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About the fallacies of the lack of engineers…


This is an excellent text to make an important reflection on the current moment and the engineering market as a whole in Brazil!

We recommend the reading of the same for the understanding of the boom of the Engineering colleges in the national market, the causes and consequences of the difficulties of relocation of engineers in the labour market and the unfortunate poor management of the courses of Formation of higher education which, as a direct result of this, are increasingly stifling and suffocating this noble and important area of the labour market, generating a labour supply, far superior to demand and not always of quality, to which it favors only To entrepreneurship as a whole.

This in turn, having this availability of labor supply much higher than the effective demand of the market, can force the leveling of wages below, as a way to reduce its costs by keeping the same profit margin (or even increasing this).

As the most nefarious effect of this, we are producing engineers with low qualification, totally unprepared, extremely naïve and idealistic and often, without having acquired good training in the area. and subjected to ever-lower wages that arrive at the absurdity of disobeying the existing minimum floor!

This text was originally published on the blog ExatasMentes. I recommend a visit to the same!

The heated market misses professionals

The main magazines and newspapers have been announcing incessantly the lack of engineers in Brazil.

However, for the engineers, from the newly formed to those who have 25 years of experience, it is a consensus that this information does not confer on the national scene. In this situation lies the question: What scarcity is this?

This subject gives a lot of texts, but I will focus on the most immediate aspect of this disengagement between companies, recruiters, professionals and journalists. Just a quick search on the internet to find the so notorious vacancies available to engineers and begin to understand the situation.

First, companies need to understand that a mechanical engineer has the professional designation of a mechanical engineer, and that's it. There is no reference in CREA to mechanical engineer with experience in calibration of precision instruments exposed to corrosive environment.


Therefore, a mechanical engineer who worked for 10 years in calibration of precision instruments in explosive environments has full capacity to act in the area of corrosive environments as well. More directly, any mechanical engineer will be able to work in this area after due training. That's why he studied for 5 years, and for this same reason the price for his working hour has the value that CREA stipulated. If the company trained, it won a capable professional.

For CREA, an engineer's salary level is 8 minimum wages. In the current values (mid-2013) equals R $5,414.001. Companies are insisting on refusing this reality to the extent that they are roughly setting up a wage cartel. If no one pays the requested value, no one will be able to demand bargaining that another offered.

It aggravates the fact that very few of the newly formed vacancies cover this salary.

On the other hand, it is common point in the requirements for vacancies of engineers to previous experience triad, fluent English and leadership experience. Without much effort, it is natural to realize that a newly formed quote in the same sentence as previous experience is at least bad taste.

So the market is overheated for experienced professionals, correct? I'm afraid not. Because if it is to fill a vacancy, the preference goes to those who have experience exactly in that specific area. If this professional is not found, another professional with 15 years experience in a slightly different area is also not a good choice as it is "too old to learn new trick".

But if there is continuity of desire to fill this vacancy with this experienced professional, the vacancy will continue to live up to its definition of free place, when during the interview, the engineer with 15 years of experience, fluent English, spirit of leadership, Ability to handle team, Office package domain, AUTOCAD, programming in Visual Basic and residing near the workplace, refuse to work when you know the salary amount.

Learning to do

There is a point in which Brazilian companies (or here) insist on countering the most modern management theorists: investment in human capital. Within the cost-cutting goals, you naturally prune any thought of investment in empowerment. Thus, it is an almost utopian scenario to imagine a company investing for 1 or 2 years in training to empower a professional.

But why utopian?

Because our companies, faced with the need of a professional, considered it more economical to hire the professional of the company in front rather than invest in the training of the new engineer. But as it is customary to adopt the most convenient solution, the company that had its professional abducted, also learned this maneuver. So, as it follows the natural escalation of the supply X demand, the wages of this professional will increase to the point where no one else will be willing to bear that value.

So what's going to happen? Will they hire the newly formed and invest in their training?


If there is no engineer with experience in the market and the company does not have a pre-existing training policy-for the simple lack of previous need-it will say that lacks professionals, disclose it in the magazines and say that they need professionals and, These are outside. Claiming that there is a lack of manpower in Brazil. But no, there's no shortage of manpower here. Lack of trained labor, it is read, that does not need investment. And this one, out there is more than here, after all, Europe is in crisis.

When chatting with a friend, recruiter of the oil and gas area, we talked about the "high" salaries of the engineers and then she commented that the main problem is the qualification. She cited the example of the shopping analyst vacancy, which is very difficult to find an engineer with experience in the area and fluent English. In particular, the presence and correlation between English fluency, previous experience and analyst does not fall well when the vacancy is intended for engineers. Unless this analyst gets more than a junior engineer, which is never the case.

After his citation, I asked him why they did not hire an administrator to do the shopping part.

She replied that it takes someone with technical training for this job.

So I clarified to her that "the citizen spends five or six years in an engineering school, deals with the most absurd types of teachers, learns all the development of human technology to the present day in his area of expertise. There is CREA, there is a floor, and this is the price of technical training. "

The engineer is trained to learn, develop and apply knowledge in his area. He has dominion of the sciences as well as his assignments, besides the ease of cream with numbers and finally has a basic level of English, because the disciplines require it.

Take a good look at this professional, now add 2 years of experience in technical purchases and finally add another 4 year course of English to stay fluent.

What part of the difficulty of these professionals to apply for a vacancy requiring the necessary to be CEO by the salary of a BANCO2 was not clear?


The birth of the trainee

It is no secret to anyone that our country went through a period of economic instability a short time ago. Even those who were not born at the time, remember the older ones telling about going to buy everything in the morning because the afternoon the prices are already up.

As financial health and investment in infrastructure and technology go hand in hand, during the growth of inflation national engineering began to suffer its downfall, reaching the apex during the opening of our market and the natural competition with the countries Foreign.

So our engineering took a violent blow while our illustrious politicians were not thrilled by the situation. At this time, the engineers became taxi drivers, went on to sell juice and etc… There was a mass unemployment of the engineers, the most successful were those who managed to make their names in the financial market.

Faced with this reality, the amount of students in the engineering courses plummeted and no one else looked at our profession as a good option. The students of the time who did not abandon their courses opted for academic life as the only salvation.

The civil engineers were the least affected by this, because of this branch does not need so much of technologies and so, not have suffered the external competition. But they suffered the impact by the general economic braking of our homeland as well.

But what does this have to do with the present day?

Everything, because today there is virtually no engineer in the market with 15 to 20 years of experience. In view of this, companies are facing a huge problem.

What to do now? Some went on to take the pensioners out of the company of their grandchildren with pompous offers to get back to work, but that didn't save all the companies.

So companies see a light at the end of the tunnel. They start to catch the newly formed, invest a year in courses and training and another year in "job rotation", making them circulate through the various areas of the company. Thus, after two years, companies are gracing these young people with positions for managers with 15 years of experience, including the salary of the leadership role.

It is worth pointing out that in these two years, these youngsters do not receive the floor of engineer, because they are receiving part of this salary in training and knowledge. Good for the companies and good for the newly formed!

However, by the Brazilian law of Gershon, some less serious companies began to adopt the trainee model, however, they used the maxim of "if learn doing" and thus, considered unnecessary training and placed the trainee to perform the functions An engineer, but with the salary of those who are learning, of course.

Thus, it was created the fallacy that the engineer with "smell Again" is a dead weight in the early years, does not generate profit and thus, does not deserve the salary stipulated by CREA.

This model of slavery… I mean… of trainee, also became well known in the market by the name of analyst.

A great way to hire an engineer without paying the necessary salary to enjoy the ability of this professional. Another common situation is the requirement of countless qualifications, languages and experience for the daily work to perform simple activities and that any high school student would be able to do.

What's been going on

So an engineer in front of this should refuse such a job offer and only accept position as an engineer, correct?

Correct… If all engineering graduates were single, good heirs and upper middle class. But as this is not the reality, some have been involved in such a situation.

These would be few and soon everything would be resolved, because that would be in isolated points, correct? Again correct, if not for the magazines and newspapers making a flood of news saying that engineers are missing in the country.

"Engineering is scarce labor!"

"We will give judges salaries to engineers!"

"Engineer will be able to buy his own island in the Caribbean!"

In the face of such a situation, the engineering courses were packed; A lot more engineers have graduated. But now they fell without a brake before a market where most of the vacancies are to learn by doing, ie, analysts or pretend trainees.

And if you are a citizen engaged in professional appreciation and will not accept these vacancies, congratulations on the claw, because you have a thousand elbowing for the vacancy that you refuse.

And in the face of it all the market continues: "lack of engineers…", the Government facilitates the importation of professionals, the magazines make matters "proving" this fact, those who insist on staying in the area in which they formed receive misery as they huddle around Invitations to tender, and out there… Brazil is the country of engineering!

The language schools that most watched the billing grow in recent years were those of Portuguese for foreigners.

In any form, it is totally understandable to search for professionals with know-how in pioneering areas in the country. If a particular activity has never been performed on national soil, it is natural to bring the professional from abroad. But this must be a practice of importing knowledge, not labor. The foreigner will come to aggregate and form his co-workers and not replace the national engineers while these are unemployed.

But what seems to be today is the strategy of bringing in a fast-food. To bring the trained and ready professionals, that the headhunters use as synonyms of "qualified", to assume the vacant positions in Brazil. Then again the addiction of the Brazilian way is prevailing, but now, during recruitment.


Control and automation engineer at CEFET/RJ

ExatasMentes Blog


1 (note from the author of this site) at current values (February 2017) The salary floor of an engineer (8.5 minimum wages, according to the Senge) would be R $8,433.00, which end up being diluted in the range of R $6,019.75, depending on "benefits included" offered, such as AMO (Dental medical care), life insurance, VT (transport voucher), VA (food stamps), VR (meal ticket), etc.

2 (note from the author of the original article) all of our respect to bank teller attendants. The example was cited only by the non-need for the qualifications cited in the text for function performance.

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