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James Dyson: We Should Pay Students To Study Engineering 321

Posted by samzenpus
from the change-your-major dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes "The inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner believes there is an engineering crisis in the UK and that 61,000 vacancies in the area will go unfilled in 2014. To address this Dyson believes says he wants the UK government to offer monetary incentives to students with an interest and aptitude in science — as well as changing the current visa system to make it easier for foreign students to remain in the country and get work once they have completed their education in the UK."
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James Dyson: We Should Pay Students To Study Engineering

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  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:38AM (#46140159) Homepage

    The phrase he seems to be looking for is "we need scholarships for engineering students".

  • by JWW (79176) on Monday February 03, 2014 @11:01AM (#46140355)

    This is why we're failing. Money as a concept is designed to be an engine that runs the economy.

    But to run that economy we need bankers and traders that help us run the mechanisms that promote business and commerce. These people, who are supposed to be making the system work for all of us and taking a profit on the providing of their services, have used their proximity to the money to, well, steal and skim money off the system to make themselves rich. They make themselves rich beyond reason. The system is no longer about the economy at large and about promoting business, its about banking and about the market.

    The market starts prompting companies to do make bad and destructive decisions in order to make the banks and markets more money. Eventually they create perverse "instruments" for making money. When I first heard credit default swaps being defined, I couldn't believe that the people who created them weren't in jail for perpetrating fraud, it was so fucking blatant.

    So our economic system will fall apart and burn to the ground because it no longer serves the purpose it was created for, it is corrupted beyond repair.

  • by tibit (1762298) on Monday February 03, 2014 @11:04AM (#46140389)

    There is some truth to this, but mind what "dealing with money" may mean. Retailing is all it takes, you don't need to be a financier. Say, for example, the duty free shoppers [dfsgroup.com] empire (founded mostly by Chuck Feeney and Robert Warren Miller). In the time before it sold to LVMH in 1997, they seemed able to extract 20 billion USD out of mostly asian customers, with essentially zero investment. It was all high-overhead retailing, nothing less, nothing more. They were very productive in that enterprise.

    Just think of this: there were years when Feeney and Miller were extracting over $100 million USD yearly in dividends out of that enterprise. To give you another idea of the scale involved: at one point they were paying the Hawaii airport authority $1 million every 3 days for the concession to operate at the airport. DFS was worth way more than many of the large financial operators you might have heard about, like Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers. Heck, Miller and Feeney were personally worth IIRC more than Stearns and Lehman and a couple other large investment banks combined, for crying out loud.

    Of course Chuck Feeney gave all his money to a charitable foundation he created, and is on his way to be the biggest philanthropist of all time. I think the joke is that he was basically bankrolling Irish higher education for a while.

  • by PRMan (959735) on Monday February 03, 2014 @11:27AM (#46140663)

    On 60 Minutes this weekend they had a story about a 15-year-old kid who created an early test for pancreatic cancer. He and his brother played "science lab" in the basement. Their parents stayed out of it and said, "Don't blow up the house" and they got several calls from the FBI about their "purchase history", but the parents ignored it and let them play science anyway.

    Nobody's going to go into science if they get a call from the FBI every time they try.

  • Re:No, Salaries (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:01PM (#46141001) Journal

    But there are many science and engineering jobs with poor pay. Pay for postdocs is low, and shamefully low for grad students taking on teaching fellowships. Internships are another. New or near grads who may already be burdened with massive student loan debt are sold a bill of goods, told that part of their pay is the "valuable" experience they gain, and this justifies paying them a pittance, or even nothing at all-- the infamous unpaid internship.

    And if that isn't enough, what about employers who cheat their regular employees, not just the poor interns? One of the biggest problems with joining some small edgy startup, being mesmerized with the potential, suckered into dreams of great success, wealth, and fame, is that the odds of success are much poorer than they want to believe or admit. The finance folks tend to keep the engineers in the dark about the company's finances, until they can't make payroll. They borrow their engineer's time, knowing full well that if sales continue at the same level this month as in the previous 6 plus months, they will not be able to pay, but wishfully hoping that this month will be different. So the poor engineer wasn't told, and doesn't find out until they've taken a month of work that they can't pay for. Indeed management tends to view engineers as chumps too dumb and narrow to see the larger picture, and also as arrogant about their intelligence, so why not take them to the cleaners and get a little kick out of putting one over on those smarty pants? Helps soothe the sting of failure to screw over a bunch of arrogant engineers they've been jealous of since grade school math class. Then they usually have the cheek to say that the situation will surely improve shortly, the corner will be turned any day now, and ask that the engineers now volunteer further time and effort for free, to be paid back later only if the company succeeds of course. Show your commitment and passion, yeah!

    The 1099 can be another way to cheat the engineer. The engineer is once again suckered with visions of glorious independence and freedom while the "contractee" (*cough* employer *cough*) gets out of all kinds of pesky labor regulations and overhead pay like contributing to unemployment and retirement funds.

    There are some head hunting agencies that are positively predatory. One that I recall insisted that job seekers sign a contract that stated that the employer will pay the agency 1/3 of the new employee's first year of pay, and that if the employer fails to pay this money, then the employee is on the hook for it! I had visions of this being turned into a little scam. Get hired by an employer in cahoots with the agency and who never intended to keep you but instead plans to come up with an excuse to fire you in 91 days. Earn 3 months of pay, owe 4 months of pay. Profit!

    And where is the government while employees are being fleeced? In the employers' corner, having been bought off with generous campaign donations. Might even send the police in to do some union busting.

  • by Theovon (109752) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:59PM (#46141625)

    I keep hearing two contradictory theories:

    (1) There aren’t enough STEM graduates for the jobs available. Crisis for the tech industry!
    (2) There are too few job openings for the massive numbers of STEM graduates. Crisis for unemployment!

    Are these things really contradictory? Or are both true? For both of them to be true, then what we really have is an education crisis, where we’re putting too many losers on the job market. Businesses get lots of applicants, but most of them are fundamentally unhirable, because they’re morons. So although the number of applicants may well exceed the number of openings, only a small fraction are worth hiring.

    There seems to be plenty of hiring for low-pay code monkey and short-term contract jobs, and those seem to dominate the tech industry. So any engineering student who can think his or her way out of a paper bag complains they can’t find work because the jobs that are available are utter shit. So perhaps on that basis, we can rewrite the two hypotheses above:

    (1) There aren’t enough REALLY GOOD STEM graduates. In fact, businesses are forced to assume (on the weight of massive statistics) that ALL of them are idiots.
    (2) There aren’t enough good-paying tech jobs, because most of the jobs are parceled out to code monkeys by businesses structured around that kind of employee.

  • Re:No, Salaries (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Obfuscant (592200) on Monday February 03, 2014 @03:37PM (#46143459)

    But there are many science and engineering jobs with poor pay. Pay for postdocs is low, and shamefully low for grad students taking on teaching fellowships. Internships are another.

    None of those are STEM jobs, they are designed to be short-term support for people who are still in the educational system. This is the same kind of changed thinking that has turned the minimum-wage entry-level cashier job at Mickey-D's into what people consider a long-term family-supporting job.

    But anecdotal evidence is the best kind, so I'll just add that when I was in graduate school the stipend was sufficient to live a reasonable life. Not plush, not with a new car every year and a three bedroom house, but sufficient to meet my needs and most of my wants.

    And if that isn't enough, what about employers who cheat their regular employees,

    Fraud and breach of contract are still fraud and breach of contract. Should there be a special class for those laws called "STEM crimes" to go along with the "hate crimes" classification that ups the penalties for other already-illegal things?

I wish you humans would leave me alone.

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