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24983 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: May 17, 2013 9:22 AM by Mteo2188 RSS
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Apr 1, 2013 11:17 AM

What career advice do you have for up-and-coming Engineers/Student?

Career advice is always helpful, and given the state of the economy over the last few years, one can use as much of it as possible. What advice do you have for the next generation of engineers in terms of stating their careers on the right foot?

 

 

1.- Which Engineering degree is the most flexible for getting hired or bouncing around industries?

 

2.- What is the most accessible Industry for entry level Electrical + Electronic Engineers with little to no experience?

 

3.- Is it more beneficial to enter a Master's Program immediately after undergrad if one doesn't have a job lined up, or attempt to gain an internship?

 

4.- Is an Engineering Master's better recognized if the candidate already has a few years of experience under his/her belt?

  • MetMan Apprentice 93 posts since
    Oct 24, 2011

    1. - I'd stick with one of the basic engineering programs:  Mechanical, Electrical, Civil etc.  depending on your interest.  I'd also go for the full BS of Engineering and avoid the engineering technology degrees.  They are easier but will keep you out of some jobs.

     

    2. - There are definitely a wide variety of jobs available to EE's right now, but you may have to move to where the jobs are.  A good general degree will allow you entry into a lot of different sectors of industry.

     

    3. - I'd HIGHLY recommend an internship or 2 WHILE you're getting your bachelor's; paid if possible, unpaid if necessary.  It'll be a better investment of time than any class you could take.  Getting out of school with not much hands-on experience is the biggest barrier to getting that first job.  I'd wait on getting a Master's as it usually just adds to the school loan pile, unless you can get very good scholarships and can't find any type of tech job.  If you get a job and end up needing a Master's to move up, it's pretty easy to get later nights/weekends.

     

    4. - ANY candidate is better recognized with a few years of experience under his/her belt.  Most companies will value a few years of experience over a Master's.

     

     

    Long story short, get a good broad Engineering Bachelors and try to get your foot in a door as early as you can.

     

    Good luck!

  • JimHarrison Apprentice 84 posts since
    Sep 9, 2011

    1.- Which Engineering degree is the most flexible for getting hired or bouncing around industries?

    A pure EE degree is the best for future options and for immediate hire,  That said, an emphasis on real-time software and systems design is very desirable.

     

    I believe the industry selection is extremely important. Stop and think about what area you really have a lust for. Instrumentation, robotics, industrial control are all very similar – but doing that in the aircraft or the mining, factory automation, or the home appliance industry is a very different setting.

     

    2.- What is the most accessible Industry for entry level Electrical + Electronic Engineers with little to no experience?

    The most open field is software for the web – for anyone who knows software – but I would never go there. I say control systems (for any number of industry types) is the place to go. Besides, it’s the most fun.

     

    3.- Is it more beneficial to enter a Master's Program immediately after undergrad if one doesn't have a job lined up, or attempt to gain an internship?

    Get a part time internship well before bachelors degree graduation.

     

    4.- Is an Engineering Master's better recognized if the candidate already has a few years of experience under his/her belt?

    Yes of course. A masters is important for two very different areas _ Marketing and R&D

  • nannasin28 Novice 10 posts since
    Apr 9, 2013

    I'd wait on getting a Master's as it usually just adds to the school loan pile................

     

     

     

     

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    HQEW.net

  • circuitbored Novice 2 posts since
    Apr 16, 2013

    There´s so much you can learn online without paying for school too. Digi-Key has a huge free program right now more info on Design News: http://designnews.com/lecture-calendar.asp

  • Avalonron Novice 2 posts since
    Apr 21, 2013

    In no particular order: Don't expect to be CEO in a year, be motivated but not cocky, come in early & stay late, take on extra work in areas that may not be in your "Job Description", never say "That's not my job", don't watch the clock, leave the attitude & face metal and earings at home, keep your tattoos covered if you have any, clean up your facebook page before you start interviewing, don't chase the money; take a job doing something your interested in.....the money will come, take a writing class, make sure your resume's spelling and grammer are perfect, offer your boss a solution to a problem / don't just point out the problem, remember that jobs come and go; family first.

     

    A career area to consider after you've cut your teeth for 5-10 years is patent law.

    That field is wide open for technical experts that have a law degree.

  • Old_timer Novice 1 posts since
    Apr 29, 2013

    Best advice for engineering students:  1. change your major to finance or law, 2. learn to speak a foreign language, preferably for a Pac-Rim or south-central Asian culture.

  • WmJButler Novice 2 posts since
    May 16, 2013

    

    

    

    Absolutely follow the advice supplied to you by "Avalonron" on Apr 21, 2013. (I'm sure that everything he/she said applies, almost - I don't know anything about the patent law arena... I would add two things to what Avalonron said. One - You must have a passion for what you do, so select an area where you will feel like you are doing your hobby, and being paid for it. During my decades in electronics and IC design, the only time I had to struggle to keep myself motivated is when I got too much management responsibility. I found it much more fun to be the expert, and work on my own part of a big project, or have my own small projects. Try to propose small Internal Research and Development proposals to your engineering management each year, and do them yourself. Two - Do not get sidelined on a non-technical project. Stay in projects that require that you keep learning continuously. If you do not, you will eventually be seen as a has-been, or as someone that is only useful in some management area where leading edge knowledge is not needed. Do not think for a minute that your education is over, study a few nights a week, every week, and read every technical rag and blog you can subscribe to. Join the IEEE and read papers, papers, papers. Your boss will probably spring for the membership, and love you if you write, submit and get a paper published. It does not have to be a reinvention of the cosmos paper. Everyone in your field will need practical stuff, and it can even be a survey of some design area and/or new parts and applications...  Sorry I got windy, but as you can see, I have a passion for this stuff. Just as an example, I have been retired for five years, and I still spend about twenty hours working in electronic design and building prototypes small devices. Hey, how about a super tiny video camera that stores a month worth of video in it's memory on a single battery charge. It can have specs that are loose, like only four frames per second, limited color range, four-bit audio... You can build it big, using large parts, and show how it can be made compact using tiny parts and dense PCBs... Get going, and tell your prospective employer that you are working on it in your spare time. If they ask, pull the design-to-date out of your briefcase when interviewing. As a boss, I put their resume on the top of the stack... Also, if you did something spectacular in school, bring examples on paper, or physical examples, to the interview. Do something at the interviews that stretches you, and exceeds what you expect others will do. Also, practice interview with real engineers if you can. If not, try to find a professor or two that will do a mock interview. Okay, I have to get back on my project... Good luck

    

     

    

     

    Message was edited by: WmJButler

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