Quantcast

Comments about ‘Building enough engineers to meet future demand must start early, experts say’

Return to article »

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4 2012 11:35 p.m. MST

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
John C. C.
Payson, UT

I guess I could have gone into engineering. I loved math and science. I got A's in physics and calculus. Learning the PASCAL programming language was a breeze.

But sitting around in some boring cubicle solving problems for someone else just didn't appeal to me. I wanted to become the most sophisticated and respected behavioral engineer and programmer there is outside of motherhood. I wanted to be a teacher. I knew the emotional rewards would more than compensate for earning half that of an engineer.

But perhaps, as in education, you can't attract people to an engineering profession with just money. They might want to be treated like they are more than cogs in someone elses's machine.

CARL
South Salt Lake, UT

Perhaps we ought to change the name locomotive engineer to locomotive train-master. The loss of caboose made the engineer the master of all cars on the railroad and not just the engine.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

I need to make an important observation. It isn't just about making 'enough' engineers. Probably more important is providing the ones we do have with a quality education. An engineering degree in a good school doesn't make up for a substandard education in secondary school. I am talking about geometry mainly, but this affects everything else. Geometry has gone from being s subject where students prove theorems, i.e. understood why the facts of geometry were true to a subject where facts are too often handed out, what few proofs there are too often done in group settings rather than learning how to do these proofs for themselves.

This hole in the students problem solving ability means that students are now less likely to derive formulas they will be exposed to in later math classes and physics. Scientists/Engineers should be adept at modeling phenomena and then describe the phenomena mathematically.

I suggest we return to a math curriculum where students do proofs and are led to the point where they do challenging problems. If not we will still graduate scientist and engineers but they won't be as capable as they would have been otherwise.

  • 6:49 a.m. Dec. 5, 2012
  • Like (5)
  • Top comment
one old man
Ogden, UT

Shouldn't there be a difference between the FIRST comment to receive a like and the TOP comment?

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

This article illustrates the complicated problem our nation is facing in our current job crisis. The world is changin so fast that the jobs that were once the bread and butter of the American economy are no longer relevant.

Those who lose their jobs can't find similar employment. Job creators can't find qualified applicants. Job training needs to be readily available. Whether that is a function of the government or the future employers can be (and is) being debated. Taxpayers don't want to fund another person's education. Employers don't want to fund training and education. Older workers don't want to start over at the bottom of the ladder.

We all seem to be pretending that with the proper policies (tax breaks, tax increases) etc, things will go back to what they were. Although the policies of government and business may exaberate the problem, the root is that the job market is changing and anyone who wants a place in a 21st Century market needs to be ready to change.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

We'll develop a lot more engineers when society starts looking up to them, instead of denegrating them.

LDS Aerospace Engineer
Farmington, UT

I can speak to this --

I spent 8 years in college, and 6 years in the USAF earning my degree.

Engineering students have the highest wash-out rate,
and put in more hours of study for graduation at the Bachelor's than any other course
-- including Medical students.

My Mother always told me to grow up and be a Doctor, Lawyer or Engineer.
In reality - Engineers make 50% of what a Docotor makes, and 33% of what a Lawyer makes.

And then we as Aemricans scratch our heads and wonder why everything is made in China and how articles like this get written?....

sally
Kearns, UT

When one graduates with a engineering degree, has job experience, interviews, then is passed over for a foreigner on a work visa, why spend so much money for a degree? The companies have learned the foreigner cost them less.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

Maybe if our schools focused on teaching US students math, engineering and science etc. Rather than paying foreigners to come to our schools to learn these skills and ship them back overseas to compete against us. We spend more time and money to educate the rest of the world, and to compete against us, rather than focusing on our own children and teaching them how to be competitive.

What is wrong with taking care of the children inside of the United States first, before we go out to rescue the rest of the world?

Barack is ramping up green energy loans, except for billions of those dollars are being sent to china to create jobs for them. Isn't that great? We borrow money from China, educate the children of India, send money with strings back to China and then outsource our manufacturing to China and engineering to India.

Hurray for fairness!

justired
Fillmore, UT

there will be a glut of engineers looking for work when the defense budget gets down. however, most are likely to change professions (used car salesman, insurance) rather than up-root the family again. These hi-tech companies hire and fire in a vicious circle. Especially in Utah.

VST
Bountiful, UT

@John CC said, "But sitting around in some boring cubicle solving problems for someone else just didn't appeal to me."

Well John since you did not pursue engineering as a profession, I will excuse your comment by saying you are very misinformed and have a much distorted perception as to the on-the-job work environment of a practicing engineer.

I had a great, stimulating, challenging, and satisfactory career as an engineer. Work, as a practicing engineer, is very much more than just sitting in a cubicle solving problems for someone else.

@sally,

If there is a demand for a specific engineering expertise, one will be hired regardless of whether they are an American engineer or a foreign engineer working here on a visa.

DVD
Taylorsville, 00

@LDS Aerospace Engineer

Farmington, UT

I can speak to this --

I spent 8 years in college, and 6 years in the USAF earning my degree.

Engineering students have the highest wash-out rate,
and put in more hours of study for graduation at the Bachelor's than any other course
-- including Medical students.

My Mother always told me to grow up and be a Doctor, Lawyer or Engineer.
In reality - Engineers make 50% of what a Docotor makes, and 33% of what a Lawyer makes.

And then we as Aemricans scratch our heads and wonder why everything is made in China and how articles like this get written?....

-------- This is a good point, if at times, a profession is losing out because of economic conditions, but that profession is needed for competitiveness and recovery, there is a rational reason for some federal intervention in order to allow us to retain these people and their skills in our country. Just like doing nothing when there's an economic depression on the way isn't good, doing nothing when conditions are creating a brain drain is also harmful.

Kathy.
Iowa, Iowa

There won't be any engineer out of work that don't want to be out of work or don't have current job skills. There are 3 jobs for every engineer currently employed.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

As a father of two engineers, I must say that our LDS culture pays lip service to the value of education but provides so many distractions and "awards" not related to intellectual endeavor that at times I've felt like I've been fighting against the culture (or certainly swimming against the current) in trying to keep them focused on academics. When my youngest was accepted to UC Berkeley engineering (rated #3 by US News) and chose it over BYU engineering (not even in the top 100), people in our ward could not understand why he chose Berkeley.
IMO we will not "build" enough engineers to be competitive if we do not sufficiently value and encourage academic achievement in math and science and continue with our "dumbed-down" culture.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

Don't fall for the myth that our schools are inferior.

Our obsession with blaming our schools began about 30 years ago with the "Nation at Risk" report. It was a con job. I picked out 3 of their studies and found all three were misrepresented. They didn't take into account that in the U.S. we try to educate all students--poor, handicapped, least prepared, even though they drag down test scores. Europe routinely channels most students into vocational tracks based on a single test in their early teens, but we encourage all who wish to go to college. The U.S.S.R. (Russia) kicked all but the elite out of the schools after 9 years. And their large tally of expert engineers? Yes, they did have a lot, and they were superior--ON EXISTING TECHNOLOGY. Within a few years those Russian “experts” became obsolete as U.S. technology advanced.

We produce voters able to compose, read, and sign petitions, parents who can educate their own children, well-rounded graduates who appreciate and contribute to the fine arts, citizens who know and learn from history, and workers who lead, innovate, and cooperate.

Our schools rock.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

Read these first lines from the Abstract of the Ailes study (1982), specifically commissioned for the Nation at Risk report (which sparked our last three decades of school bashing in the U.S.). It was curiously ignored by Republican-appointed “experts” who wrote the 1983 report:

“Education in the U.S.S.R. is much more strongly oriented toward the scientific and technical fields than is that of the United states. This may be an asset in the development of specialists with the ability to attain the short-term technological targets of the Soviet economic plan. However, the more flexible, theoretical, broader-based higher education system in the United States may produce specialists with an ability to innovate, with an ability to adapt to technological change, and with a greater latitude for interfield mobility as the demands of the economy change….”

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments