electrical engineering career

Discussion in 'Career Advising' started by johnstang, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. johnstang

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 18, 2007
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    hello. i am 30 years old. i am thinking of changing my career and going back to school to study electrical engineering. i will take about 3 more years because i already have all the calc and physics. can anyone offer any opinions on whether i will get age discrimination by the time i graduate at 33 years old. would the best idea for me to probably gain a phd in electrical engineering and become a college professor? thanks
     
  2. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    What is your present career?

    hgmjr
     
  3. johnstang

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 18, 2007
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    i work in marketing.
     
  4. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    It won't be easy but if you are passionate about electrical engineering, then I say go for it.

    I'm sure you will be able to work your marketing skills into your new career and make that a selling point when you go out for an interview.

    I know marketing will have provided you with people skills that can be used to advantage.

    hgmjr
     
  5. BeeBop

    Member

    Apr 25, 2006
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    This really upsets me, as I'm in the same boat, only older than the OP.
    The reason it upsets me so, is because it makes me think of how lacking in intellect we really are. Some of us benefit so much more than others, given the same experience, yet human resource departments all look for the 'myth' of 'x' many years experience, in a very narrow field. If a person has experience in another area, they should be more valuable, because of the unique combination. Yet human resource people seem so inept at evaluating, and can rely only on the signing off of 'some other authority.'

    Self employed is always an alternative.
     
  6. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    My intent was not to upset anyone. I was referring specifically to the challenges of taking on a new career. I simply meant to emphasize that passion and dedication are powerful tools when focused on a goal such as pursuing a career change.

    A person that examines their present career choice and makes a carefully thought out decision to take a new path is to be admired for their pluck.

    I agree that many human resource departments have a tough time correlating experience in one career field with that of another. However there is bound to be a HR department that will take a chance on an individual with a good deal of real-life work experience under their belt.

    hgmjr
     
  7. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    If you are set on a career change then go for it. One point to make is that you really need to think about were you want to be in 10-15 years time. I know people who have successfully retrained to be engineers who are older than yourself. Ask yourself the question: do you want to work in industry, if so a PhD is not really a good route and will serve as little benefit long-term particularly given your age, or do you want an academic career, if so then a PhD is more likely a necessity.

    Once you answer this fundamental question, then you are on the right track. It is just a case of where do you want to go with your career. Another point is be realistic - for example don't undertake a PhD if you are not able to apply yourself to the type of work required.

    Dave
     
  8. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    Follow your dreams man!
    If you're one of the privileged few that can afford to study a career at that age then I say go for it!
    And forget about discrimination, your age will give you an edge over the younger students, since you'll be more focused and organized.
    But Dave is right, make sure you know what you want first before starting this adventure.

    Good luck
     
  9. BeeBop

    Member

    Apr 25, 2006
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    Sorry, hgmjr, I know
    I am just a tad bitter at my own choices, and at the 'back woods' way outfits in canada seem to hire people.

    I think Dave and cmartinez gave hope filled feedback, and appreciate that.
     
  10. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    I wouldn't feel down about it, at 30 years of age you still have typically 35 years of working life left - ok so maybe there is something to feel down about!

    For those considering PhD's have you considered a vocational (i.e. work based) Doctorate? You may wish to look at what is available in along these lines in your conutry, we have such qualifications in the UK.

    Dave
     
  11. johnstang

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 18, 2007
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    I live in the UK right now, but I have been accepted at Texas A&M University at College Station. Apparently, its got a good Engineering program - but I don't think its as good as others, like UT Austin. I didnt apply there because I didnt think I would get in. I also got accepted at North Carolina State University. Which place do you think is better to go to?
     
  12. RAH1379

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2005
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    i would say work where you are now(meaning the work of learning not your present job) and dont worry about your age, learning should be a lifelong process, especially in electronics which change quickly.
     
  13. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Can I ask, are you a British national? And do you intend plying your trade in the UK or the US?

    Dave
     
  14. johnstang

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 18, 2007
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    I am a British national, but my family (sister and mother) live in the USA. My sister is a US Citizen, my Mum recently moved there. So my future is in the USA/Canada.
     
  15. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Some food for thought: As a UK national, you will be eligible to study for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's Engineering Doctorate (EngD) qualification, which will allow you to gain your PhD research doctorate, along side working in a practical working environment for an engineering company. So you get the best of both world's, higher-level academic qualification and industry-based skills and experience. Check out the details at the EPSRC website.

    I cannot comment specifically about US educational institutions.

    Dave
     
  16. chesart1

    Senior Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    269
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    I received my BSEE when I was thirty years old. At that time I had seven years experience working as a electronic technician and had no problem finding a job.
     
  17. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    From my experience, I think you will find the 7 years experience would have had more of an impact on your ability to get a job than your BSEE. I have always said that the degree gets you the interview (it's a vetting procedure), in the interview they want to see work experience, intitiative, and someone they feel they can work with.

    In my postgrad days, I recall seeing people with 1st class EE degrees and PhD in an accompanying field and struggled to get jobs, just because they had no practical work experience.

    Dave
     
  18. tamilarasan01

    New Member

    Dec 6, 2008
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    33 age is not a prob.., carry on.., a t best
     
  19. jupoco

    New Member

    Dec 18, 2008
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    Pursue your dream
    30 years are not too late, it is just a time we know ourselve and enlarge knowledge
    you can still made another achievement in your forties
    plan yourself and hope you succeed
     
  20. bonkers

    Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    14
    0
    Hey man, don't feel bad about your age, actually your young. I am in my 50's, man, and i wish i had taken the leap in my 30's. I don't work professionaly as an electrical engineer, I don't even do that kind of work, it is more of a hobby for me. But, I wish i had pursued it when I was 30 or 35. One thing i do know, and you might want to check on it, since you obviously have the math knowledge, you might check the local electrical union halls, operating engineers for electricians. They hire, and they have apprentiship programs in electrical work, linemen and things like that. You could start with them and they provide the training, and work in this field has a very high need for electricians, pay is very good, check it out, Do it Now! Don't wait to long. And Good Luck!
     
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