Author Topic: Career Advancement and Advice  (Read 3073 times)

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Offline richardnhoffman

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Career Advancement and Advice
« on: July 12, 2017, 10:26:21 pm »
Hello everyone,

I wanted to ask about the current job market for someone with my degree and experience. As of right now I have a Bachelor's of Science in Electrical and Electronics Technology but little career experience. I have wanted to get a career that can help me get an EIT (Engineer in Training) and help me get a PE (Professional Engineer) licenses down the road if possible. If that is not possible I am also looking for a company that I can grow up in learning a lot of electronics and gaining experience. However, the job market is quite insane on some of the requirements and I wanted to ask if I am looking in the right place or is something wrong. I have looking since graduation and I have constantly found jobs that have a great fit but require on average 8 to 15 years of experience in the field with a Bachelors for an internship or entry level?. Usually, I am looking under electronics engineering or general engineering areas under various companies. However, I have seen a lot of companies post some jobs that require microprocessors, PCB, logic, and analog design under electrical engineering but sometimes also have the requirement of having a mechanical degree rather than anything in electrical or electronic? Anyone have advice on this subject?

Thank you for any help on this subject. If you need any more information that might help don't hesitate to ask.
I will say this - and I'm gonna say it on tape so everybody hears it a hundred times a day: If I die before you people can pour me into a computer, I want Caroline to run this place." - Cave Johnson
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 10:56:46 pm »
You can take the EIT exam with your electronics degree, no problem!  Well, except in my view the electronics engineer is outclassed on this exam.  Civil engineers and mechanical engineers will find it easier.  So, when I took it back in '74 (or so), I took a review class at Cal State LA and then I took a week's vacation to cram before the test.  There are books directly on topic - use them

You will find that people bring books by the hand-truck full.  Seriously, they probably have 40 or 50 volumes.  They won't pass and, if you ask, it will probably be their 5th attempt.  You either know the material or you don't and you have time for maybe one book, possibly two.

Remember, the EIT exam is engineering fundamentals and it covers a wide range of topics but the depth isn't all that much.  Consider Physics as the most required topic and Laplace Transforms won't even be mentioned.  All those esoteric classes required for EE school don't apply at all.  Except Physics...

PE is great if you are doing ELECTRICAL engineering, and not at all important for ELECTRONICS engineering.  But to get to the PE level, you are usually required to work as an apprentice under another PE for 4 years before being eligible to take the exam.  The good news is that the exam is focused on ELECTRICAL and not drainage systems.  A PE is required if you design electrical power systems (buildings, etc) for hire.  It is not required if you work for a company and design their systems.  There may be other problems with the Building Department...

There is also liability with having a PE and you must carry Errors and Omissions Insurance.  An Excess Liability policy is also important.  Any little thing goes wrong, you're the guy!  The breaker trips, all the lights go out, the secretary trips and breaks her arm, you're it if anybody can show that a different design would have prevented the accident.  Or, the breaker doesn't trip, the panel burns down, the lights go out, the secretary still trips...

If you want to get experience, talk to a military recruiter.  They would be happy to provide you with all the hands on experience you could possibly want.  Otherwise, you need an MSEE to get in the door and it better be in embedded programming.

If you can write any code at all, there should be something to do in Silicon Valley, or Seattle, or Boston (area).


« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 11:08:19 pm by rstofer »
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 07:07:42 am »
I'm not going to comment on your specific circumstances, but I'll make some general observations.

Recruitment agents often put out job specs requiring either extreme depth or extreme breath. Unless you can determine otherwise, this is because the job doesn't exist: they are just stocking their shop (with CVs) to impress their naive customers (HR-droids).

Sometimes real jobs are mostly X with a bit of Y. In this case both X and Y will be listed, but any feeble reason is sufficient justification for you putting both X and Y in your CV and covering letter. That should get you past the barrow-boy recruitment agents and HR-droids - which is the principal function of the CV.

A feeble (but sufficient) reason is "I did a homebrew project using X and Y"; homebrew can be spun as an advantage since it leads people to believe you will do their work for the pleasure of it.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 01:17:38 pm »
The CEO General Motors was discussing the fact day that they couldn't find enough coders.  I assume they mean for embedded programming as there are a lot of small devices in the modern car.

I don't know if she wanted:

1) to find a supply of American code wienies
2) to increase the number of H1B visas
3) to draw people to there towns in an effort to drive down wages.

Absolutely everything is going to have an embedded processor (even, apparently, a toaster) so there will be a lot of work around.  Most of it in India...

http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/28/technology/gm-engineer-training/index.html
 

Offline richardnhoffman

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 11:22:12 pm »
Thank you rstofer for the feedback. I was looking into getting a PE as I heard that it may be used for further high end design and single senior engineers that want to develop their own things. However if it is only best for electrical it may not be worth seeking as I want to go possibly in hardware design and prototyping. As for getting a MSEET I do not think my university may have that available as of late, I may have to go to tech or state with possible downfalls in credit, unless they run with STEM accreditation. Has anyone ever found something like a program that companies may have to help develop BSEE to MSEE in careers? Also as for the military I was thinking of joining the Air force but I do not match the required body fit, I am working on that ATM. Lastly as for programming I do not like it a lot but I do have a little bundle of languages being: C, OOC, C++, Java, little bit of Python, VHDL, PLC Logic, and one specialty and my ace being Assembly and Machine code.

Also thank you tggzzz for the information. I wanted to ask by what means can I apply an X and Y together? What I mean is if a job for electronics on planes is asking for electronics but a bit flight instrumentation does this mean I can apply even though I have only flown something like a 172 Skyhawk as a hobby for a little time? I would love to do homebrew things as I seem to learn a lot that way; however my current living situation does not allow me to do really anything. I have a little lab that is about three hours away that I can only spend two day at best at. Do you also happen to know any projects off hand that might be fun to do with little time available?
I will say this - and I'm gonna say it on tape so everybody hears it a hundred times a day: If I die before you people can pour me into a computer, I want Caroline to run this place." - Cave Johnson
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 02:18:53 am »
The university I attended for my MS had a night program oriented particularly at the aerospace industry.  I worked in the computer industry and my company paid the entire cost.  The VA paid for my undergrad so I never did have any student loans.  Sweet!

I would think anything related to aircraft maintenance is going to come with a lot of FAA requirements.  I don't know if they even consider on-the-job training.  I would expect most of those techs to be former military.

And that is the reason I never got started in electronics.  In southern California, at the time ('73) all of the technician jobs were held by retired Navy electronic techs and since most of the work was military, these guys had a 20 year headstart and could afford to work cheaper than I could.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 06:07:20 am »

Remember, the EIT exam is engineering fundamentals and it covers a wide range of topics but the depth isn't all that much.  Consider Physics as the most required topic and Laplace Transforms won't even be mentioned.  All those esoteric classes required for EE school don't apply at all.  Except Physics...

I'm not sure if you're referring to the FE exam or not, but I guarantee there are Laplace Transforms on the current FE Electrical and Comouter Engineering exam.

Richard,

If you're looking for a broad base qualification, a masters will be better than a PE, unless you want to start your own firm or work for a utility or somewhere that does commercial engineering or public works. I'm working on getting my PE right now. It's a good review of all things undergrad and actually studying for it is fun, so I don't mind putting in the time. I'm my state, a PE is pretty much a requirement to go on your own, so I'm going for it. That said, a masters would serve me better.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2017, 06:15:12 am »
The CEO General Motors was discussing the fact day that they couldn't find enough coders.  I assume they mean for embedded programming as there are a lot of small devices in the modern car.

I don't know if she wanted:

1) to find a supply of American code wienies
2) to increase the number of H1B visas
3) to draw people to there towns in an effort to drive down wages.

Absolutely everything is going to have an embedded processor (even, apparently, a toaster) so there will be a lot of work around.  Most of it in India...

http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/28/technology/gm-engineer-training/index.html

American companies can't find enough employees that:

a)perform highly technical work for poor wages
and/or
b) exactly fit a list of 72 highly detailed job criteria that may or may not actually be required to perform the task at hand.

I'm not buying the worker shortage complaint. If companies were willing to pay and groom the right candidates, the "shortage" would disappear.  I work with some H1B visa folks who are absolutely fantastic, but the system is truly being abused by corporations.
========

Richard,

They don't call it the "Chair Force" for nothing. :)

You are recruiter gold. You will easily max out the score on ASFAB and automatically enter as an officer with the BSEE. You should talk to the AF about getting in and letting them pay for a master and or doctorate. You should easily be able to write your own ticket in the AF.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 06:26:15 am by LabSpokane »
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2017, 09:12:08 am »
I wanted to ask by what means can I apply an X and Y together? What I mean is if a job for electronics on planes is asking for electronics but a bit flight instrumentation does this mean I can apply even though I have only flown something like a 172 Skyhawk as a hobby for a little time?

If you don't apply for a job, you won't get it. If you do apply, you might get it. Jobs go to people that apply for them!

Remember CVs and covering letters have only one purpose: to get you an interview. Hence there is an argument that they should tantalise, not be offputting, and provide sufficient detail to back up the tantalisation.

Perhaps the covering letter could include phrases like "as an amateur pilot, I have found that I like and and have a proficiency in...".

Quote
I would love to do homebrew things as I seem to learn a lot that way; however my current living situation does not allow me to do really anything. I have a little lab that is about three hours away that I can only spend two day at best at. Do you also happen to know any projects off hand that might be fun to do with little time available?

Depends on the equipment and money available, plus your interests. Consider that "labs" can be very small nowadays - little things hanging off USB ports on a laptop PC. Look at the Digilent Analog Discovery: scope, AWG, pattern generator, logic analyser, spectrum analyser + more. High quality, and unbeatable value if you can get the educational discount.

As for time; all projects expand to fill the time available. As long as you can say "I decided to do X because I didn't know how to do it, I did it, I would do Y and Z better next time" then the project will be useful during interview.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2017, 01:00:42 pm »

I'm not sure if you're referring to the FE exam or not, but I guarantee there are Laplace Transforms on the current FE Electrical and Comouter Engineering exam.


Apparently, the whole system has been turned upside down since I took the Engineer-In-Training Exam back in the early '70s.  There was only one exam, it just covered fundamentals, and it didn't matter what your field of practice might be.

That the FE version provides examination in specific areas is really more useful and pulls more engineers into the fold.  I suspect that was the idea...

There was no concept of 'on-line' examination (obviously) and we took the exam in an enormous hall.  I don't have a clear recollection of the number of examinees but it was multiple hundreds.  I think the exam was given only once or twice a year.

I have never heard of any job requiring the FE (or EIT for that matter) that wasn't involved with public safety.  Then too, I have been retired for 13 years and things change.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2017, 03:17:15 pm »

I'm not sure if you're referring to the FE exam or not, but I guarantee there are Laplace Transforms on the current FE Electrical and Comouter Engineering exam.


Apparently, the whole system has been turned upside down since I took the Engineer-In-Training Exam back in the early '70s.  There was only one exam, it just covered fundamentals, and it didn't matter what your field of practice might be.

That the FE version provides examination in specific areas is really more useful and pulls more engineers into the fold.  I suspect that was the idea...

There was no concept of 'on-line' examination (obviously) and we took the exam in an enormous hall.  I don't have a clear recollection of the number of examinees but it was multiple hundreds.  I think the exam was given only once or twice a year.

I have never heard of any job requiring the FE (or EIT for that matter) that wasn't involved with public safety.  Then too, I have been retired for 13 years and things change.

Court cases are scant in this realm, but the clear implication in my state as well as others is that no one may legally practice engineering as an independent entity without a PE license.

The FE exam, IMO, has gone overboard on the breadth, but I can understand the motives for doing so as a weed-out device. It does effectively cover the entire undergrad EE curriculum.
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2017, 04:11:41 pm »

Court cases are scant in this realm, but the clear implication in my state as well as others is that no one may legally practice engineering as an independent entity without a PE license.


Including electronic engineering?  Software engineering?  That must certainly hurt the consultants and contract workers.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 05:07:03 pm »

Court cases are scant in this realm, but the clear implication in my state as well as others is that no one may legally practice engineering as an independent entity without a PE license.


Including electronic engineering?  Software engineering?  That must certainly hurt the consultants and contract workers.

Electronic, definitely. Software, I've not seen. Like I said, this is a very gray area that falls under administrative law - which means that those the state takes action against nearly always lose - at least in the first round.

As for consultants, if the hiring company has a PE, then I *think* the conditions are satisfied. I don't require contract workers I hire to be PEs because they are working under half a dozen we have scattered through the office.
 

Online Rick Law

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2017, 06:54:52 am »
Richard,

I understand how difficult it is for someone starting out without experience.  Allow me to make a couple of observations.

Your OP said you have a "Bachelor's of Science in Electrical and Electronics Technology."  Keep in mind that what you can do is as important as what degree you have.  What valuable thing can you do for them?  Of course, "them" are the ones who would hire you.

In your later reply you added "Lastly as for programming I do not like it a lot ... one specialty and my ace being Assembly and Machine code."   Assembler language is where you excel, but you said you do not like doing it?

If you seek a job doing things you have a passion for, employer may discern that passion and convince themselves that you could be an attractive candidate.  Last thing any employer want is someone who doesn't like he has to do and spend the day waiting for the day to be over.  So make sure what you seek is something you can show some passion for.

It appears to me that you like flying.  If that is the case, consider a position (adopt a mindset) of "any thing that makes flying possible is right down my alley…"  Make that passion visible and that passion may just help push door open - even if you don't have the required years of experience.

So within your 50 miles radius, there must be some employers.  Think about of those, who can use your skills.  Find out what they do and make your self passionate in what they are doing/making.  If you doing already have that passion, start thinking about why you should have passion for it and be prepared to make it so.

I hope my observations are helpful to you.  I wish you success.  Don't give up.  Keep pushing.

Best of luck!
Rick
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Career Advancement and Advice
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2017, 08:13:10 am »
One useful technique is that, whenever starting to look for a new job, is to have 2-4 "sacrificial" interviews before you have an interview for a job you might actually want.

Why? Because you need to "get in the swing" of the interview game. You'll learn what interviewers are looking for, how they (mis)perceive you, and get some practice with the inane questions some HR droids ask. (The simplest and least inane of which is "now, tell me about yourself")
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 


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