Stan and I have already gone ten rounds on this one, but this begs a reply.
How much compensation can I expect for a M.S.? At best, I might get $5000/yr
(at start, not long-term). Cost/benefit decisions drive students to get jobs
instead of Master's degrees.
There is no shortage of engineers. Enrollments are down because compensation
is down (though not as far as the article would suggest). Also, programming
computers is a lot more fun than negotiating with architects and highway
Besides, STRUCTURE is not my favorite source for bright ideas. I remember a
CASE news brief in the Summer 2000 issue announcing a joint meeting of CASE,
SEI, and NCSEA. On the agenda was "a new structural magazine that competes
with STRUCTURE". While I appreciate the practicle need for such an agenda
item, it still felt a little like one of those "smoke-filled-room" scenarios.
Not that Arneson's arguement is particulary noteworthy. A better solution
would be to cut the H1-b visa stuff (given his premise - a glut of engineers).
Another would be to let the engineering profession weed-out the
"less-qualified" (as Stan does). Still another would be to let the market
drive weak performers from the profession (the "free-market" approach). My
favorite is to tell all those kids in high school that this profession really
stinks, pays diddly, and has terrible career potential (the mis-information
approach, unless you believe that I just told the truth ;-) ).
It has finally dawned on me that Stan _might_ prefer to do his hiring at the MS
level to reduce his investment in training.
Is this why people are pushing for an MS requirement to enter this profession?
A one-two punch of increasing employee-paid education costs and reducing the
supply of engineers, thereby reducing training costs and increasing the market
price for services? Not a bad idea, really. Stan should give Charlie tips on
how to sell his database. :-)
Keith Fix, voodoo engineer
--- "Caldwell, Stan" <scaldwell(--nospam--at)halff.com> wrote:
> Attention SEAINT list members:
> To refresh you memory, the following appeared in a past issue of STRUCTURE
> The article is archived on the NCSEA website
> check the following:
> Bob Johnson
> Bob, Bob, Bob.........
> What are we going to do with you? Do you really think that anyone will be
> influenced by what appears to be an antiquated letter-to-the-editor type of
> piece from an obviously disgruntled engineer in the past Millennium? The
> author, Tore Arnesen, attempts to use old and generic compensation data to
> reach a conclusion that the structural engineering profession is
> experiencing a severe and long-term decline in prosperity. He goes on to
> propose that the only solution is to collectively force a massive reduction
> in civil engineering student enrollments.
> Mr. Arnesen's conclusion flies in the face of reality, and his proposed
> solution to this imaginary problem is preposterous. Most of the structural
> engineers I know have put together strings of several consecutive "best
> ever" years in recent times. Civil engineering programs are hardly
> producing a glut of new structural engineers. To the contrary, we currently
> have a significant shortage, and CE enrollments are dropping to the lowest
> levels in decades. Go ask any CE professor, or read Max Porter's guest
> editorial in the March, 2001 issue of STRUCTURE Magazine. He points out
> that the shortage is most critical at the MS level, which is exactly where
> many of us prefer to do our hiring.
> Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
> Dallas, Texas
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