Reader Feedback: Automation Jobs and Third-World Ingenuity

A Reader Disagrees With Our Editor That Lack of Respect or Low Pay Deters Young People From Entering Technical Fields

By John Marshall

This is regarding Aaron Hand's column ("Lack of Skill or Lack of Respect?" June 2012). What I find true personally and for many of my associates in the engineering profession is verified by Control's salary survey ("The Way We Are," June 2012) — specifically that 43.5% of the survey respondents are kept "satisfied" by "challenging work" and 17.7% by "salary/benefits." It's also interesting that only 2.4% respond that they are unhappy.

I do not agree that lack of respect or low pay is deterring young people from entering the technical fields. I don't think they look ahead that far — they dream of "hitting it big" without putting forth the effort. They want it and want it now. They are not trained to think. It's the Second Law of Thermodynamics applied to any society, especially wealthy ones. The world benefited from American ingenuity and hard work when America was a "Third World" country, and now we will benefit from Third World ingenuity and hard work.

John Marshall,
PE, engineering,
Henkel of America,