Is there a global deficit of engineers?

United Kingdom

Japan


Germany


Argentina


Italy

Portugal

Spain

The global shortage of all kinds of engineers -from bricks to clicks- comes as no surprise to me. Engineering is a difficult degree everywhere without clearly appealing prospects. What is more, it seems that only Asians go into science and technology because we are creating a culture that talks long on technology management but views those creating new technologies as nerds.

So what is the solution? It is a simple supply and demand law that requires some time to reach the equilibrium point. If one spends enough money rising salaries and improving working conditions engineering will be attractive and the shortage will disappear in the mid term. However, engineering work is not visible to the general public and sometimes can be outsourced easily and those are the main reasons why we have little scarcity power specially when compared to physicians, air controllers or dentists. As long as the discrepancy between engineering and other career paths exists the engineering skills shortage will remain.

Finally, let me tell you a personal theory. In general the quality of the coffee and the cleanliness of the toilet are the mirror of how the company is treating its employees. It seems clear that the brightest people tend to choose the best places to work so if you want to know how good a company is I strongly recommend you to visit the restroom and ask for one capuccino.