Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum :) i'm currently an undergraduate who is studying mechanical engineering in a singapore university. for your information, singapore is in south east asia, if anyone of you is wondering where it is haha. Recently, there have been lots of problems about engineering that have been bothering me. Engineering is not an easy course, i believe there are lots of others who feel so too. I have not been able to cope very well and i always feel that i am underperforming. Moreover, i get to realise that engineering as a whole has been on a decline since many years ago. Countries and companies always complain that there is a 'lack' of engineers and scientist worldwide. However, i have read through many articles that debate about this 'shortage'. some people say there is actually no shortage, it is just that companies are trying to come up with excuses to get more cheaper foreigners, such as those in the china and india. As we all know, china and india have been producing so much more engineers in the last decade, till the extent that there are not enough jobs for all these engineers. Companies worldwide decided to employ these large, available pool of engineers from china and india instead, because those engineers will be willing to work for much lesser pay since there are so many of them fighting for a limited number of jobs in their own country. In singapore, the situation is not different from the US, since our country is very dependent on the US economy. Many of my seniors who graduated couldnt find a job as there is a fierce competition with the foreigners and the pay offered is very pathetic. In fact in recent years, singapore allowed and encouraged foreigners to come to our country to fight for jobs. Till date, one third of our population is made up of foreigners, mostly holding work pass similar to the US h-1b visa. singapore is becoming like UK, transforming and emphasizing more on banking and finance rather than manufacturing where the latter creates more jobs. but we all know banking and finance doesnt create more wealth and there is no value add to the economy, it only shifts assests around to make some people richer. after looking at what happen to wall street, i dont dare to think what will happen to my country economy if we all rely just on finance. I feel very helpless. As compared to the peers who studied law, medicine and finance, those who studied engineering and science in my country have been deemed to be inferior to the others. However, some people also say that the decline in engineering and science is due to fact that young people lack the interest in science and engineering. they see lawyers, finance and doctors as more glamorous job. For less work done probably too. Lawyers and managers are one of the most overpaid jobs, while you can certainly never hear anyone mentioning that an engineer is overpaid. I know i might be over emphasizing on monetary rewards in the career. some may argue that passion for the subject and career might be more important than money. However, i feel that money itself does represent how valuable are engineers and scientist to the industry and the world. if people only bother to pay us peanuts and sack us first when it comes to retrenchment, what will people think? moreover, most of the companies dont recognise and reward work done by engineers and scientists. most of the money will go to those who can sell the product made. some argue that it is the consumer culture that has lead to all these problems. it's a matter of whether you can sell, not a matter of whether you can make. there has not been much changes in engineering education either i feel. we learn so many theories and get very little hands on. but the market and industry demand us to be innovative and creative. i feel that the current education will be able to produce lots of people who can study, but doesnt know how to apply. i dont know how true is this for the rest of you, but i can assure that this is mostly true in asia(maybe except japan) and the US. Most countries in europe i believe promote apprenticeship, so one could still learn while on the job. but for the rest of us, we are more or less EXPECTED to know every single thing without training. the school didnt prepare us for all these too. perhaps it is difficult for the school to be able to meet the many different demands in the market, but we dont get many chances to learn either, especially when we have to fight with others for the jobs. and yea, how do others look at engineers? the dilbert comic says a lot. I am still very interested in engineering. It has always been my childhood dream to build things out of my own hands. But i have come to realise, read and heard about so many negative things about engineering. so, how in the heck am i supposed to feel motivated? i know i could no longer follow blindly, hoping that getting into college, study hard will eventually land me into a good career that will last me till retirement. This set of stupid mindset has been in our asian culture for too long, that is why you see asian study so hard in schools, but you dont see them coming up with extraordinary achievement in life. i really like to know what are our fellow engineers, scientists and students stand on this issue. feel free to comment.