I call bullshit on that DiSalvo article.
In my field, civil/geotechnical engineering, we in my regulatory agency are far better skilled and trained than the private-sector civil engineers - whose plans for potentially hazardous mine-tailings dam plans we review can be pretty apalling. Engineers working for private sector clients are driven by the need to deliver the fastest and cheapest design at the lowest cost - and are constant pressure to either stay “billable” or do marketing. This leaves private sector engineers with no time to develop their engineering skills. To meet state continuing education requirements to keep their PE licenses, they take totally bogus, fraudulent, mickey mouse online engineering courses.
I’m not making this stuff up.
In the cases where we do encounter competence and expertise in private sector engineers, it is those in firms who primarily do business for government agencies - State DOT’s, municipal transit agencies, the Corps of Engineers, and the like.
And there are numerous other federal agencies where this is also true - Dept of Labor (OSHA MSHA, Wage and hour enforcement), EPA, Interior Dept, FERC, NASA (when they are not funding-starved or reigned in by politics), Corps of Engineers and many others.
Yes, I am a dues-paying union member.