You’ve got to LIKE your chosen career. Not select a career based upon monetary returns.
I’ve seen many ‘bored’ engineers who wind up in a rut, don’t like the rut, but don’t have the drive to learn/do something different to get out of the rut. Others seem to like the rut until they become obsolete at one point or another, or just happen to be in the right rut for career survival.
I liked radio technology and got a broad based engineering degree in Electrical Engineering, Worked for first company 3 years in communications technology - two way radio systemms. They had a tendency to hire scads of new engineers, design a new product line, then lay most of them off after the product line was in production. Years later they’d repeat the process for the next new product line.
Much more careful in selecting next new company to work for and there for 13 years till Neutron Jack axed most of our profitable division. Went from design engineer to systems engineer working on large city/state projects.
then had opportunity to get into cellular radio in early phase designing cellular systems. Fun work - lasted a few years till company sold off business and I bounced into Advanced Technology group. Everything from digital microwave systems - later to fiber optic amps and satellite broadcast technology to undersea fiber cable systems.
I was a voracious reader. Collected books on communications technology and history.
You had to be curious. You had to keep up with latest technology in industry.
Got my MSEE degree at University nearby and company paid 100% tuition. I had to pay for books.
Got degree and took another 10 courses working on MA Telecom Policy
Got transferred to TX and continued - worked 17 years for company and early retired at 52.
Some anecdotes. In my library of about 500 books, I had come across an 1890s tome from the British Telecom authority. 3 volumes - 1000 pages. Everything on how to design, install, test, repair from the details of cable laying ship mechanisms to recovery and repair of cables from 3000 feet deep. All the problems, special requirements for cable armoring, etc. Also had the 1950s AT&T comprehensive book on TAT cables across the oceans. One day boss asks around if anyone knows anything about undersea cable systems. Bingo. Next thing I’m on my plane with my boss to London England for a week to discuss and review design specs for new undersea fiber cable - TAT X. Other than fiber instead of copper cable, 90% of the technology of getting the cable into the ocean exactly the same. Same cable laying mechanisms. Same repair systems. Updated of course with more modern equipment. Fun. Later company decided not to do the cable system because AT&T suddenly moved up 2 other ‘future’ systems by years (immediate future) to avoid new competition. Which was part of the plan. If they didn’t the new system would go ahead.
Of course, two way radio systems were separate from ‘cellular’ but naturally I read all the IEEE journals on evolving technology. When the opportunity to get into the cellular business came about, I was ready (most weren’t in my department).
Company was looking at getting into satellite broadcasting. Naturally in bounced into the Advanced Technology group for the technical part. Wasn’t up to speed but luckily there was a 4 day intensive course in satellite broadcast technology at a local facility (taught by a 3rd party who had designed satellites for the industry). Fantastic 4 day intensive workshop everything from radio transponder design to thermal stability, electrostatic shielding, G-testing, solar cells, power systems, fuel systems for orbit maintenance., etc. . talked boss into it. Great. Next thing I know we are off to the satellite construction company to review specs. One fellow in department wound up going the Ukraine to arrange satellite launch on Russian rockets. Company later decided the finances didn’t quite line up with high return as some other projects would, but it was fun couple of months work.
There again, if you kept up on technology, curious about lots of things, know where to get the resources quickly to be up to speed… a ‘jack of many trades’. Not in a rut.
Today I wouldn’t recommend ‘electrical engineering’ to most. Unless you find a good niche. too many cycles of ups and downs.
Go into computer engineering - or if you want to be an EE - power engineering for longevity. Got to be PE for most of those jobs in the power industry .
Or semi-conductor engineering/technology - but most of that probably takes a MS or PhD.
Nephew went same college as me- but in comp science. Doing very well - changed jobs once or twice in 25 years. Making lotsa bucks. Knows his stuff. Then again, he keeps up on things. You’ve got to.
my 2c worth