Author Topic: Applying to EE jobs in Canada, US, England, Australia or NZ without a degree  (Read 340 times)

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Offline ZgnDmr

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For various reasons I don't have an EE degree. I've been involved in electronics for more than 10 years. Mostly analog electronics, I started with audio amplifiers, moved to homemade radios, from there back to audio amps, and finally in my university years I studied some analog IC design. Currently I build homemade opamps and radios. I don't really have any big projects, I mostly like to experiment with new stuff, so half of what I build doesn't even work, because I don't like making things I already know will work. Anyways I digress.

I want to try my chances at applying to EE jobs in English speaking countries. I know it's really, really hard for someone without an EE degree to apply to an EE job in a western country and get accepted. But my question is, is it actually impossible, or just really, really hard? Is anyone here have any experience with such a thing?

It doesn't really have to be an engineering job either. The only skill I have is electronics, and I'm okay with anything related to electronics. Being a technician or something like that is also okay. I watched Dave's video about applying to EE jobs, and he mentioned that doing electronics projects and documenting those projects can improve your chances of being hired. And I have made quite a lot of projects. Most of them are not big, and they are mainly homemade opamps.

My idea is to prepare a document to show the employers all my projects over the years and show them that I know what I'm doing and I'm eager to work. I can get a letter of recommendation from one of the professors in my university. She was specialized in Analog IC design and she thought that I was good at what I was doing, so I think she would give me a letter.

Those are the two things that I have going for myself. Did anyone do anything like that? Please excuse my ignorance, I have never applied to a job before, I'm very inexperienced. Is there a chance that something like this might work? If not, what would you recommend me to do? I'm eventually going to go back to school and get a degree, but right now I want to know if what I want to do is possible, and if there are people who did it, I would like to know about their experiences. I don't know if this has any significance, but I'm from Turkey and 24.

Thanks in advance.

Offline tom66

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  I know it's really, really hard for someone without an EE degree to apply to an EE job in a western country and get accepted. But my question is, is it actually impossible, or just really, really hard? Is anyone here have any experience with such a thing?

My first engineering jobs in the UK I got without a degree as I did them before I went to university.

I showed personal projects, prior work and enthusiasm, and was willing to work for not much more than minimum wage.  After these jobs I went and got my degree which opened my career opportunities up.

Most positions in the UK for junior/non-senior electronic engineers seem to either want a degree -OR- equivalent experience, so a degree isn't critical  but it will help you.  Getting the experience is tough but if you show skill and willingness to learn then there are companies that will employ you, but it is going to be a competitive market. Pay will be low and you will be doing lots of boring jobs for a while. The junior engineer at the company I work at mostly designs circuit boards for battery cassettes, and the occasional test jig.

I think the biggest issue you will have is that it is a lot harder to get the all important 'visa' without the degree.   I am not sure of the current status of immigration law, but I know most UK companies will NOT sponsor you, because it is too difficult and expensive to do so.  The only way to get in is to go through the painful application process (which takes YEARS and thousands of pounds,  really do not recommend that if you can) or to live on a Tier 2 transfer visa.  With a T2 visa, you work for a company in wherever (probably best to go for your home country or one you have easy access to migrate to) and then apply to transfer with that company to the UK offices.   The company might not agree;  they may need you in that country,  but if you do so and work for that company for a number of years in the UK, you can then apply for permanent residency.

Personally if looking to migrate, consider learning programming.  You can more easily find a large software engineering company in Turkey,  that may be willing to transfer you.  It seems a lot harder to find a multinational electronics engineering company, for various reasons, hardware tends to be done in only one country for a company (e.g. Google do almost all their hardware in the Bay Area), whereas software is done all over the globe (e.g. Google have offices in many big cities in the Western world that hire programmers.)

Other countries will vary.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2021, 07:05:59 pm by tom66 »
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Offline ZgnDmr

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Yeah, the visa is going to be a problem, wherever I want to go. I've never been into programming really, but I'm open to learning. I mean I have some skill in electronics, I consider myself a bit more knowledgeable and skilled than the average fresh graduate, but I don't think I'm good enough for a company to want to sponsor me.

I guess England is not going to work then. At least until I get my degree. I don't think other countries are easier either. Anyways thanks for the information.

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