Calling all employed/retired EEs!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by blah2222, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. blah2222

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2010
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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  2. blah2222

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2010
    552
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    Hi all, I just have a couple general questions to ask all of you currently employed or retired engineers. My uncle, an EE himself, was always a technical man who tended to stray away from the management side of his work, but eventually bit the bullet and started to get higher up on the chain at his company of work. At the same time he got farther and farther away from the technical bits (or the 'fun bits'), as he called them of designing circuits and IC's and all that. Looking back he said that if he had been involved in some sort of management program at university he might have wanted to move up, (being more qualified to as well), and make all those mega-bucks that managers make, but he didn't and enjoyed every moment of it.

    Hopefully I didn't bore anyone, but my question is: does anyone think that nowadays for someone out of university should get their MBA or be involved in a joint management bachelor degree to prosper in today's developing world?

    The reason I ask is because I am currently in the Software Engineering program that has a joint management tack-on where you take commerce courses, but software is not where I want to be, and I want to switch to what I am really interested in... Electrical and Biomedical Engineering. Trouble is that the management tack-on is only for straight Software/Electrical/Mechanical...etc, not for more specialized programs.

    I am not really sure what to do because I do think that management skills are important. Would going straight Electrical be a better idea than specializing into Biomed this early?

    Anyway, for those of you who actually read this, I wish I could send an appreciation letter as I know this was rather long, so thank you in advance.

    JP
     
  3. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
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    Learn to like software, and get to be really good at writing compact, well-documented code.

    The days of creating large analog systems are gone.

    The days of creating large digital systems out of various logic families such as 54/74xx, 4000-series IC's, etc are gone.

    Microcontrollers have changed all that. You can replace a huge number of analog and digital IC's with just one uC, and perhaps a handful of supporting components.

    You'll still need to know about those kinds of functions. However, much of what engineers will be doing in the future will be the challenge of getting the functionality required of the project on the smallest board they can fit it on, and the least expensive uC that will get the job done - so the top management and sales department can make the most money from it.

    It's hard to argue against getting an MBA degree. It shows that you have more than fundamental knowledge of how to make business work.

    You probably would not like it were I your instructor. I would have my students start by programming in machine code, that they wrote by hand using pencil and paper. Once they achieved success with their first three programs, they could advance to Assembly Language.

    Nowadays, we have bloated code written by programmers who have little appreciation of low-level coding. Starting with the basic nuts and bolts of computing helps to establish that appreciation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
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  4. jgessling

    Active Member

    Jul 31, 2009
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    As a long time software guy who never really wanted to move "up" I can appreciate the problem. It will always be true that managers make more money than technical people, although a few good companies do try to have technical and management tracks. AMD and Intel used to but I'm not sure anymore.

    I went and got an MBA mid career and am glad I did. The software company paid for most of it, I did have to go to classes at night. Six to 10 pm three times a week for two years is a real grind. I did it so I would understand the business side of things, sort of like so I could know how the other half thinks.

    I'm still technical now, but I think I'm more valuable to the company with the business understanding, after all businesses are not there to solve interesting technical problems, they're there to make money and the more I understand how my job is making money for the company the better. Maybe you should think about focusing now on yout technical interests and then add the MBA later.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
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  5. blah2222

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2010
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    Thank you for the responses, great stuff! I just feel like I'm being stretched in two directions. If I stay in the Management program, I'll be in school for five years, but then I can get my MBA within eight months of graduating. The thing is that it will be a straight Electrical and Management degree, with minimal chances to take electives in the Biomedical field. On the other hand, I go into the Electrical and Biomedical program, graduate in four years, but with no management. MBA is a twenty month program if you don't have the management title.

    Is Electrical/Biomedical Engineering something that a straight Electrical Engineer can pick-up upon graduating or is it pretty specialized with all the chembio courses?

    JP
     
  6. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    5,201
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    Think about the work load you will be putting on yourself.

    If that is going to affect you MBA or EE degrees, you may want to reconsider...

    ...but, having more letters after your name looks very good on a resume.

    Blah2222 MBA, EE, LSD, PhD <-------See what I mean?
     
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  7. blah2222

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2010
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    This is true, I they are very demanding course loads. I like the sound of that: Blah2222 MBA, EE, LSD, PhD haha

    Also just wondering if anyone can post an answer to my second question:
    Is Electrical/Biomedical Engineering something that a straight Electrical Engineer can pick-up upon graduating or is it pretty specialized with all the chembio courses?

    JP
     
  8. zero_coke

    Active Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    294
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    My program is a 4 + 1 program similar to what you said earlier. It is a Management Electrical Engineering program. I'm not sure if I'll get anything beside my title if I take this, but its supposed to teach you business courses and all.

    And as for going into BioMedical Engineering with an Electrical Enginering degree, you should be fine, however, if you don't like chemistry or bio you will regret it. I hate chemistry and especially bio, which is why I'm in electrical engineering. If you were to do it after you graduate, I think you will need to take a lot of courses to make up for non-shared courses that exist between electrical and biomedical engineering. Im not sure doh, you should call your academic advisor. It could differ greatly depending on where you live and what institution you attend and all.
     
  9. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    850
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    A certain amount of business smarts never hurts on your resume, but I draw the line when beancounters -- having exactly no experience with building, telling a master technician / engineer that he / she has to cut corners in order to contain costs........
    I would far rather pay a few extra bux at the retail level, for a product that is going to last, as well as be safe.

    "Built in Obsolescence" does not impress me at all
     
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