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Oh, no. I was thinking about engineering. I don't know where you work, but I'm in semis.

Me too. Started in reliability, moved to failure analysis, then to yield enhancement (but they want me for my failure analysis skills...they just call it "low yield analysis", but it's the same thing).

There are a few companies I could move to if I really wanted. But the field isn't really that big. It depends greatly on how they do things (i.e. I'm pretty good at figuring out what defect is present in a CMOS IC through physical analysis...companies that do it all through test wouldn't want me; companies that don't have FA labs wouldn't want me). I suspect if I wanted to move I'd have to plan on going back to school (which I could do). Nineteen years in the same company has focused by skill set in specific ways relevant to the company. I'm not complaining, it's just the way it is.

I agree with you in general terms. People aren't born, living their lives, and dying within a 50 mile radius anymore. Kids from Podunk, USA, go to school in the "big city" (or completely different states), and can end up just about anywhere after that.

The housing crisis hit workforce mobility in the US pretty hard, which meant that even as companies posted openings they weren't able to fill them.

I wasn't aware of that with my employer, but perhaps. We tend to run lean because our CEO hates layoffs (it's a pain to get qualified people retrained after the down-turn is over; better to just keep them instead). I do know one person who simply walked away from his home. I know at least two others who short-sold. And I know another who snagged a home that had been short-sold. I know, small sample size.
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