BSEE degree vs BSE w/ EE concentration

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by tjohnson, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    614
    121
    I'm contemplating going to college to get a degree in electrical engineering. One of the colleges I'm looking into doesn't offer a BSEE (Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering) degree, but does offer a BSE (Bachelor of Science in Engineering) degree with an Electrical Engineering concentration.

    I was wondering if any EEs on this forum could tell me whether a BSE degree with an EE concentration is any less valuable to employers than a BSEE? Or are they both of equal value? Thank you.
     
  2. wmodavis

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    737
    150
    I'd examine the difference in the curriculum of the degree programs.

    But to answer your question I received a BSE but always considered myself to have a BSEE.
    No one ever asked me which I had or seemed to care and when I was hiring for electronic design positions I didn't care nor ask.

    I did look at course work and grades of applicants.
     
  3. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,000
    3,756
    What schools are they?
     
  4. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    7,386
    1,605
    On the surface I would say the BSE degree is not as strong as a BSEE degree. Terms such as "not as strong as real a BSEE degree" came to mind as I was typing that. Do note the person reviewing the application will never bother to look up the courses taken; they will only look at GPA.

    Your resume gets under a minute of time before it is either rejected or put in the pile for further scrutiny. This may be critical in landing your first position.

    After your first you get evaluated on what you've done over what you learned.

    </two cents from an engineering manager with a BSEE>
     
    planeguy67 and GopherT like this.
  5. wmodavis

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    737
    150
    "Do note the person reviewing the application will never bother to look up the courses taken; they will only look at GPA."

    Not True. I always looked at what grade received in what courses. Wanted to see strong and weak areas.
     
  6. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    7,386
    1,605
    Do you do this on every resume you receive from every entry level candidate? Or just those "put in the pile for further scrutiny"?
     
  7. wmodavis

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    737
    150
    For me it was not the first order of scrutiny rather for those still in the running as the process of hiring had eliminated many for whatever reason.
    So usually part of the final decision process.
    And Actually I looked less at GPA than full transcript and other more pertinent factors.
     
  8. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,720
    4,788
    As with everything in engineering (and much of life), it depends. The reputation of the school and the department awarding the degree and that degree from that school and that department count for a lot (good or bad), but even that is often restricted to the industries and/or particular employers that typically see candidates from that school (and particularly from that department with that degree).

    The school I went to only started offering a BSEE degree about three years ago, but many employers, particularly in the energy sector, loved the Engineering degree with an Electrical Option because of (1) the broad-based background graduates had in civil and mechanical engineering, (2) the significantly greater hands-on experiences that the students got at that school, (3) the very strong academic reputation of the school as a whole, particularly in the minerals and energy industries.

    But if you are getting a BSE degree from a mediocre to weak program that doesn't offer something of strength to offset the lack of EE depth, then it will probably be a negative.
     
  9. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,720
    4,788
    I found that I looked at GPA on the initial resumes (since all we had was the resume and perhaps a cover letter -- we never asked for transcripts even after we hired) but I consciously tried to put it into an overall perspective (which wasn't always easy). What I liked to see was something on the resume that indicated a genuine personal interest in electronics or engineering or problem solving. That might be implied by a list of interests and hobbies or perhaps in a description of a senior design project -- and many resumes are very sparse on that stuff and so a weak GPA then became dominant. But I generally found that a person with a weak GPA is going to know that they have a weak GPA and will put additional stuff onto their resume to compensate -- if they don't, then there is a fair chance that it's because they don't have anything to compensate for it with. When I did an interview, especially over the phone, that was what I usually tried to explore. I'd try to get them to talk, in some depth, about a project they had been involved with. That part of the discussion almost always overshadowed any consideration of GPA.
     
  10. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    614
    121
    Thanks to everyone for their helpful replies. Am I correct that:
    1. The main difference between a BSEE and BSE is the degree of their EE focus
    2. Which degree I would get likely wouldn't make much difference for getting a job, if I have a good GPA and the college is a good one
    @GopherT: The school I'm looking at is Geneva College. I linked to their website in my first post.
     
  11. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,000
    3,756
    Most big companies look for the big schools (PIT, Penn State, Rutgers, UPenn). Regional companies usually hire people out of the small regional schools. I live near Geneva and several of my sons' classmates are there.

    My company will not hire anyone from there unless they have experience and, if hired, they would likely work in operations/manufacturing or, possibly, tech service their whole career. No chance to move to the design engineering/technical marketing/business mgmt.

    It is just too expensive to maintain recruiting relationships with small schools. Out HQ doesn't know anything about them.

    It really depends what you want to do (big/small companies, and manufacturing vs design/development vs ...)
     
  12. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    614
    121
    Apparently not all big companies think that way. According to this page on Geneva's website:
     
  13. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,000
    3,756
    @tjohnson

    I don't see anything about big companies recruiting at Geneva. If you are referring to this line..
    Geneva's general engineering program has been ranked in the Top 90 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs in the nation byU.S. News & World Report in 2015.

    Then I assume they are ranked in the upper 80s. I would say any school ranking below 25 is considered a second tier school and, considering that Geneva has no graduate engineering program, the competition for professor positions is not at the same level as the research universities. Opportunities (and calibre) for undergraduate research is also much lower.

    Likewise, the type of companies and types of positions that you will find for a co-op will be limited (if they have a mandatory co-op as nothing shows up).

    But, I don't know your goals, interests or capabilities so I'll let you find your own way. If you put this much effort to researching your path in life, I am sure you will be successful no matter where you go.

    Final note: A recent study demonstrated that the school you go to want the biggest indicator of success. The quality of best school that accepted you was the biggest indicator.
     
  14. tindel

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    568
    193
    my 0.02...

    The link you shared is a bit biased - you think? Are there any stats about how many of their BSE vs. BSEE's go to those companies? Go out and find at non-biased information. I must admit to having graduated from a second tier school (BSEE - U of Houston) and I've had a successful career so far, but it's been because of the things I've done and my work ethic that have got me there - not my diploma. Every potential employer is going to look at different things on your resume and you can't possibly please everyone. Those potential employers are going to judge you by your resume before they meet you and before they fully understand the skills that you bring to the table. The trick is to find the company that works best for you and your skill set... and I personally think you can do that weather you get a BSE or BSEE.

    Anyway, in regards to BSE vs. BSEE - that's up to you... I'd make sure the programs are accredited. Other than that, do what you like to do! There is no 'right' answer. Do you enjoy the electronics? Then BSEE might be for you. Like developing procedures and lean towards management roles then BSE might be for you.
     
  15. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    614
    121
    @GopherT: The line I quoted is towards the bottom of the page above the video.

    Yes, that information is obviously biased, but nonetheless if it's true, it does indicate that at least some big companies accept Geneva graduates.

    https://www.nationalappcenter.com/g...duate/658/Geneva_College/Geneva_College5.html appears to be an unbiased source of statistics about Geneva. It says:
    of which only Westinghouse was also on the list on Geneva's website.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  16. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,000
    3,756
    I didn't say that the large company I work for doesn't hire Geneva students, I said that we need them to prove themselves at another company or two before we hire them AND they will work in manufacturing or maintenance and not the more desirable design or development jobs.

    There is nothing wrong with those jobs but go in with eyes wide open. Now, set that all aside.

    Here us the important part...
    There are only a handful of schools with engineering programs that have the extracurricular focus that you seem to be looking for. Schools like Geneva (with or without Engineering programs) will have a nation wide network of alumni that are very loyal to other alumni and likely willing to take you under your wing and work with you, mentor you and give you a satisfying career. I think you will be happy at Geneva, or Grove City (both Christian Schools) within 30 miles of each other.

    Grove City has a specific EE degree.
    http://www.gcc.edu/Documents/Academics/departments/electrical-and-computer-engineering.pdf

    Cheers
     
  17. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,720
    4,788
    Not saying anything good or bad about Geneva, but lines such as that on a college website mean very little. Colleges play the same specsmanship game as everyone else. As long as one graduate was hired at one time by a company they could add it to that list. Doesn't matter that the person in question was hired as a janitor and was fired after two months. You want to find out what people OTHER than the college say about the college -- and it is admittedly hard to find good, solid information about smaller schools and it's also generally the case that you will find negative information more easily than positive information.
     
  18. tindel

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    568
    193
    Another 0.02...

    Personally, I would not go to either of these schools... for two reasons... 1) they are not well accredited by ABET. Grove City is accredited in BSEE and BSME, and Geneva is accredited in BSE. My first impression - base solely on looking at their accreditation of the two schools is that they are not real serious about their engineering colleges - their accreditation is limited to 1 or 2 degree programs. A good engineering school will have no less than master and undergraduate programs in electrical, mechanical, chemical, and civil engineering. Most will also have aerospace and nuclear programs as well. Putting a degree from Purdue against a degree from Geneva - you tell me who's going to get my phone call first? and 2) They are both Christian schools (Note: I am not trying to turn this into a religious debate.) The reason I say this is because when you put your schools' name on your resume it could have positive or negative connotations depending on who reads your resume and their religious affiliations. Religious discrimination is against the law - but potential employers can find other ways to eliminate you from their resume pool if they so wish. The hardest part of sending your resume out is getting an interview. You want to try to eliminate anything that can be taken by a negative out of your resume. Some may see your religious affiliations as a negative - others a positive - but do you want to roll the dice?

    I'd also encourage you to take your freshman and sophomore classes at a community college. Most of these classes have very little to do with your coursework of interest and taking these classes at a community college can save you significant amounts of money and you won't have classes with 299 of your best friends - something I struggled with anyway.

    You've got to remember that schools are businesses - they are NOT non-profit organizations! Their main purpose is to separate you from your money so that the president can have summer long vacations in the south pacific. The trade-off (money for a diploma) can be a good thing if you can make more money than you would have before you entered college You do have to be smart about it though. I have heard horror stories from professors that are friends that have told me about dragging students along just so the school would continue to get their tuition each semester.
     
  19. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,000
    3,756
    @tjohnson

    I sent a note to a friend at Westinghouse Nuclear Power (the last manufacturing company operating under the Westinghouse moniker, I think). I asked about Geneva students at Westinghouse. He said most "engineers" who are working there are from MIT, PennState, and a mix of other schools with nuclear engineering programs.

    He said a Geneva grad will likely be working in the quality department's document control group or some customer (power plant) maintenance planning role. Essentially, they want reasonably smart people to make sure all I's are dotted and T's are crossed and very little of their engineering will be used.
     
  20. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    614
    121
    Making a judgment based on a nuclear power company doesn't seem fair, given that Geneva doesn't offer a BSE degree with a concentration in nuclear engineering. Since they don't, I wouldn't expect a nuclear power company to hire many engineers graduated from Geneva.

    If I get a BSE at a school like Geneva, I might be able to get a job that would pay for me to get an MSEE, and then I would have a degree in EE.
     
Loading...