# Is it true?

1. May 18, 2005

### TEMYCH

I've read several articles in newspapers and on several sites ( such as cnn.com) concerning US and its serious lack of professionals with scientific, mathematical and engineering skills. Is it really true? Thanks.

2. May 19, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

Have any links? I don't know if there are any actual new problems, but the US has always been a little thin on engineering/science professionals. Too many people these days go to college and major in "liberal studies" or something that they can't use when they graduate.

Doesn't bother me though - supply and demand means engineers get paid rather well.

3. May 19, 2005

### zoobyshoe

There was an upsurge after WWII as I recall, due to the GI bill. Lots of people who couldn't otherwise have afforded a college education took advantage of this, and alot of campuses were overrun with ex-GIs. Most of these were attracted to purely practical fields like engineering, and agriculture.

I doubt today you could accurately say we're thin in the area of computer science. Other branches of science and engineering, possibly.

4. May 19, 2005

### arildno

We have to face it:
Mathematicians&scientists have always been "oddballs".
What has changed, though, in the latter half of the 20th century, is that the intellectual elite no longer dominates and controls the public arenas as they used to, like newspapers. In effect, we've experienced a democratization of civil society, and thus, it is no longer the admiration of the intellectuals you'll find in the mass media, rather the ridicule of them.
This makes a career in science seem less prestigious to youths than it may have seemed earlier.

5. May 19, 2005

### ShawnD

If you're not part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem. I want an even bigger shortage on professionals. Instead of having rough competition for a $15/h job with no benefits, a$20/h job with lots of benefits is just handed to you.
You can even see that difference between cities. In Edmonton, you can make about $12/h doing construction, and overtime is 1.5x normal wage. In Fort McMurray, about 4 hours north of Edmonton, you can get paid$20/h as a janitor, and overtime on holidays like Christmas you get paid 3x your normal wage.

There are some benefits of having more workers of any kind, but most of those benefits go to companies and their share holders. As a worker, I would rather maintain a shortage.

Last edited: May 19, 2005
6. May 19, 2005

### Pengwuino

One of my professors said that the US is rather thin on physicists and it looks like we're going to hit a slump in about 8 years... good news for me :D

7. May 19, 2005

### arildno

Quite so.
The more educated the population becomes (i.e, the more replaceable each person becomes), the greater percentage of their valuable output will go into the pockets of the employers.

8. May 19, 2005

### ShawnD

Excellent wording. Being replaceable is the last thing any worker wants.

9. May 19, 2005

### zoobyshoe

Food for thought.

10. May 19, 2005

### FredGarvin

There is a big push for getting more science/engineering types through schools. I personally do not see a shortage of engineers in my area. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting 5 of us around here. It seems to me that the bigger push is getting women and minorities more interested in the sciences.

I do find it pretty dubious for people to be saying that in political circles when more and more scientific/engineering jobs are being pushed off shore to foreign countries.

11. May 19, 2005

### franznietzsche

Since when are politicians supposed to be self-consistent? They couldn't give a rats arse about any of us.