Friedman is correct, Average Is Over (Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times January 25, 2012 - - Average Is Over). His column is not targeted at engineers - - but engineers would be wise to read and understand the implications - - whether your collar is blue or white, the Age of Average has/is ending.
"In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. But, today, average is officially over. Being average just won’t earn you what it used to. It can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more above average cheap foreign labor, cheap robotics, cheap software, cheap automation and cheap genius. Therefore, everyone needs to find their extra — their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment. Average is over."