Author Topic: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?  (Read 44470 times)

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Offline Yansi

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Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« on: February 07, 2015, 01:41:45 pm »
Just a question comes to mind... would you employ someone without a masters degree in electronics?
I mean in some/your company which goes about electronics design and by someone I mean someone with a reasonable amount of knowledge... who hasn't gone through an electronic engineering school and thus has no official qualification in EE.

Would you consider employing these people? Why or why not?  :-//

Just interested to know your thoughts about this, thanx


Sorry if there's already a thread for it, I haven't seen it.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2015, 01:56:44 pm »
This is, I'm sad to say, a thread which is going to attract a very predictable response.

You'll get a bunch of responses saying "yes, of course I'd hire someone without a degree, it's experience / attitude / interest / whatever... that matters, not some bit of paper". They'll cite an example of a person with degree X who couldn't complete task Y as an example of why the degree is useless. They might even name an individual who achieved something technically notable, and who didn't have one.

Then you'll get other responses which say "hang on a minute, a degree provides essential theoretical background which every engineer needs to know", and who will shake their heads in disapproval at having four years' hard work dismissed so casually. They'll point out that so-and-so was a statistical anomaly, however great their achievement.

No member of either group will ever be persuaded by the arguments of the other.

Offline dannyf

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2015, 01:59:21 pm »
I have seen so many well degreed morons to know to put a person's smart, dedication, team work and leadership above anything.

Degrees are for losers.
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Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2015, 02:00:03 pm »
See?

Offline Yansi

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2015, 02:03:37 pm »
Okay, that might be a little predictable.

Therefore would be interesting to know, what percentage of people who would employ have the EE degree or not and what percentage of people actually thinks EE schools today will give EE students the essential theretical background.

...wait a moment - what do you consider the essential theoretical background should look like?  (a partial answer for my why or why not question above)


//definitely see.  ;D
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2015, 04:02:49 pm »
I have seen so many well degreed morons to know to put a person's smart, dedication, team work and leadership above anything.

Degrees are for losers.

The question was not if you will employ *any* person with a degree.
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Offline zapta

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2015, 04:10:56 pm »
This is, I'm sad to say, a thread which is going to attract a very predictable response.

The eduphobes vs the edusnobs.

Later we will discuss also avr vs pic and whether AGW is exaggerated or a settled science.

;-)
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Offline Excavatoree

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2015, 04:17:56 pm »
This is, I'm sad to say, a thread which is going to attract a very predictable response.

You'll get a bunch of responses saying "yes, of course I'd hire someone without a degree, it's experience / attitude / interest / whatever... that matters, not some bit of paper". They'll cite an example of a person with degree X who couldn't complete task Y as an example of why the degree is useless. They might even name an individual who achieved something technically notable, and who didn't have one.

Then you'll get other responses which say "hang on a minute, a degree provides essential theoretical background which every engineer needs to know", and who will shake their heads in disapproval at having four years' hard work dismissed so casually. They'll point out that so-and-so was a statistical anomaly, however great their achievement.

No member of either group will ever be persuaded by the arguments of the other.

Sums the situation up perfectly.

I've known idiots with degrees that didn't know anything and wouldn't learn anything and thought their degree was all they needed.  I've known non degreed idiots that thought they didn't need "that piece of paper that is just handed out in most cases."

I've know very well educated and very effective engineers with and without degrees.  Those are the people from whom I've tried to learn.
 

Offline f5r5e5d

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2015, 04:26:16 pm »
signals and systems, feedback control theory, Electromagnetism for RF do have steep math requirements for self learning

but many people from other STEM disciplines with the Calculus and Differential Eq math prereqs can make the transition

plenty of undergrad physics majors doing electronic design



the bulk of programming in practice today is still more craft than "Computer Science"
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 04:29:05 pm by f5r5e5d »
 

Offline hamdi.tn

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2015, 04:37:14 pm »
The question is ,  to do what ,
i will hire someone without a EE degree for soldering and handwork for sure,
a qualified technician for repair troubleshooting,
and sure you will hire no less than an engineer for design.
so yes i will, an EE related company is not only about design and electronic theory.
and am talking about medium to large company business, in small design company well an engineer have to do all of that :D
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2015, 04:40:48 pm »
It all depends from the nature of the job and in some cases the law of each country. Lets say your company makes control boards for machinery. Some of the boards gets to fail in a way the machine could heart someone. Upon the investigation it is made clear that a person without a degree in EE was involved in the failed boards...

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Offline JohnnyBerg

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2015, 04:49:01 pm »
In my country (the Netherlands) law protects employees to the extreme. Thats why there is very little hiring and a lot of subcontracting. A lot of people who where employed run now a company with only 1 man staff. We call it ZZP ;)
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2015, 05:36:43 pm »
Just a question comes to mind... would you employ someone without a masters degree in electronics?

My question would be "would you employ a person that couldn't demonstrate the specific skills required for the specific job?". So, during the interview I would ask the person questions that are relevant to the specific job, and see how they answer them.

If those specific questions are principally theoretical then it is more likely a person with a good academic background will give good answers. Examples: what is the significance of covariance and contravariance in OOP and the design of a good API, or under what conditions would you prefer a DSSS / SFHSS / FFHSS / ODFM / PSK modulation schemes, or what is the principal figure-of-merit for different cellular radio systems, and why?

If those specific questions are principally practical  then it is more likely a person with a good practical background will give good answers. Examples: a customer is reporting an equipment fault so what would you do, or there are tombstoning problems on the PCB so what should we change.

It seems blindingly obvious that hiring a paractical/theoretical person to do a theoretical/practical hob is dimwitted.

Academic snobbery is as foolish as academic anti-snobbery, or is that "anti-academic snobbery"?

Of course, you do occasionally come across individuals that can, to pick an example from my background someone that can authoratatively discuss anything to to with radar systems, from cockpit HMI, through processing algorithms, through RF frontend semiconductor physics, to antenna design. But they are rare, unfortunately.
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2015, 05:47:05 pm »
It depends so much on the job and the person you want to hire.
In my opinion, a successful hire has to fulfill three things:
1. He has to have Knowledge to get the job done
2. He has to have the skills to apply the knowledge
3. He has to have a right attitude about the work.

I put these three requirements any day above a degree.
If he has a degree and can not fulfill any of my above requirements, how could he perform the task?

I have hired people with and without degrees.
It really depends on the person itself and nothing else.
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Offline tom66

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2015, 05:50:55 pm »
Yes and no.

A degree provides very valuable experience. However, I would also take proof of previous work completed, a portfolio of sorts, if someone did not have a degree. I would treat someone without a degree with more scrutiny on the theory side.

It is hard to get the previous work portfolio without a degree though...
 

Offline Yansi

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2015, 05:59:19 pm »
f5r5e5d, those things you've listed,  you think are the essential theoretical background, which average EE student will get from his school, backed by his degree? That's rather courageous to assume I think, but not impossible. Thanx for opinion.

hamdi.tn ok, I get it.

firewalker: "Upon the investigation it is made clear that a person without a degree in EE was involved in the failed boards..." - And then what? Having a degree means the board couldn't fail or is it an excuse for not being executed? Wtf? I don't understand your example.

JohnnyBerg: What kind of extreme protection do you mean?

mojo-chan: "...you do have to wonder why a young and talented engineer wouldn't just get one".
I'd rather not go deep into my subjective opinions about our local education and school system... but getting EE degree here is no more about electronics. The practical side of the thing almost dissapeared. So it is absolutely normal here, that a EE graduate can't solve a simple circuit with LED and transistor switch or even simplier thing with switch and a bulb. Maybe I got wrong what the purpose of EE college is.

Don't be angry on me, I'm still trying to understand how the world we live in works, cause I can't.
 

Offline MFX

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2015, 06:12:32 pm »
In my office of 9 people (A small self contained unit inside a larger company) only two have degrees, the boss and a sub-contractor programmer. Everyone else was hired purely on ability, between us we do everything from IT support, software development, electronic repair and design. The line up :-

Dave the overall boss, Engineering degree, ran his own business for a while.
Mick Engineering manager, was a bus driver then moved into software development, now mixes that with managing.
Mark Project manager and database management/programming not sure of his history but has recently done an OU degree for his own amusement.
Shami, has a Degree, contract programmer.
Tony the hippy, programmer, came from the games industry originally.
Simon, programmer, customer support and some PCB and electronics design.
Rama, original one of our field techs but now IT support.
Adam, worked his way up through the ranks of a high street phone shop to area manager, now does Web development.
Me, Repair, fault investigation, PCB design, Electronic design and some programming.
 

Offline JohnnyBerg

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2015, 06:20:31 pm »
JohnnyBerg: What kind of extreme protection do you mean?

When you hire someone, you cannot fire him.
When your employee get injured (break a leg when he/she is skiing on a holiday for example), you have to pay his wages and taxes for 2 years. And more of this stuff ..
 

Offline owiecc

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2015, 06:53:13 pm »
The answer the original question: yes, of course. However, I'd have to test the qualifications myself. This is time consuming if you need to test many applicants. When I see a degree I can at least expect certain level of expertise in the relevant field. Universities are there to provide systematic knowledge and should aid in students' learning. They can asses the process of learning. Degree is just a certificate saying this person attended the university, followed classes and did projects. It contains the assessment of student's performance. As a recruiter a lot of assessment is done for me.

However, I admit that people may get the knowledge and skills without the aid of university. There was even an idea in France that anyone can come to the university and take the exams (without being a student) and get a grade. This way anyone can get certified with a degree if they feel they need it and they have the skills.
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2015, 07:05:02 pm »
Quote
When you hire someone, you cannot fire him.

Social costs.

The employees are so protected that no one is willing to hire him/her, ;)
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Offline linux-works

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2015, 07:05:50 pm »
sometimes, schools overteach theory.  there's only so much time in one's life (esp. in college years) and you have to think about what areas you think are going to be useful, later on.

how much breadth vs how much depth?

do you want someone who can do the maths (which often are not needed for a lot of designs) or do you want someone who can build things with his hands?  often those are not the same *kind* of person.

if someone has a masters or phd, I'm automatically suspicious of them, if I need a BUILDER.

similarly, if the project does require textbook math skills, I would not hire a builder-type person.

also realize that we are not islands.  the ability of someone to know when they are out of their league and ask for help; or do some research is more important than having a complete bag of tricks (which won't ever be complete, btw, you just think you're complete with a sheepskin).

there are many times that I have run out of 'steam' in my background (I'm mostly self taught) and yet, I can glean a lot from others' works and I can ask good questions and GET the answers.  I might not fully understand all the answers, but I can certainly implement, test, value and repeat that process to get to the destination.

one key item today is: JIT.  just in time learning.  in software, you HAVE to do that; there's no way you can be 'all things to all people' in software.  I think its also true in hardware.  there's just too much going on and too many directions in these fields.  so, ability to know what you know, what you *dont* know, and not being ashamed to ask for help or sub-out some tasks.

but all else being equal, I'll happily work with a self-starter over a sheepskin guy almost any day.  I have not ever run into a software problem that *required* a comp-sci degree; and a lot of hardware design is paint-by-numbers (like software; its module and subsystem based) and so you really don't need to know how chips are made to be able to apply them in real world situations.

tl;dr: the person matters.  degrees only impress those who are part of the same club.
 

Offline jancumps

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2015, 07:13:19 pm »
Quote
When you hire someone, you cannot fire him.

Social costs.

The employees are so protected that no one is willing to hire him/her, ;)

A lot of companies hire staff in Holland. Seems to be not so bad after all.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2015, 07:14:44 pm »
See?

That was funny.  :-DD

Now for my predictable response:

A couple of years ago, my company hired 2 freshly degreed engineers from a respectable school. The expectations were fairly low. Even with appropriate expectations, it was still a rather disappointing experience. They both had great grades and interviewed very well. I later started to understand the problems.

1. The degree offers false confidence. It takes a lot of effort to get an EE degree, so how could you NOT be a near genius when you graduate? Right? So these guys came in with quite a swagger which led to blaming of anything and everything but themselves for poorly performing circuits. They would blame ESD because the bench was not setup right. They would blame "errors" in data sheets. Hopeless.

2. They got engineering degrees because they wanted a good job, not because they were passionate about engineering. This may be workable in a large scale operation where the company needs robots to mindlessly setup typical and normal engineering chores. In my world, we invent new things and it is mandatory to have people that are simply excited about what they do and get a kick out applying engineering skills to solve a problem that no one has solved before.

On the other hand, I have worked with hacker self-taught types that also sound great at interview time but have failed when thrown into the fire. In this case it is because they have quilted knowledge from various sources which makes it hard for them to go about engineering in a way that anyone else can follow. When they get stuck, it can be very hard for anyone to help because they go about things in such an unconventional way. It's very hard to know what is going to happen.


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Offline linux-works

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2015, 07:22:08 pm »
that reminds me of the 'certification mills' (india comes to mind, sorry to say) where people spend a LOT of time getting certs - and mostly its all about memorization.  I see it all the time.  people who skate thru school because they have good memories and can cram for the exam, well.

a year later, they have no idea what they studied and can't apply it to save their lives.

"but I have a java cert!"

worthless.  I've seen your java code.  and I don't want it.  you think that being able to memorize an algorithm makes you valuable?  and the fact that I don't memorize that stuff makes me less?  oh really?

same with hardware.  passing school means you can pass school.  living in the real world is quite another thing.
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: Would you employ someone without a degree in electronics?
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2015, 07:25:15 pm »
Quote
A lot of companies hire staff in Holland. Seems to be not so bad after all.

You are right: jobs growth in Holland is exploding, :)
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