Job experience curve for engineers

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http://www2.studentsreview.com/articles/article.php3?article=how-to-choose-a-career.txt

According to this article about choosing your major in college, it states that the experience curve for engineers is flat compared with professions that require lots of experience like MD's.

I am a student that is set for the engineering profession, so I want to ask you guys that have some work experience in the field whether the predictions are true. Will it be hard to find a job/getting promoted a few years down the road?
 

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  • #2
Choppy
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The article presents an interesting opinion, but I'd wait for some data before starting to panic. At no point did he show an experience curve. He made the claim that after 5 years it is more cost-effective for a company to hire a new graduate than to continue employing an old one, which seems not unreasonable, but before it holds any weight for me, I have to see some actual data.

I think these arguments, if valid, are likely to apply to very specific jobs in specific industries.

The driving point that I would take away from it is that regardless of your profession, it is dangerous to stagnate. In any technical field, you can grow obsolete as quickly as the equipment you work with. As long as you continue to update your skills, you can remain competative and in demand.
 
  • #3
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pretty lame article, if you ask me. The article plainly puts engineering & medicine in two baskets, without telling what is inside the basket. Doesn't show any facts, nothing, just his opinion.
Oh well, its his opinion.

When an engineers gets 5 year experience & decides to leave the company, he knows that there are companies which need experienced people. Its not that each n every company needs 22 year olds for 5 years.
 
  • #4
Astronuc
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Despite that people flock to engineering for its high starting salary, many do not realize is that in the long run the job-experience curve for most engineering fields is FLAT. Companies and the market do not value your increasing experience (for a variety of reasons) over your existing skillset. After 5 or so years, the cost of maintaining you as an employee exceeds the cost of hiring a new graduate. The new graduate has updated skills, and from the management's eyes, only marginally different experience value.

. . . .
That is a poor article from which to draw any definitive conclusion. One's job-experience curve depends on the type of work, the field/discipline, the individual and the environment. MD's and engineers have a range of specialties.

For medicine, how does one compare general practitioners with specialists and with or without surgical experience? What about doctors who work for a hospital or clinic vs private practive? A doctor's salary will depend on the specialty, e.g., a neurosurgeon or cardiologist or anesthesiologist vs a family doctor. There is now pressure to reduce the cost of medical treatment.

Now compare different engineering disciplines. An engineer could work for a large corporation, a small company, or be self-employed. An engineer's salary will depend on the type of work and skill/experience. I know several engineers who started their own consulting company. If an engineer can produce a product which is high demand, e.g., a software application, a device, or a process, then the revenue (income) can be substantial.
 

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