Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Electrical Engineering In Alabama?

Next year, one of our sons will graduate with an EE degree. San Diego may still be where he finds a job in the field, but from his internship search for this summer, it's not a foregone conclusion. One of my Cursillo buddies, a banker, tells me that California in general doesn't have a healthy employment outlook. So where to go if you're young and bright and have an Electrical Engineering degree?

How about Alabama? Dig this.

The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.
Huntsville and Birmingham are hotbeds of electrical engineering. Why? Well, for Huntsville, there's Cummings Research Park (CRP).

The second largest R&D park in the country with 200+ companies, 25,000+ employees.
I found an NPR story out there from 2011 focusing on downsizing at NASA, people being fired at CRP and working the red state political angle, but two years later those stump-toothed, inbred, redneck hillbillies still seem to be doing alright if the Bureau of Labor Statistics is to be believed.

Or are they to be believed? A Monster.com search revealed 3 EE positions up for grabs in Huntsville vs. 10 in San Diego. Correcting for population sizes, Huntsville (183,000) and Sam Diego (1,338,000), then Huntsville has effectively 22 jobs for the same population. Yep, there it is. Huntsville, AL has a larger concentration of EE jobs than San Diego, CA.

Wow. I would not have believed it if I hadn't clicked around myself.


drozz said...

USPTO is always looking for engineers.

Good salary, good benefits, and I take a certain amount of pride that we are self-sustaining.

We also are opening up offices in California and Colorado, so if he chooses to return to the west he would have that option.

K T Cat said...

Thanks for the tip!

Kelly the little black dog said...

Colorado, specifically Denver and Colorado Springs, has a strong engineering and aerospace presence. I'd also look at Phoenix. According to my nephew, LA has a lot of aerospace engineering jobs too.

A factor in the south is that they have less local talent to draw upon. To a lessor degree we have the same problem in colorado. When I worked at Stennis, less than one out of ten people were from the area.

tom said...

As I recall, Huntsville has a pretty high number of PhDs as well. Something about all the German rocket scientist settling there.

commoncents said...

GREAT VIDEO: Interview for World's Toughest Job


K T Cat said...

tom - Yeah, Werner Von Braun is mentioned in several of the summaries of CRP.