More than 2500 readers took time from their busy schedules to take our 2006 Reader Survey. And we're not surprised so many of you responded, since this year's study tackled so many issues that hit close to home—including outsourcing and the future. The face of engineering is changing, and more than ever our readership crosses ethnic,-age, and gender barriers. The profession is evolving, and many of you are ready to evolve with it. You haven't lost all of your ideals yet, and at the same time, you're keenly aware of the compromises it takes to succeed in the real world. Here are some of your responses, direct from the survey results.
How do you feel about outsourcing?
"There is much more outsourcing of manufacturing. Design jobs still exist, but the jobs associated with manufacturing have largely disappeared. Economics seem to make it necessary, but good middle-class wage jobs are being lost, and I fear for the general economy of our country."
Melissa E. Grupen-Shemansky
Director, Design Engineering
"Outsourcing is an effective way of lessening the burden of non-core activities and providing flexibility to complement internal manufacturing. However, a concerted effort must be spent to recognize the core skills of a company and prevent outsourcing of nearly everything."
Dhananjay Jayant Kulkarni
Chief, Design Engineering
Dot Sys Technologies
"Outsourcing is essential for rapid growth. In the 21st century, the world is a village, and those who do not join hands as a team are likely to fall out of line."
How do you feel about the future of engineering?
"As long as the engineer is willing to learn the 'soft skills' (team building, communication, collaboration), there is plenty of opportunity."
Applications Engineering Manager
Power Management/MV/HV Group
National Semiconductor Corp.
"My main concern is that the engineers who come here to work will return home in a few years and take our technology with them. We need to encourage those who come to stay and develop technology here and keep it here."
Analog Signal Processing Products Group.
"The government needs to partner with our academic institutions to create new world-class competitive education opportunities in the U.S. that will address future national interests in energy, health care, and ecology."