The incoherent ponderer ponders the joys of doing physics as a professor at a research university...
but to offset his irrational exuberance, he points to the classic "two geeks" post by Steve Hsu
Read the comments.
The first one, on the analogy with art careers is a point frequently made, there is a good point there, but it is incomplete and misses half the point.
Steve also has a current pointer to discussion on grad engineering recruitment in US programs
Now for reaffirmation of a sense of purpose, go read some old Bloom County strips, or, Calvin and Hobbes will also do.
Hasn't the number of domestic college students been on the dramatic rise for the last few decades? What are all these students doing? Is it that this country now has a glut of poli-sci, business and communications majors...
I live in the metro Detroit area; I have friends and acquaintances who are engineers, and have been suffering for the past several years. *Despite* the economy being in good shape. I'm not surprised that many people with engineering degrees decide not to go for advanced degrees - the job prospects are lousy, unless you like working for declining wages.