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Future job market.

  1. Oct 20, 2013 #1
    What do you guys believe the future will bring for engineers and computer scientists in general?

    What specialization do you think offers the most safety in terms of job security?

    How about this claim, there is a purported shortage of STEM graduates but this is false and that this is actually a ploy designed by companies so that they will be less scrutinized for hiring H1 Visa workers, or workers from other countries for lower wages.

    What would you do if you were out of a job, or couldn't get a job out of school? Aside from going crazy and robbing a bank.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2013 #2
    It's hard to make predictions. Especially when they are about the future.
  4. Oct 20, 2013 #3
    I'd say very good for both. Think about how much is going digital and in general how the things around us work. It's all technology, which means you need programmers and engineers
  5. Oct 20, 2013 #4
    I guess it will depend on where you plan to reside. A lot of programming and engineering can be outsourced to areas with low living expenses (and correspondingly lower wages). Advances in ICT and growing education levels in developing countries only make such outsourcing easier and more profitable as time goes by. If you want to live in a country with high living expenses, then one option might be to get really good at what you do, so that you can find a job even as competition continues to increase. That is however just a guess, it may all change in the future.

    Does not matter much. Things change very quickly these days. Careers that feel safe today may become much less secure in a couple of years, and vice versa.

    True in general. There is no shortage of STEM graduates. However there is a shortage of really good STEM graduates. You have an option of being really good.

    Most people CAN get a job, even if it is not related to what they study. Many professional engineers, programmers and scientists work as bartenders, entrepreneurs, shop assistants, managers, construction workers etc. There is a whole spectrum of jobs out there!
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  6. Oct 21, 2013 #5


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    I have always had the perspective that a professional engineer who ends up working as a bartender, construction worker or a shop assistant is a failure, so it begs the question of the type of even bothering to study engineering to begin with. After all, these particular jobs require at most a high school diploma. Am I wrong to feel this way?

    PS: I'm more forgiving of scientists who end up working in these types of jobs, particularly in areas which, at least to the average layperson's eyes, don't immediately lend themselves to practical applications (e.g. physics).
  7. Oct 21, 2013 #6
    Yes, because when the supply exceeds the demand, as it does in nearly all fields, sometimes greatly, then people are going to be left without jobs, or in menial jobs.
  8. Oct 21, 2013 #7
    I'm with StatGuy2000; typically when someone asks about getting a job after getting XYZ degree, they're really asking if they can get a job that requires, utilizes or otherwise leverages the skills and knowledge obtained while earning the degree. The OP mentioned multiple degree areas and others mentioned school.

    This type of assumption has worked well on this board for a decade and I don't see any reason it should change now.
  9. Oct 24, 2013 #8
    Anyone who tells you they know what the future market will look like is lying.

    That said, past experience with Engineering and Computer Science has been pretty good. Will it continue to hold in to the future? I would like to think so; but I'd be lying if I said that with any certainty.

    In terms of specialization, again, past experience has been good to those who have chosen to work for infrastructure. You probably won't get wealthy, but people have earned respectable middle class wages.
  10. Oct 24, 2013 #9


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    Ultimately, the question comes down to this: what should students who are planning to attend college/university do to most increase their chances of landing a decent job that could provide for a middle class living. ALL questions related to the job market is tied directly to this.
  11. Oct 24, 2013 #10
    Not everyone goes to school so that they can buy a house with a white picket fence in the right suburb, have 2.5 kids and a pet.

    When I was younger, I really didn't care whether engineering might get me a nice middle class living. I was in it because I wanted to build something really cool. It was all about the high toy factor.

    Today, I see things very differently. I encourage graduates to try out their educations and learn skills in all sorts of interesting projects, knowing that you don't have to settle down right away. Perhaps there are those who can't wait to settle down and start a family of their own. If so, follow my earlier advice. But know that I'm assuming that you want a middle class living.

    Sometimes the best jobs are the ones where the money is tight, but the experience is great.
  12. Oct 24, 2013 #11
    I cant imagine anybody hiring you as an engineer and paying you less than middle class earnings. The median household income in the US is 50k. Two workers can make 25k each and have a middle class income. Have you ever meet anybody hired in the US as an engineer for less than 25k? I doubt it.
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