Where Have All the Engineering Students Gone?

Note from Blog Manager: Mike is our Campus Relations Manager for Portland State University and had a very unique opportunity last week to attend a Listening and Action Session on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. If you follow him on Twitter, @MikeatIntel, you would have seen his live tweets of the event. We asked Mike to share his experience and the event, in more than 140 characters, right here on the blog!

This week I attended a Listening and Action Session on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, in Portland, OR at Portland State University. It’s truly fulfilling seeing White House officials, CEOs, VPs, students, and concerned citizens come together for a cause. If you haven’t heard about it yet this action committee was created because we have a problem here in the US: we are not pumping out the engineers like we used to—we’re getting surpassed by other countries. Why is that? Are our kids not being encouraged to learn about engineering concepts at an early age? Perhaps the little to no media attention dissuades kids…the crowd struggled to think of an engineering show on TV, except for MythBusters! (Great show!) Or do new college engineering students who fall behind feel like there is no way to climb back up the ladder, so they quit too early?

This affects industry in the US because it’s getting harder to hire home grown talent to continue creating the next big thing. One of my tweets said it best, “Secretary Chu: We are number 1 in innovation. But we still need to build in the US.” As one of the panel members said, “The United States is the de facto innovation powerhouse. We risk losing that status to other countries if we don’t change.”

Did you know that U.S. universities graduate about 120,000 engineering students a year? But there are 400,000 vacant engineering jobs out there. Now let’s look outside of the U.S.: India and China together graduate about one million engineering students per year. Scared? Don’t be. At least not yet. Our leaders are intent on working towards a solution. We know that a large number of bachelor’s engineering students in the US don’t make it to graduation in the engineering degree that they started in: retention rate is a problem The Deans on the panel started thinking of ways to encourage students to stick it out to graduation. Quick suggestions were bona fide mentors, stronger academic counseling, more group work like business students have so that a single student isn’t isolated and left behind. Another idea was to better embrace technology. Our school systems are based around a Professor standing at the pulpit lecturing while students take notes. But you know what? All of this information is available on the web. Class time should be group discussions, problem based team projects. What ideas do you have?

Something needs to change, and change soon. In the 1950’s we had Sputnik and the Space Race spur engineering and science among the American population. Will it take another Sputnik moment to do that today? And what may propel that action? The Panel had a consensus here too and it won’t surprise you. It’s ENERGY.

What do you think? What would you suggest to the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness?

Intel has a message for you engineering students (or ‘want to be engineering students’) HANG IN THERE! You can do it! Sure, the road ahead may be tough, and present some challenges, but we believe in you and believe that you truly can change the future if you follow through and complete your studies in engineering. We look forward to heading back out to campus this fall and energizing Engineering students across the US! Find us on a campus near you Not in the US? Visit your country’s Student Center to find out more!

28 Responses to Where Have All the Engineering Students Gone?

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is always great hearing sr. executive “talk the talk”. But, I have a friend who got interviewed in May, had a perfect fit for Intel’s TMG position and got verbal offered in May, did not get his written offer until now. Hope the executors within Intel can “walk the walk” and get things done professionally without further hurting the engineer RCG.

  2. Janis Stacy says:

    I’m an engineer. A good one with a lot of Semiconductor experience. But I can’t get a job. And I know other engineers who are also unemployed. Ahh, but in America, if you’re unemployed, a lot of corps won’t consider you for an opening. So, I’m not fully buying the argument about not having enough engineers.

  3. Bhushan says:

    Hi, I am a Semiconductor Professional with nearly one year of experience in hardware testing. I was interviewed by Intel in one of their Hiring Events and I would like to thank them for taking such an initiative to visit interview the Professionals in various cities. I was interviewed by a Team and I was considered a good fit for that position, but I have not heard anything decisive about my interview. I have however been in touch with the Hiring Manager and he has been gracious enough to let me know that there are many internal processes which they are working on. But recently a friend of mine informed me of a Hiring freeze at Intel right now. I have been following Intel pretty closely and I feel they have been doing really good compared to their Competitors. Please let me know if this Hiring freeze is for the rest of the quarter or if this is going to be lifted soon. I am very much interested in joining Intel and I am getting anxious about the outcome of my interview. Thanks!

  4. Saswati says:

    I’ve been trying to hire using different techniques, but I can’t seem to get it right. People come through the door, and walk out in a short while. I’ve tried salary raises, better infrastructure, different management approaches, but I can’t seem to find people who “get it”. Anyone here have any ideas on how I can find my people?

  5. Chami says:

    About a month ago I was contacted by Intel for a phone interview for a position of process engineer; but it was cancelled one hour before the scheduled time. I received an email from the manager saying that he would contact me within a week but never heard back. Is it due to a hiring freeze?
    I have done my undergraduate in physics and the curiosity how they include more than thousands of transistor, resistors and capacitors in 741 OpAmp made me come to USA and pursue studies in Electrical Engineering. I have dual masters in Physics and Engineering and will be graduating with my PhD soon. I have taken and have been also TA for IC processing I & II and MEMS I & II classes. I

  6. Sejal says:

    @Bhushan, We’re glad you took advantage of our hiring event in your city! Intel is currently assessing our hiring plans for the remainder of the year. This effort is to ensure we carefully plan the remaining hires for the year. We are on track to have the best year in our company

  7. Texas says:

    Looks like what Sejal wrote is a blanket message used to all candidates. My husband got the exact same message the first week of September after an in-person interview in August. Assessing plans, on track for best years, planning to take a couple of weeks… I wonder how long its really going to take since its almost been a month.

  8. Sejal says:

    @Texas, I can understand your frustration in waiting. Updating our hiring plans take time and focus, especially when you

  9. QJ says:

    @Sejal I also received notification regarding the hiring plans. Is there a possibility that you can answer the rumors circulating? The rumor being that Intel will not be hiring until the first quarter of next fiscal year (Jan-Mar 2012).

  10. california says:

    Hi Sejal, I was interviewed in june for a hardware engineer position in NTG .they sent me a letter saying im selected and my immigration cleareance process started.off late they told me that the position went on hold due to budget problems .are there any chances for the position to reopen after the planning is completed?

  11. Sejal says:

    @QJ, We’re still in the process of reviewing our hiring plans. What I can tell you is that Intel remains dedicated to college hiring! In fact, we are doubling our number of interns for 2012! The best way to stay informed is to check Intel.com/jobs because that’s where we’ll be posting all of our openings!
    @california, I’m following up on your comment and should have a response soon.

  12. Anon says:

    My offer has been on hold since the middle of August. Maybe I should just not graduate to get one of those doubled number of internship spots…

  13. Hans says:

    Hello Sejal, About a month ago, I had an interview with a recruiter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At the conclusion, he said that he would contact me within a couple weeks in order to let me know the next step. There hasn’t been a follow up yet. I can provide further details if you send me an email with information to contact someone within recruiting (or yourself, if you have time!). Thanks you for your help.

  14. Ram says:

    @sejal, I was interviwed on-site during the first week of Sep-2011 and I was informed after two weeks of my interview that the my offer is on hold. I am keeping in touch with HR and I follow-up with her few days ago and she told me that the situation is not changed. She enouraged me to follow-up with her in Nov also. I am going to wait and follow-up with HR. Who is the best to follow-up on hold positions? HR? or Hiring Manager? When do you think the situation starts changing? Thanks

  15. Sejal says:

    @Anon, That is an extremely personal decision to make and it would be wrong for us to comment with direction. We are hopeful that our planning cycle will be complete soon and we

  16. Sejal says:

    @Ram, the person you’ve been keeping in touch with will most likely be the best person to keep following up with, especially if you’ve already talked to her about it.

  17. Era says:

    Sejal, I was interviewed onsite for a Manufacturing tech vacancy in Rio Rancho and the interviewing manager said they will contact me within 2 weeks. I am still available for a career at Intel. Whats the position on the hiring.

  18. Sejal says:

    @Era, have you followed up with your recruiter or hiring manager? They would be the best people to get an update from.

  19. RCG says:

    Sejal, Like many others i too got a verbal offer and was waiting for an offer in hand but i got the same message as you posted.This happened in August. As most of us are international students it is hard for us to decide what steps should we take as our graduation are coming up in December and if we get a specific time frame that by November end or December end the plans will finalize it would be great. “Some weeks” have turned into months now and still we are not sure whether an offer will be given or not.We understand that Intel is a big company and the plans might take a lot of time but we want you to understand our situation as well. Hope to receive a frank and fast response from you. Thanks.

  20. Sejal says:

    Hi there RCG, I’m not sure if you were aware, but this was a ‘headcount freeze’, not a hiring freeze. There’s a good conversation going on in our LinkedIn Student Lounge Group here: http://linkd.in/vcD1L4
    Because each group is being held accountable for their specific headcount, it’s impossible for me to tell you when they will be able to move forward. We have groups today that are able to proceed with their offers, etc. I would recommend you stay connected with your offer consultant. While I understand where you’re coming from, ultimately, the decision is yours on what you should do next. We can’t offer you that sort of advice unfortunately. Best of luck!

  21. RCG says:

    Hello, Sejal i am an active member there as well. I did read that but i am not sure what should i ask my manager. He told me he is frozen since last couple months. I mail him every couple of weeks. So does the ‘headcount freeze’ arises often? And what are the final implications? Do the groups hire eventually or it depends on some factors? I have been applying to other positions as well but the response seems to be very low now with other groups as well. Thanks.

  22. Sejal says:

    @RCG, It’s been several years since I saw a headcount freeze. Our CEO is just making sure that we are well positioned for the future and that we are making the right hires. Business groups will be held accountable for managing their overall budgets and headcounts. Once they get all of that in order, they’ll be able to proceed with the approved hiring plan, whatever that may be. Just stay in touch with your hiring manager and continue to apply to jobs that are posted (as those are already approved to fill).

  23. RCG says:

    @Sejal, Thank you for such prompt replies. Looks promising and people might get the offer eventually. Just need to wait it out.I wanted to know if i could have your email so that i could follow up with you in the future as well.Thanks.

  24. Tanya says:

    I have been applying for ages to Intel and have so far got a chance to be interviewed twice. I didn’t get a reply from one and got rejected for another today. Could I get some tips on how I can get a chance to work for Intel even though I have a very strong background in Semiconductors?

  25. Tiffany says:

    @Tanya – I pulled up your profile and see only one rejection where another candidate was hired. It’s difficult to give any feedback on where you may have gone wrong in any of your interviews though. My best recommendation is to fully know and understand which job you are being interviewed against. Be sure you brush up on all of the required skills mentioned in the job posting. Be prepared to answer some behavioral interviewing type questions as well. Before I go to any interview I try to think about projects and assignments I’ve done that have been difficult or problematic and what some of my resolutions were, etc. Just be prepared and try to let the interviewing team really see who you are and the value you can bring. We interview a lot of really amazing candidates every year and unfortunately can’t always hire everyone. Hang in there, and best of luck!