Author Topic: Qualifications, experience and jobs.  (Read 4783 times)

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Offline McPete

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Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« on: July 06, 2010, 09:21:21 am »
G'day all,

As I'm I'm approaching the end of my trade(process control) course, I'm looking at my study options for post-trade qualifications. My current thoughts tend toward a technical college course specialising in electronics engineering, specifically this one.

Although I very much like my current role in an instrument service/calibration facility, I'd like to give myself a "portable" qualification. My questions to the supervisors, designers and engineers involved in the recruitment process are;

Would you consider an applicant for a design/development engineering position with a trade background, a secondary qualification like this one, and some appropriate experience? If so, what would you consider beneficial besides a good showing at an interview?

Thanks all!
Peter
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 10:18:01 am »
G'day all,

As I'm I'm approaching the end of my trade(process control) course, I'm looking at my study options for post-trade qualifications. My current thoughts tend toward a technical college course specialising in electronics engineering, specifically this one.

I did basically the same course, and I can say any of the Diploma/Advanced Diploma courses would be excellent. I'm not sure of the difference between the "electrical" and the "electronics" courses these days though.

Quote
Although I very much like my current role in an instrument service/calibration facility, I'd like to give myself a "portable" qualification. My questions to the supervisors, designers and engineers involved in the recruitment process are;

Would you consider an applicant for a design/development engineering position with a trade background, a secondary qualification like this one, and some appropriate experience?

Yes, absolutely. It's your experience that ultimately matters.
Smart employers will hire the person who can do the job, end of story.

Quote
If so, what would you consider beneficial besides a good showing at an interview?

You simply have to score your first design/engineering job and get that experience, once you have that you are home.
In the mean time, you need to work on your own projects to show off at interviews.

Are you planing full-time or part time?
How much advanced standing do you get with your previous course?

Dave.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 11:32:51 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline McPete

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Re: Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2010, 11:03:07 am »
Thanks Dave- It's great to hear I'm not running up against a wall here!

The major difference between the "electrical" and "electronics" Diploma/Adv. Dip. courses is the spelling of the title, and the entry requirements.
I was looking at doing the Electrical Engineering Diploma, but after talking with another apprentice who is one year ahead of me, I discovered I can't do the course of that name because I won't have an electrical trade certificate- i.e, I'll be a qualified instrument fitter, not an electrician.

My main options then come down to the two "technology" courses- Either electrical or electronic. "Electrical" focuses on power topics, with a healthy dose of management thrown in, where "electronic" has, as may logically be expected, more electronics troubleshooting and design topics, with a fair few for communications systems in there too. There's even one for satellite surveillance systems(!?).

If you're interested, here are the course structures for both electronics and electrical.

As for my actual study arrangements, that will be a matter for me to discuss with my employer. What tends to happen is that during the 4th year of apprenticeship, an apprentice is given one day (paid) per week to attend their course. Once an apprentice turns tradesman however, it would be a case of attending part time, at night. Unfortunately, due to my location, if I want a teacher for either course, I'm up for an hour's drive each way to the TAFE. Not insurmountable, just fairly annoying, but better than the two-hour run on trains I have currently.

As for advanced standing, I believe I'll be able to get modules recognised from my trade course.
Thanks for your advice mate- I appreciate it.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2010, 11:58:30 am »
Thanks Dave- It's great to hear I'm not running up against a wall here!

The major difference between the "electrical" and "electronics" Diploma/Adv. Dip. courses is the spelling of the title, and the entry requirements.
I was looking at doing the Electrical Engineering Diploma, but after talking with another apprentice who is one year ahead of me, I discovered I can't do the course of that name because I won't have an electrical trade certificate- i.e, I'll be a qualified instrument fitter, not an electrician.

My main options then come down to the two "technology" courses- Either electrical or electronic. "Electrical" focuses on power topics, with a healthy dose of management thrown in, where "electronic" has, as may logically be expected, more electronics troubleshooting and design topics, with a fair few for communications systems in there too. There's even one for satellite surveillance systems(!?).

If you're interested, here are the course structures for both electronics and electrical.

Wow, it's all changed a lot!
All those silly named modules, crazy.
And it looks like they have taken totally different approach to the course.
I don't understand how basic subjects like circuit theory and digital electronics are "enrichment" classes and "don't count" - insane.

Quote
As for my actual study arrangements, that will be a matter for me to discuss with my employer. What tends to happen is that during the 4th year of apprenticeship, an apprentice is given one day (paid) per week to attend their course. Once an apprentice turns tradesman however, it would be a case of attending part time, at night. Unfortunately, due to my location, if I want a teacher for either course, I'm up for an hour's drive each way to the TAFE. Not insurmountable, just fairly annoying, but better than the two-hour run on trains I have currently.

I believe most of the courses can be done by distance education, that might be an option?

Dave.
 

Offline McPete

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Re: Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2010, 12:34:44 pm »

Wow, it's all changed a lot!
All those silly named modules, crazy.
And it looks like they have taken totally different approach to the course.
I don't understand how basic subjects like circuit theory and digital electronics are "enrichment" classes and "don't count" - insane.

This may sound cynical for someone of 20 years old, but- TAFE is no longer primarily concerned with teaching skills. Students have to submit "workplace evidence" to get a qualification.
You don't get a qualification so you can go and do something, you get it to prove you're already doing it. We have a slight "chicken-egg" problem there, but that's how the TAFE want it now.
Institutional madness is compulsory, it seems. In three years, my trade course has had three numbers and three sets of modules to go with it. I can't fathom why.

Quote
I believe most of the courses can be done by distance education, that might be an option?
Yes, and this one can be done that way- One of the tradesmen in our workshop finished his EE diploma last year, almost entirely via distance education- which means teach yourself for the most part!


 

Offline djsb

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Re: Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2010, 02:44:17 pm »
The situation is the same in the UK. Getting a trade certificate in Electrical installation for instance means you have to already be employed to gain workplace evidence for the NVQ (National Vocational Qualification). If you miss the chance of an apprenticeship at a young age it's very difficult to train to be an electrician.
My situation is that I've virtually given up on electronics as a career choice, seems it will only ever be a hobby for me. At nearly 50 years old and without a degree (HND qualified only) I feel there is too much competition out there. Got my HND in 1997 and I've only ever done low skilled jobs (test engineer, telecoms wireman, University technician). I suppose I've become disillusioned after 12 months out of work.
Don't suppose anyone can give me any advice or share their similar experiences.

David.
David
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 University Electronics Technician, London PIC,CCS C,Arduino,Kicad, Altium Designer,LPKF S103,S62 Operator, Electronics instructor.  http://debuggingrules.com/ Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
 

Offline MrPlacid

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Re: Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2010, 07:47:30 pm »
djsb, is it possible to get apprenticeship by offering to work for free?

I got zero skills with degrees attached, so I do all this as a hobby, myself. I could go back to college, but I despise college so much.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2010, 10:00:02 pm »
This may sound cynical for someone of 20 years old, but- TAFE is no longer primarily concerned with teaching skills. Students have to submit "workplace evidence" to get a qualification.
You don't get a qualification so you can go and do something, you get it to prove you're already doing it. We have a slight "chicken-egg" problem there, but that's how the TAFE want it now.
Institutional madness is compulsory, it seems. In three years, my trade course has had three numbers and three sets of modules to go with it. I can't fathom why.

That sucks, but does seem to be the case based on the course outline. The TAFE Diploma used to be really good and taught you a lot. At least it did back in the 80's!

Quote
Yes, and this one can be done that way- One of the tradesmen in our workshop finished his EE diploma last year, almost entirely via distance education- which means teach yourself for the most part!

That's probably the best way. Although at 20 you are still young enough to just do it and get it over with full-time. If you have suitable means to feed yourself. Maybe 1.5/years full-time with advanced standing?

Dave.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2010, 10:03:49 pm »
The situation is the same in the UK. Getting a trade certificate in Electrical installation for instance means you have to already be employed to gain workplace evidence for the NVQ (National Vocational Qualification). If you miss the chance of an apprenticeship at a young age it's very difficult to train to be an electrician.
My situation is that I've virtually given up on electronics as a career choice, seems it will only ever be a hobby for me. At nearly 50 years old and without a degree (HND qualified only) I feel there is too much competition out there. Got my HND in 1997 and I've only ever done low skilled jobs (test engineer, telecoms wireman, University technician). I suppose I've become disillusioned after 12 months out of work.
Don't suppose anyone can give me any advice or share their similar experiences.

Can't say I've ever been out of work, except for a self imposed exile or two. But I figure the key is to work your way back into work, if that makes sense.
You have work on projects on your own (or join other projects) that can showcase your skills to employers.
If you can show you have the skills for the job then you'll get the job over that guy with just the bit of paper.

Dave.
 

Offline djsb

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Re: Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2010, 10:21:45 pm »
Yes, it makes sense. I've gone from working as a Janitor to working as a technician and i've got a reasonable track record of work behind me so things arent so bad I suppose.
It's pretty difficult retraining as a mature student and changing jobs isn't easy so I should give myself some credit for that. Just hoping to make the leap into a higher skill level and like you said it's down to self education and self promotion. Self promotion doesnt come easy to a chap like me.

David
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 University Electronics Technician, London PIC,CCS C,Arduino,Kicad, Altium Designer,LPKF S103,S62 Operator, Electronics instructor.  http://debuggingrules.com/ Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
 

Offline thedigitalprincess

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Re: Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2010, 11:37:10 pm »
This may sound cynical for someone of 20 years old, but- TAFE is no longer primarily concerned with teaching skills. Students have to submit "workplace evidence" to get a qualification.
You don't get a qualification so you can go and do something, you get it to prove you're already doing it. We have a slight "chicken-egg" problem there, but that's how the TAFE want it now.
Institutional madness is compulsory, it seems. In three years, my trade course has had three numbers and three sets of modules to go with it. I can't fathom why.

The workplace evidence is a not so monitored thing. Didn't really come into effect when I applied for my course after being out of work for 6 months. The only thing "electronics" that I did in that job was solder a shit tonne of XLR cables. I barely knew what a capacitor did back then and couldn't grasp the concept of V=IR.
There's a mature student in my class who works in maintainence at a hospital. He got in just on the basis that he was interested in gaining more knowledge so he could repair and build his own hi-fi amplifiers.
Mind you, the course we're doing is only Cert III (trade) level. Some of us may be continuing into Cert IV and Diploma. These are still trade courses. Thereafter, we can skip over to the engineering diploma (which I probably won't complete until I'm 30 at this part time rate haha).
Got done doing 126kmph on the Fed Hwy at Collector but not at Base or Emitter.
 

Offline McPete

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Re: Qualifications, experience and jobs.
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2010, 11:52:27 pm »

That sucks, but does seem to be the case based on the course outline. The TAFE Diploma used to be really good and taught you a lot. At least it did back in the 80's!

I think it's still the case, but getting good courses and the red tape involved will make it something of an adventure. I'm fortunate to have the help of seven very good technicians, so that will make it a little easier.

Quote
<snip> at 20 you are still young enough to just do it and get it over with full-time. If you have suitable means to feed yourself. Maybe 1.5/years full-time with advanced standing?

As I said in my opening post; I like my current position well enough, and my employer will pay for my course. I'll stick with them so long as I can. I don't wish to make life hard for myself without good reason!


The workplace evidence is a not so monitored thing. Didn't really come into effect when I applied for my course after being out of work for 6 months. The only thing "electronics" that I did in that job was solder a shit tonne of XLR cables. I barely knew what a capacitor did back then and couldn't grasp the concept of V=IR.
There's a mature student in my class who works in maintainence at a hospital. He got in just on the basis that he was interested in gaining more knowledge so he could repair and build his own hi-fi amplifiers.
Mind you, the course we're doing is only Cert III (trade) level. Some of us may be continuing into Cert IV and Diploma. These are still trade courses. Thereafter, we can skip over to the engineering diploma (which I probably won't complete until I'm 30 at this part time rate haha).

Workplace experience has more been a problem with my trade course- for a variety of reasons, but we've mostly sorted that out now. You're right in that it isn't something closely examined though, at least not until it's time to sit your capstone tests. Hopefully it'll be a bit easier this time around.
 


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