Are new EE grads really dummies?

There is a pretty heated discussion in progress on the Slashdot site. The thing that prompted it was news of the latest unemployment rate for EEs jumping to 6.5%. This figure prompted a lot of speculation as to reasons why, but one theme running throughout the posts is that the EEs coming out schools, at least in Europe and the U.S. really don’t know much. And this isn’t just coming from old codgers voicing the usual complaints about today’s youth. It is coming from recent EE grads themselves, in some cases. Here are a few interesting selections of what’s being posted there:

“I am an electrical engineer, and work in Europe. What I see here, is that the quality of engineers coming out of college or universities is declining at an alarming rate. The knowledge-level about basic subjects is embarrassing to say the least….”

“I’m living proof you can graduate electrical engineering with honours using copious amounts of Wikipedia. I came out of University knowing nothing and it has been an uphill battle getting where I am now. Most of my colleagues are the same. University is no longer about learning and it’s all about getting a piece of paper, then we rely on learning on the job…….”

“The education level across the board seems to be in steady decline here as well (Canada)…..

Now that I hire people, I’m looking for those ‘gems’, which tend to be rare. Then there are the ‘experienced’ people that don’t have the current skills required to do the demanded work, and many have the attitude that they do not have things to learn, or are not going to bother. And they still expect top dollar. Then there are the young ones who don’t have a clue and think they do. And expect ‘roll-your-eyes’ top dollar…….”

And there are many, many more just like these.

Discuss this Blog Entry 2

on Apr 24, 2013

I read these comments from grads claiming they emerge from engineering college " knowing nothing". Call me old school, but what happened to "you get out what you put in", or for those of you that only understand texting code, GIGO. Maybe you entered an EE or ME program because you're good at math? That's not enough and never has been. Either you have the aptitude or you do not. I believe these spoon fed babies need to get out there, while they're still undergrads, and design and build stuff. Keep journals. Learn to do, not just pass an exam. Every engineer grad should, at the very least, make it goal to obtain a PE in their respective state or country. Grow up babies.

John K (not verified)
on Jun 25, 2013

Dean, a PE is no gurantee of ability either; my past two positions have been fixing problems that the prior EE's with PE licenses couldn't solve.
I worked my way up from being an EEt for a few years while going to school. There is an obvious reinforcement of what is learned in the class that way.
As for the relative high unemployment rate of EE's, I'm sure there are many answers. One of them likely is that fewer are needed. Look at the number of development kits for different applications...everything can be purchased pre-designed.
Interesting comment in the article about experienced engineers not wanting to expand their knowledge base...from my experience those are the rarest of engineer.

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