer;
    PSU BSME, 30 years experience, Laid off twice, 8 US and international patents, earned or saved Medical, Automotive and Defense companies millions. You TBP folks unknowingly have seen something or used something he has designed or built at some point, every single day. No salary increase in last 5 years. Retirement?…. That’s funny!

    Would you know they get the same pay?

    Guess which one has 8 weeks off, job tenure, gets a pension and benefits?

  7. Dutchman – your personal observations do not match the posted facts, so sorry.

    Gubmint – I gather you don’t own the patents. Your point re teachers is very good, but your personal experience is a very small sample size.

  8. Llpoh,

    Average teachers starting salary and average salary, Massachusetts is over $70,000, the average.

    Average for engineers:

    I dare say that the most engineers studied harder than most of the teachers and that the average engineer is smarter than the average teacher. I am sure that the average engineer has much less job security than the average teacher. It is well known as well as posted above that many technical industries have used the HB-1 visa scam to wage arbitrage the true engineer salary. I am sure that the outstanding engineers that are invaluable will be fine, but there are hard working average people with a hard earned degree that are having their wages artificially lowered do to government policy while a protected union class is more than adequately compensated. A point of disclosure my wife is a teacher’s aid and is in the teachers union. She often point out to me the salaries her fellow workers (publicly posted information) that are often in excess of $90,000 before benefits, to do preschool, 3-5 year old kids.

  9. @Llpoh: “Posted facts”???? Like they are the absolute facts in the universe. PayScaleSurvey – who hell are they – some internet shit company.

    Gubmint Cheese was correct: many gubmint jobs are better overall than private sector – but that’s going to change. I know teachers who can retire at 55 – with 75% pension, and lifetime medical. Same for cops / fireman. It may be shitty work – but with benefits – the pay is better.

    You can read over and over again about STEM people getting the shaft. Many DoD contractors simply layoff armies of engineers if they can’t get another contract.

    If you’re good at it – probably sales and marketing pays the best, for the least effort.

  10. BSME, Gatorland, 1962.

    Comparative difficulty in curricula: Guys in danger of flunking out of engineering would transfer their major to education, and then brag a bit about making the dean’s list.

    Sure, many good teachers out there, but it’s a much easier deal for the sheepskin.

  11. Maybe teachers and cops will make bank going forward.

    Me? I’m not betting on it. The four areas being supported almost entirely by monetary debasement (via Credit Bubble Pumping) are:
    1. Medical Services (Medicare, Medicaid, etc.)
    2. Military weapons (Raytheon, L-M, etc.)
    3. University-Industrial-Complex (via bottomless pit of loan availability = indentured servitude)
    4. TBTF banksters (all the Money Center banks, the big investment banks, etc.)

    Some day….SOME DAY….this Hindenburg will rise one foot too high, get one cubic foot too much Volatile Credit Hydrogen pumped into it, there will be a spark, or simply the herd will smell smoke and awake from its stupor….


    Pensions? GONE
    Jobs? GONE

    Already, in many places, “tenure” is history. Pensions are so underfunded that they are mathematically insolvent no matter what happens.

    It’s all the same Big Problem. Just because the paradigm shift has not occurred for the 19 years I’ve expected it does not mean it’s NOT coming.

  12. Teachers in IL don’t make anywhere near 70k to start. Try half that.

    Job conditions are so debased now (“old” teachers being let go to make room for the Bi-lingual new grad who will teach all the Central American kids flooding every town…no, I’m not making that up, it’s real, happening in the district where I live) that pretty much every teacher at the local grade school is desperate to find another job.

    No luck, though. Lots of unhappy people in unhappy jobs, but very few decent openings. My old firm now tracks sales for each rep on a weekly basis, and while the products are doing great, if a rep falls behind (ever rising) quota one week out of three, they get put on a “plan.”

    It’s a bear market. get used to it.

  13. Llpoh;
    You are correct. I am not the Assignee.

    Engineers generally never get any sort of reward for designs and things they develop while working for a company.

    In fact, I have been required to sign documents which release any personal claim to any inventions.
    For signing these releases, the Human Resource drone provides me one whole dollar FRN for my release of claim. Unlike Sales and Marketing clowns, who end up with salaries, fat commissions and perks. No cheese for Engineering.

    Dutchman +1 on the Marketing note. Finance is a good one as well.

    Small sample size n=1, True.
    Mine is but a small story. Almost every technical person I have worked with in the past 3 decades has a similar story, some of the details may be better and some much worse situations than mine.

    After almost 30 years of this ,I have seen the carnage inflicted on the technical cube farm dwellers and on the companies themselves by the gross incompetence of good ‘ol frat buddy management and vampire private investment interests that swoop in like Cerberus Capital.

    Take a look at the Board or Senior management of most companies. Not much STEM represented there.

  14. Alex, I’ll take Door #3. Mining engineer. People who find shit for other people to build shit.

    Never goes out of style. Never.

  15. You disgruntled STEM INTJ’s get back to the damn labs and cube farm, stop blogging and make me some bank.

    In fact, I’ll dock each of them a day pay for blogging on the job.

    Big daddy needs that diamond encrusted Rolex.

    Get me my latest issue of Modern Slaver Magazine!

  16. I went the Navy route and graduated with an economics degree from Arizona State. Unfortunately growing up in a lower class family makes breaking into the investment analyst field very difficult as I have no connections. There are kids from my graduating class in their big dog associate jobs just because they knew someone, not to mention those same clowns wouldn’t have passed if I didn’t carry them through half the upper level course work. I’ll keep busting my ass towards obtaining my CFA Level 1 and working at my mcjob and helping my parents out.

  17. I have never regretted becoming an engineer. My job is seldom boring as I wear many hats during a project, but the best part is that while there are always egos and people who don’t think your ideas will work or are the best approach to solving a problem, if you can win the client over, when it is finished and you push the button, it either works or it doesn’t and the debates are settled.

    The downside is that even when you win, there are few attaboys and when your design has proven correct in every way, your detractors hate you even more. Sometimes the enemies might be fellow colleagues who opposed my designs and lost in review conferences, but more commonly are employees of the client who simply oppose any changes or technologies that they don’t understand.
    But I am a process engineer and it is my task to improve system performance, when it makes sense for whatever reasons and there is a better way.

    Those who don’t like it are invited as always to kiss my ass.

  18. Your personal experiences are a smaller sample than LL’s. It’s funny how over achievers believe their own bull shit.

    There have been some very astute observations made on this post, Gayle, TE, et al.

    LL, eight or so independent observations are not a small sample size, and Dman has a point, who stands to gain from this press release? The higher education system. Your life sucks, if it does, because you majored in the wrong area in college. No, it doesn’t, it sucks because our federal government is sucking the life out of you, and allowing the corporate sector to do the same.

    Up until 2000, software engineers owned 80% of the most expensive homes in Hawaii, the most expensive vacation homes in the world. Since 2000, those homes are owned by Hedge Fund managers. Where are they represented in those stats?

    I’m calling bullshit on the post and going with Dman on this one.

  19. I work for a large Engineering company and the first thing I have to sign is a document agreeing that any patents or discoveries I make pertaining to my field of work are the companies property.

    Dutchman is dead on. Any tech degree, or training will serve you well, but when you get to around 50 you had better watch your ass. Probably goes for almost any private sector job too. Once your fifty they look for ways to get rid of your ass.

    Gubbermint drones, on the other hand do not have to worry about that. I have worked in the private sector for 30 years. I had a chance to get a job with the Gubbermint as a WG-13 in 1990. What a fool I was for not taking it.

  20. Thanks to the guys who reminded me about the 45 and out, tf you aren’t upper management by then you are heading toward the door. Your boss appreciates you, gives you raises, then is forced to can you because you cost too much. Then they promote the guy you trained to take your job and hire a heavily-accented new grad for his job.

    Which saves the company tons of money, thus making your boss, and his boss, bigger bonuses as salaries drop and profits rise.

    I saw this time and again when the dotcom/Y2K economy started to fade. I was inundated with highly qualified, highly skilled, middle aged people with very high salary requirements. Sad thing was they needed jobs at the same time the jobs were going dark. Enter the Clinton/Gingrich H1-B increases (which, btw, did not really get big until AFTER the jobs were gone, no media on that shit) War on Terrorism and the new grads got those replacement jobs. Middle aged continued to get the shaft. I personally know guys that were making over $200k in ’99, highly skilled and highly praised that are now working Geek Squad for $11 an hour, part time.

    Yes, with a STEM degree you have a better chance of getting a real job. If you have connections you might be able to get a paid-for-life gubment job. But increasingly those are going to contract houses, and the heavy accents.

    Continuing to believe that the world is working the way it “always” has is a fool’s errand. And setting up many for failure. No wonder suicide rates are climbing.

    BUT, this is what I do know, if you go above and beyond your competition, look at finding a job as a job, continuously hone and grow your skills/specialty, AND leave enough jobs with great references (whom will actually talk about you), and you will work when others don’t. I have to believe that this has always been true, just dismissed by the majority as “too hard,” “too crazy,” or not worth it.

    So it goes…

  21. I regret my STEM degrees fairly often. From an opportunity cost standpoint they are much more expensive than their business/BA alternates, my masters in chemistry vs. an MBA even moreso.

    So much time spent pouring over textbooks, lab work, and of course there is the difficulty.

    And yet when you graduate you really won’t make much more than your counterparts, at least not based on degree of effort work.

    For example, sales and marketing in my company (and many others) make much more than the scientists/engineers creating products and troubleshooting problems.

    Example: Marketing comes to me with a problem, a specific liquid loses coloration, but its not linked to sun exposure. Can you answer the question?

    I spend an afternoon doing research, set up an experiment and report back in a week. Question answered, problem solved. Marketing is ecstatic. The guy who came to me with the problem now gets to enjoy his gold star in the company logs because he got the problem solved.

    Why don’t I get credit? Easy, the marketer is rewarded for making good use of human capital, whereas I am just expected to be magically all-knowing. For me not to be able to answer a question actually goes down as a failure on my part.

    Thats just one example, unfortunately for STEM graduates their topics are so damned hard that management usually cannot even understand what they are doing, let alone who is a good employee and who isn’t. But sales/marketing, now that makes sense! You sell stuff, you get the company money, the easiest to track metric of all.

    Add in the fact that STEM usually = INTJ and you can see a growing issue where engineers are less likely to have enough social savvy to fix bad situations.

  22. TPC, thanks for that too!

    You are onto something with the INTJ too. The dominant personality type of those that the sciences/engineering/math appeal too tend to be the quietest and easiest-going. They just want to be left alone to do their jobs. So, when they are eliminated they have few friends in the more vocal, and listened to, parts of the company, thus no voice in validating their experiences to the outside world and common man.

    When I was talking to hundreds and hundreds of IT/Engineering types, I learned of all sorts of crap dished upon their heads. Training their own replacements – both foreigners that were taking the knowledge outside the country, and foreigners that were H1-B’d in, being docked when the laws of physics/coding limitations wouldn’t let some new product exist, being fired because the boss had to cut expenses, and as the most learned and accomplished, you got axed first because the savings were the most significant.

    Somebody mentioned tool and die. That I know about too. Michigan lost over 50% of its tool and die companies as the big three and lots of smaller manufactured, offshored or closed down. The ones that are left are generally doing ok, for now, as the reality of cheap prices from China meets quality and duration of the tools provided. My brother is a General Manager of a decent sized tooling company. The biggest problem he has is that ‘murkins are no longer motivated by doing a good job, nor earning more money through more hours. It isn’t that he can’t find skilled workers, it is that finding people that actually work enough to cover their own salaries is getting harder. And a continuously changing and shrinking customer base.

    Conflagration of events. The hard working have to work harder, the lazy are being bailed out by cheap credit and the gubment (for now), the playing field is intentionally being skewed against our middle class, and we sit around and argue about blaming the victim or not.

    Yet another corrupted, polluted, over-regulated, gubment down, nightmare.

    Learn to grow food in hidden places and find alternative/natural products for community health, I get the feeling those will be the most important “degrees” in the next couple decades.

  23. Don’t worry, highly-trained STEM workers! The USA needs you now more than ever! There are limitless opportunities in the black market for you! Meth labs need building, pot grow houses need designing, illegal gun factories need your expertise, and illegal alien smugglers need you to build new camoflaged hidey holes! Get into the black market today and find satisfaction in providing Americans with what they really want! Oh, and if you got chemical or neuroscientific experience, you are needed right now to design the next wave of desiger drugs and date rape chemicals!


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