Structures, water, computers, languages and people (not necessarily in this order)

Is there a global deficit of engineers?

United Kingdom







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.


  1. I wish I could take a picture of the Royal Bank of Scotland toilets in the afternoon. But some people would find it weird (my behaviour).

    Regarding the coffee, I cannot comment, but leaving the office a bit late, last week I spot a mouse through the glass door of the canteen.

  2. Great post! I love the comment on the restrooms and coffee.

  3. Hi!
    in Italy the problems are:
    1) the monetary position: the salary of an engineer is a lot lower then a laywer or an economist/manager;
    2) the difficulty of the study: the italian engineer school is very difficult, between the international view too.
    3)the difficult of career for the size of italian enterprise;
    4)the responsability of an engineer: a software engineer in Italy must do a lot of thing not in him position


  4. Many difficulties for CE job.
    Anyway, I like it.

    All best wishes to blog admin.

  5. Thanks for writing this.