Very few people consider engineering, even if they have a technical background and I cannot understand why?
Engineers make better-than-average money, often get their own cabin and have plenty of opportunities to expand their knowledge and expertise to a point where they can easily transfer their skills into shore-based positions and/or start their own business.
As an engineer I never struggled to find a job and I managed to switch between seagoing jobs and shore-based jobs when I needed to go home.
Obviously engineering is not for everyone, having said that those with the right intelligence level, aptitude and dexterity should really look at engineering because the long-term rewards far outweigh the extra sacrifice and effort required to become correctly licensed and skilled.
On more than one occasion I've had to employ an unsuitable candidate simply because they had the right qualifications for the position.
The economy is going to recover at some point in time and the smart money is engineering if you ask me, because engineers are always in demand and good engineers with the right qualifications are worth their weight in gold.
So if you're thinking about engineering I would do the research now, apply every day of sea-time you have and get yourself qualified sooner rather than later because the salary your making today is going to be nothing compared to the earning potential you will have when you're ready and able to step up to a chief engineers position.