In germany there is a lack of engineers. So they go to 5 year olds to give them the engineering bug. I had it. One of my twins has it: he is busy drawing the biggest TGV train on paper with just "one" engine instead of the current "two". He calls the 'Tres Grand TGV" also showing an inclination for the insipid yet funnily marketable acronym the French engineers can come up with. He is 5 and I can see he will be an engineer. The other twin says "he wants to be a banker, so I can finance my brother" and I had to explain all about the notion of "interest" to him.
See the funny thing is that in Germany and France (just like in Spain and India) being an "engineer" is a socially acceptable thing, like being a doctor or lawyer in the US. In the US an engineer is almost second class. A friend once pointed out to me that in the French word "ingenieur" there is the word "genie" or genius, and that in "engineer" there is the word "engine". If the problems in EU are acute imagine what they will be in the US? or maybe we just keep importing them?
Because the love of the job, the passion is one thing, the money is another. A lot of my friends from Polytechnique are bankers, quants. At the end of the day if a mediocre hedge fund managers brings home more bacon than an excellent engineer why are we puzzled that people choose the first? After all it is HARD being an engineer, it is long studies and a trade that gets developed over time.
Could the real issue be that engineers are notoriously bad at money? and cannot negociate proper salaries for themselves? At JBoss I made sure the best engineers were properly compensated in stock and cash. But JBoss was clearly a company where engineers had value, we needed them bad.
Market solutions will appear. The job market of tomorrow will demand a level of technical savoir faire, or at least familiarite that you can only acquire through engineering training.
I rest my case.