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Shortage Of Engineers Essay

1149 words - 5 pages

Shortage of Engineers
The National Science Board issued a report in 2004 that states there is a decline of brainpower in the United States due to the shortage of scientist and engineers. They further state that this trend "threatens the economic welfare and security of our country" (American Scientist, 2005). While the shortage of engineers and scientist decrease, the U.S. Bureau of Labor forecasted in 2001 that science and engineering jobs would grow three times faster than any other occupation and could increase as much as 47 percent in ten years.
Until 2004, the number of engineers graduating remained steady and thus the demand for these jobs was fulfilled. However, "The National Foundation for American Policy reported in July of 2004 that more than half of the engineers with PhDs working the in the US and 45 percent of those with computer science doctorates are foreign born" (American Scientist, 2005). In fact, the amount of foreign students increased from 350,000 to 585,000 between 1984 and 2003 (American Scientist, 2005). Beginning in 2004 this trend began turning the other direction and the amount of foreign students enrolling in colleges decreased by 2.4 percent with the decrease in graduate student falling 6 percent (American Scientist, 2005).
In areas such as science and engineering, the declining numbers were even higher as the Council of Graduates reported the number of student applications has decreased with the biggest decline between 2003 and 2004 that was 36 percent of engineering schools. This decline was the result of the "decline of international students enrolling in graduate studies, change visa policies, and the weakened reputation of the United States" (American Scientist, 2005).

Shortage of Information Technology
As the demand of Information Technology increases the enrollment of students in computer programs decrease which could result in a serious labor shortage in this area. Even is today's economy these are no sign that IT jobs are slowing down. When the average rate of unemployment was around 4.5 percent, the unemployment rate for IT specialist was near zero.
It is predicted that total employment of IT professionals will grow from 3.5 million to 4.0 million by the end of the decade (Career Builder, 2008). With the level of demand predicted according to the Computing Research Association the enrollment in computer science and computer engineering has decreased from 57,000 to 30,000 between 2000 and 2007 (Career Builder, 2008).
Some of these shortages have been blamed on lack of wage increases and overtime hours that are required in this industry as they begin to have a negative affect the workers' quality of life. In addition, parents that are in the IT business are not encouraging their children to follow their example because of low wages and high overtime. Computers have also lost their appeal with the onset of new gadgets such as I Phones.

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