This column is, if anything, the result of my recent switch from engineering to alchemy on my paladin. One of the biggest drivers for my decision (other than the maddening smackdown that engineering suffered after Wrath of the Lich King) was the desire to once again have a profession that bestowed some kind of meaningful bonus for raiding. Just about every facet of engineering that had some appreciable effect for tanking was neutered (as you'll see ahead), leaving the profession a dried husk and a sad remnant of previous greatness.
I don't have to tell you that profession bonuses are easily one of the best ways to get stat boosts, and using certain professions can be a powerful tool in the min-maxer's arsenal, in order to squeeze every last stat point out of their characters. Some are excellent; some are even so excellent they are overpowered; some are middle of the road; and others are just horribly lackluster. Let's take a look.