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April 01, 2008


Rich Hoeg ... the NorthStar Nerd

Response to John Streyle: Sorry you feel so negative about America's technology future. While jobs certainly move across international boundaries, if one keeps current and even "on the cutting edge" there is lots of work available. However, a key point is one must keep reinventing oneself through research and education. This is a personal responsibility, not something to expect from your employer.

I am still very happy with Erik's choice of schools. He has been offered and accepted a position with GE's engineering co-op program.

John Streyle

Tell this story to all the laid-off engineers in the US, and see what they say! Tell it to my co-workers (electronic and mechanical designers) that were laid off 18 months ago!
I was shocked to talk to a high-school buddy (a guy smarter than me - with an MSEE, very creative) He's been laid off twice, and is now unemployed, seeking some *other* type of work than engineering. "Electronic engineers are a dime a dozen" was his statement. The grim fact is that anything that can be easily moved via the internet (like electronic design information) can be done much cheaper somewhere else than the US, and the work is going there. As a mechanical engineer myself, I'll advise my sons to seek something else. Corporate America is going for the quick profits of cheap outsourcing, and design engineering is something easily outsourced. What'll be next?

Puneet Gupta

One of the most fascinating, intriguing (and IMHO the most compelling) point of view on this issue of "What's the future of engineering,..." is articulated by Sir Ken Robinson, a renowned professor and writer, who challenges the way we are educating our children.

He takes the debate from 'engineering in America' vs 'engineering in India or China' to a little different level and contrasts engineering disciplines with arts and science, and further talks about the issue of 'education inflation'. Not to mention his captivating and enthralling style of delivering his message.

One of ways that United States education system is different from what you find in India (perhaps China) is the emphasis on 'practicality'. I hear this all the time from students coming from India to US for their graduate studies...that they are amazed and invigorated by the emphasis on real practical hands-on approach to teaching vs more theory based (cramming) approach back home.
I believe as long as the emphasis on hands-on approach continues, and creativity is encouraged and rewarded...US education system will maintain its lead (in the form of the quality of its products - its graduates).

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