I have an ME and I spend my days programming. Everyone in my group is as ME or EE and all we do is make control algorithms in Simulink. Write low level C for compiling that to our embedded systems. Python for the dSpace hardware in the loop testing.
I don't use any of the Thermo, Statics, Dynamics, or 90% of the classes I took. For most of the stuff I do day to day (and are overwhelmed with work doing) I would love a 15-17 year old high school student that was interested in cars to take on as an apprentice.
This obsession with degrees is fairly recent as far as human history goes, everything has been 'on the job training' back through hunting mammoths. You took the adolecents out to learn on the job and they either did good or found another 'career'.