Author Topic: Job search terms and what I should be looking for  (Read 1308 times)

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Offline iunbreakstuff

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Job search terms and what I should be looking for
« on: January 29, 2019, 05:27:14 am »
Dave's most recent video (#1175 How to become a professional Engineer) has given me an important realization that it would be very difficult to get hired into an engineering position given my location. I am at the start of my career and have firmly decided that I have no interest in going to college. I have had jobs for the last 5 years somewhat related to what I want to do, I have worked at an electronic component store for 4 years doing sales and small repairs and worked as a laptop repair tech at a MSP for a summer as well as doing repairs and odd jobs on the side. It is time for me to move on from the store and now I'm stuck. I have been looking at electronics technician jobs on indeed and while I have gotten a couple interviews, it is just not something I can see myself wanting to do forever. I have an idea of what my ideal job would be but have no clue how to go about finding it.

My ideal job would be:
- at a small to medium company ( or even a partnership if the opportunity presents itself)
- as an assistant to engineers designing test fixtures/ small boards /etc.
- without a degree requirement
- limited repetitive work (not assembly line)

It seems like a startup environment would be fitting but where would I even find a place to apply for that?

I feel like I have quite a few applicable skills as I started with electronics very young.
I can:
- Solder THT and some SMT
- design schematics and lay out 2 layer boards
- consider how a whole system works and interface multiple parts
- do manual metalwork
- work with microcontrollers (AVR and STM32)
- write basic C code
- work with embedded systems and SBCs
- configure and package embedded Linux

If anyone has an opening anywhere in Texas or some ideas as to what I should do, please let me know.


Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Job search terms and what I should be looking for
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 12:44:40 am »
I think you need a portfolio or CV with understandable skill levels. You say:

I feel like I have quite a few applicable skills

How do they compare with a professional? For instance, you only have to look at Youtube videos to notice that people that can solder well are a small proportion of people that can solder. So just saying you can do it doesn't really say much. Similarly, when you design and layout a board, what design rules are you working to? Do you work out the right track widths for the currents being carried, or the appropriate gaps for the voltages? Same with writing code: many many more people can 'write code' than can write code well.

So it seems to me that you can either show you can do these skills to a professional standard, or you're looking for something like an apprenticeship. Either way, college (or something very like it) is going to be involved if for no other reason to acquire the bit of paper that says you can do this stuff 'properly'. And be able to learn stuff.

Offline iunbreakstuff

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Re: Job search terms and what I should be looking for
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 07:19:44 am »
I am currently working on getting a website set up to showcase my work better because as you mention, the resume I have is not specific enough to show what skill level I'm at. It has something similar to what i put here plus a random smattering of skills and interests.

While college is a hard no for now, I am totally unopposed to certification programs but unsure where to start. Many of the job postings I see specify IPC-610 or J-STD-001 as requirements but searching for certification tests yields questionable results. Perhaps I should create another thread asking about the certification part.

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