Dean Predicts Engineering Shortage

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May 2009

NSPE TODAY NSPE's 75th
Dean Predicts Engineering Shortage

75 years ago this September, NSPE was founded. Here's a look at some other engineering news from 1934.

NSPE's 75th"The more things change, the more they stay the same," the saying goes. In a message that sounds familiar to modern ears, in 1934 Collins Bliss, dean of the New York University College of Engineering, predicted a growing demand for engineers that could result in a shortage in the following couple of years.

According to an article in the August 5, 1934, New York Times, the development of "industries and inventions" that had been held back by the Great Depression, as well as a new attitude toward public works by the government (part of the New Deal), would create a demand for more engineers.

In his annual report to the university's chancellor, Bliss said that "young men" should be urged to begin studying immediately because the engineering profession requires several years of training.
"Now with the mill wheels turning again, the trickle of trade swelling in volume, old enterprises resuming development and new ones launching, [the engineer's] services are again coming into demand," Bliss added.

While Bliss believed there were enough engineers in 1934, he predicted a shortage by the end of 1936.