Join for FREE,
and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions,
Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky
welcome messages (like this one!)
It doesn't solve the real problem, which is to create more and better engineering jobs, which is (I thought) the real goal.
In fact, doing what you suggest almost certainly makes things worse, because with more people graduating with engineering degrees, there would be more competition for engineering jobs, hence driving engineering salaries down.
See above. The situation would actually be worse. Simple economics dictates that when you increase the supply of something but don't increase its demand, then the value of that something actually goes down. That's a basic law of supply and demand.
The real solution is to increase the demand for engineering jobs. Not the demand for engineering degrees, but for actual jobs.
The real goal is to create a better situation for the median citizen. Not create a better situation for engineers. More engineers means more innovation. A simple look at patent production makes this exceedingly clear.
Higher engineering salaries is not the goal. More economic growth is the goal.
In the short term yes. However, in the long term I would have to disagree. South Korea did not always have a lot of engineering jobs. Japan did not always have a lot of engineering jobs. Neither did Israel.
Producing more lawyers does not create more law jobs.
More engineers means more innovation. A simple look at patent production makes this exceedingly clear.
I would argue that what happened in those countries is that they enacted policies to greatly increase the demand for engineers. For example, it's quite clear in the case of Israel that much of their engineering demand comes from their military-industrial complex. However, Israel also created policies that allowed military technologies to be successfully commercialized, hence increasing the private sector demand for engineers. Japan and S Korea also engaged in industrial policy to increase their export-oriented businesses, hence, also increasing their demand for engineers.
Well, actually, I think it does. After all, more lawyers generally means ever-more-complicated laws and regulations, as well as entities suing each other, which therefore necessitates even more lawyers to deal with the increasing complexity and to defend yourself from those lawsuits, etc.
Ha! There is actually a long-standing debate as to whether patents actually truly means greater innovation, or actually less innovation. Keep in mind that a patent doesn't give you the 'right' to commercialize a particular technology. Not exactly. All it does is prevent others from commercializing a particular technology. Hence, it is a "negative" right. Hence, patents are often times used to actually impede innovation, as somebody may not be actively pursuing his patented technology, but will legally prevent anybody else from also pursuing that technology, hence hindering the overall rate of innovation. What makes the situation even worse are those 'patent **** houses', who are nothing more than stockpiles of patents, who do nothing more than sue other companies who they deem to be violating their patents, but who do not pursue any technology commercialization themselves. It also forces inventors and tech firms to engage in costly and time-consuming patent searches to make sure that they are not inadvertently violating a patent that they didn't even know existed.
Hence, it's actually not clear whether more patents corresponds to greater innovation or not. In theory , the patent system is supposed to provide economic incentives via a temporary monopoly for inventors to develop and commercialize intellectual property. However, in reality, much of the current patent system has devolved into an arena for companies to sue/blackmail each other over alleged patent infringement, and the winner is often times simply whoever happens to be able to afford the best lawyers. It's a fantastic system for the lawyers, but whether it helps the engineers, or society as a whole is questionable.
The point was that engineering employment can grow. Additional government coaxing might be needed. Simply put, the average citizen in our country depends on staying competitive at the highest level of value creation.
Technical innovation is the quickest way to gain wealth on a countrywide scale (other than using natural resources, but that is a game of luck). It's a virtual prerequisiste for becoming an OECD nation.
As a case in point, consider the recent history of China and (especially) India. These countries aren't really producing that many more engineers (as a % of their population) than they were 30 years ago.
Well, I would actually argue that political/economic reforms are the true quickest way to national wealth. The Soviet Union/Russia, for example, had plenty of technical innovation, graduating immense numbers of engineers per year, and being the first nation to send a man in space and the 2nd nation to develop nuclear weapons. Yet that didn't save its economy from stagnation and its people from poverty.
In the US, that's not the case. Engineers are seen as 'geeks' and 'nerds'. You receive very little social prestige by saying that you're an engineer. That's why a lot of Americans don't really want to do it.
According to Berkeley's career center, the vast majority of graduates did stick with engineering.. something like 2 went into IBanking.
A real, real question, is how many of those students knew what IBanking was, what it involved, how to get into the field, etc? I am not joking. Look, I'm not ragging on the career (its awesome.. if you can break into it), but outside of CC, people working in finance, and Ivy-league students, very few people know what IBanking is -- including engineering students in highly ranked state universities. The vast majority of them probably thought that landing a job with Google, Apple, or Microsoft is the ultimate first job. Mentioning Goldman Sachs would get a blank stare from the 22 year olds. Tell people you want to be an investment banker and most people will think of a personal banker sitting behind a table at their neighborhood WaMu.