Is American programming/engineering dying?

gamepad

Golden Member
Jul 28, 2005
1,893
1
71
I really don't know much about this type of field which is why I want to ask you guys (AT seems like a good place to ask).

These days, it seems like engineering/programming is just another blue collar job like shoe manufacturing. Why would an American company hire American laborers when they can outsource.

I read that between 2004 and 2005, the number of CS undergraduates at MIT dropped by 17%. Electrical engineering is going down the drain too.

I really want to get a degree in CS, but I don't think it would be very wise.

Can anyone explain to me what this field is really like? Should I switch over to investment banking?
 

Special K

Diamond Member
Jun 18, 2000
7,098
0
76
I dunno, I am graduating with an MSEE next spring and have had or will have interviews lined up with Intel, AMD, nvidia, Micron, and TI (so far).

I won't make the bold assumption that I am going to stay in engineering forever (I plan on getting an MBA at some point), but I think your claim is a bit extreme based on my experiences. It seems like all of the hi-tech companies are still hiring americans.

In fact, I spoke to some reps from Intel who said they tried outsourcing major EE designs awhile back and it didn't work out too well.
 

invidia

Platinum Member
Oct 8, 2006
2,151
1
0
Programming is being outsourced from what I read. I belive software engineering is not outsourced.. yet or can't really be outsourced. EEs is dropping because not many companies need them atm. It could be other reasons too, like not many college students taking EE or those in EE already is sufficient enough.


You can go for CS and then go into software engineering. Aren't engineers thinkers, not physically laborers? When I mean physical, I mean like the army or construction worker type labor.
 

gamepad

Golden Member
Jul 28, 2005
1,893
1
71
You can go for CS and then go into software engineering. Aren't engineers thinkers, not physically laborers? When I mean physical, I mean like the army or construction worker type labor.


It may not be physical labor but it still seems like labor. A software engineer comes up with an idea and guidelines for a program, and he has programmers do all the hard work.
 

wasssup

Diamond Member
Nov 28, 2000
3,142
0
0
Well the "boom" is over. It took me over two years after graduating college till I found a "real" job as a computer scientist/software engineer. Before then I was working in high volume call centers doing the tech support gig.
 

bignateyk

Lifer
Apr 22, 2002
11,288
7
0
If your skillset is in programming, or circuit building, then probably yes.

If you are going for a job at the system design level, management level, or in academia or governent, then there will always be plenty of jobs.

Its the low level techies / programmers whos jobs are in danger...
 

nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
56,254
9,486
126
Of the twenty or more developers I've worked with over the last few years, I'm not aware of any of them having changed career fields or losing a job to outsourcing.
 

gamepad

Golden Member
Jul 28, 2005
1,893
1
71
Originally posted by: wasssup
Well the "boom" is over. It took me over two years after graduating college till I found a "real" job as a computer scientist/software engineer. Before then I was working in high volume call centers doing the tech support gig.

Is the market is saturated with software engineers right now?

I wonder if database administrating is still hot.
 

gamepad

Golden Member
Jul 28, 2005
1,893
1
71
Originally posted by: bignateyk
If your skillset is in programming, or circuit building, then probably yes.

If you are going for a job at the system design level, management level, or in academia or governent, then there will always be plenty of jobs.

Its the low level techies / programmers whos jobs are in danger...

How do I get to those kinds of jobs? Would I just major in CS and minor in business, or dual major?
 

Feldenak

Lifer
Jan 31, 2003
14,093
1
0
Originally posted by: gamepad
Originally posted by: wasssup
Well the "boom" is over. It took me over two years after graduating college till I found a "real" job as a computer scientist/software engineer. Before then I was working in high volume call centers doing the tech support gig.

Is the market is saturated with software engineers right now?

I wonder if database administrating is still hot.

Go into what you enjoy. If you truly enjoy your job it is noticed, your quality of work is great, and the money will eventually follow.
 

Kadarin

Lifer
Nov 23, 2001
44,303
13
81
My guess would be that quality engineers would be in demand no matter what. That's the case where I am, anyway, as we're looking for dev/analysis type people for our team.
 

Cooler

Diamond Member
Mar 31, 2005
3,835
0
0
Originally posted by: gamepad
You can go for CS and then go into software engineering. Aren't engineers thinkers, not physically laborers? When I mean physical, I mean like the army or construction worker type labor.


It may not be physical labor but it still seems like labor. A software engineer comes up with an idea and guidelines for a program, and he has programmers do all the hard work.


That?s what I did. I got my masters In CS and I work as software engineer.
 

bignateyk

Lifer
Apr 22, 2002
11,288
7
0
Originally posted by: gamepad
Originally posted by: bignateyk
If your skillset is in programming, or circuit building, then probably yes.

If you are going for a job at the system design level, management level, or in academia or governent, then there will always be plenty of jobs.

Its the low level techies / programmers whos jobs are in danger...

How do I get to those kinds of jobs? Would I just major in CS and minor in business, or dual major?


well.. everyones gotta start somewhere so chances are you wont get one of those jobs right off the bat unless you have some combination of a masters, mba, or phd, or second degree in business...

otherwise youll probably be doing some low level work to start with, and it may or may not be hard to find something good in this regard, but you just need to work your way up..

you just dont wanna get into the mindset that you can keep advancing career-wise by doing nothing but programming work..
 

tweakmm

Lifer
May 28, 2001
18,436
4
0
I'm actually in process of learning Ruby, specifically for Rails to program some nich web based business ideas I've had recently.
I also hope to be able to pick up a some freelance coding projects now and again, from what I hear there is work to be had.

I will say as a power user it is extremely useful to know how to write scripts.
 

invidia

Platinum Member
Oct 8, 2006
2,151
1
0
Anyone can learn programming. Hell, I know more programming than most 2-3 year CS majors. And I'm not even a computer-related major. That's why they're so easily outsourced. Someone could just spend 2 years at a community college and get a degree for it.
 

tweakmm

Lifer
May 28, 2001
18,436
4
0
Originally posted by: invidia
Anyone can learn programming. Hell, I know more programming than most 2-3 year CS majors. And I'm not even a computer-related major. That's why they're so easily outsourced. Someone could just spend 2 years at a community college and get a degree for it.
Simple logic.

Syntax can be a bitch for some languages. That is the true beauty of Ruby though.
 

jman19

Lifer
Nov 3, 2000
11,216
651
126
Originally posted by: tweakmm
Originally posted by: invidia
Anyone can learn programming. Hell, I know more programming than most 2-3 year CS majors. And I'm not even a computer-related major. That's why they're so easily outsourced. Someone could just spend 2 years at a community college and get a degree for it.
Simple logic.

Syntax can be a bitch for some languages. That is the true beauty of Ruby though.

Ruby is one of the sweetest languages out there right now. Syntax is easy and predictable in it's usage, plus it has some nice features: object oriented, functions are first-class objects, perl like features where useful, etc.
 

tweakmm

Lifer
May 28, 2001
18,436
4
0
Originally posted by: jman19
Originally posted by: tweakmm
Originally posted by: invidia
Anyone can learn programming. Hell, I know more programming than most 2-3 year CS majors. And I'm not even a computer-related major. That's why they're so easily outsourced. Someone could just spend 2 years at a community college and get a degree for it.
Simple logic.

Syntax can be a bitch for some languages. That is the true beauty of Ruby though.

Ruby is one of the sweetest languages out there right now. Syntax is easy and predictable in it's usage, plus it has some nice features: object oriented, functions are first-class objects, perl like features where useful, etc.
That's what I keep hearing.
I've been programing on and off for a decade now and ruby code is simply amazing to look at.
 

yllus

Elite Member & Lifer
Aug 20, 2000
20,577
432
126
The programming and low-level engineering is for the most part to be considered a stepping stone in one's career. I use the term developer to classify a person who meshes business sense and tactics and applies programming skills, both his/her own and those of his developer team, to solve them. You'd be surprised at how crucial this role is and how badly it's usually fulfilled.

Dropping rates of people entering the field for educaiton sounds great to me. More demand for my skills? Hell, abolish CS programs entirely! :p
 

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