Good article from 2012 on Engineering. Considering we are in a recession, this will become more and more true:
To summarize the article, We don't have a shortage of Engineers in the US. We have a shortage of Employers willing to pay competitive salaries to Engineers.
We have a shortage of Engineers willing to earn $15 an hour after spending 4-6 years getting one of the hardest college Degrees out there. To solve these issues, government has pushed people to take STEM degrees. This way the market becomes even more oversaturated, thus keeping wages flat or even pushing them down. A college degree is no longer enough, even if you have a pretty good one. You must have a very diffucult to replicare, highly valued skill if you desire to be paid well. The good news is if you can master said skill, you will become incredibly valuble to your employer, and they will be forced to pay you more. But if you just have a piece of paper, then that's not gonna get you anywhere.
But what about other majors? Not so fast. Globalization and competition has stagnated the wages of other College majors like Business, Health care (but not all), and Finance:
Our Forbes article notes that corporations have focused more and more on shareholder profits, and this behavior is pushing down wages. whatever the cause may be, you need to do something different.
Knowing that wages are stagnating should change your behavior:
1. Your goal is to get the highest paid degree you think you can obtain.
Even if wages are stagnated, at least for you, their stagnation is above other people. Engineers still are better compensated (out of the gate) than Finance Majors. Finance majors are still compensated better than Art history Majors, and so on. College is a trememdous investment. If you decide to go, make sure you use college. Don't let college use you.
2. Nobody likes their job:
To go against the grain of what colleges tell you, nobody is really interested in their job. If we are all going to work for a soul-sucking corporation, we might as well do our best to get the most money for our time. Choose something you think you can tolerate for the rest of your life, because that's what the government will tell you to do. Don't want to do that? More on this later.
3. How can you break out?
Your choise of skill needs to be something so hard, so diffucult to learn, that few will ever come close to your skill set. you could start a business, you could develop a specialty in your field, you could become self-employed, or you could go on to do research in Academics. Whatever your choice may be, it needs to be hard. It needs to take years. It needs to be expensive, both monetarily, and time wise. Otherwise you will get nowhere in this globalized world.
Capitalism, more than ever, is there to chew you out and spit you up. Don't come crying to the government for help, because no matter who is in power congress has a tendency to get nothing done. Develop your skills, and do something that makes you irreplaceable.