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Aaron:I don't think there's any realistic way of knowing what a young engineer intends to do years after being hired. More often than not their goals will change. However, I remember as a young engineer being interviewed by a state environmental agency for a dam safety position. One of the questions I was asked by the hiring manager was, "where do you see yourself being 10 - 15 years from now"? I suppose it did give him a clue as to whether my long term career goals were aligned with the agency. You may find similar questions helpful.Before I took the PE exam, I later had another supervisor who indicated that, when he was a young engineer, getting a PE license was good for a 10% raise the day it was obtained. While this may often be true in the private sector, many government agencies don't offer such an incentive. The newly licensed engineer finds that he/she has to move on to get the higher pay and greater responsibilities that should go with the license. Maybe this partially explains the trend you're seeing.
Turnover rates are increasing everywhere. One thing we are looking at researching at Stevens, is proper mentoring programs.
Linda Thomas, JD, PhD Professor
Interim Department Director
Department of Civil Environmental and Ocean Engineering Schaefer School of Engineering and Science T 201 216 5681