Need advice for soon to be Graduate of EET(Associate's)

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by chiman777, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. chiman777

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 26, 2013
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    I believe this is the right forum for this. This spring, God willing, I will graduate with my associate's in electrical engineering technology. Right now, I am looking to go into the job market and seeing what's out there. My main question is with this degree, what would be the most important concepts and things to know off-hand in general that most companies would be looking for in a recent graduate with an associate's degree? Or what might give you a leg up compared to other candidates applying for the same job, in general.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  2. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
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    Obviously I can't say what all companies look for, but the one I retired from looked for a solid understanding of the basic concepts of electronics. Understand ohms law and how it is applied, series and parallel resistors/capacitors, diodes, transistors, logic functions, etc. If given a technical interview and don't know something, say you don't know, but ask what the answer is. That will show the interview that you are willing to learn. When I was conducting the interviews, I always took the applicant to a point he/she didn't know something. The way they responded was important. When they tried to baffle with BS, I knew that they were not the type our company wanted.
     
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  3. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    This probably doesn't apply to a newgrad, but my resume shows the wide array of things I have worked on. Broad background knowledge. One job simply says, Laser maintenance start-up company. Broke even in 90 days. Now, that's impressive!
     
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  4. Duane P Wetick

    Active Member

    Apr 23, 2009
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    Go get that B.S.E.E and then that M.S.E.E. This will give you the best chance of getting steady employment overseas.

    Cheers, DPW [ Everything has limitations...and I hate limitations.]
     
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  5. BReeves

    Member

    Nov 24, 2012
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    Best advice I can give you is stay out of electronics, become an electrician and after you get enough training start your own company. This is from a 68 year old that spent my life in electronics and wished I had taken this advice when I was 19.
     
  6. bug13

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2012
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    Sorry to jump in, but why would you say that? I thought the OP might want to know why as well?
     
  7. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
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    Strange that the title of electrician would come up. After my hitch in the Navy, I had several applications in. Got a call from a major aircraft manufacturer to come in for an interview for a maintenance electrician position. I told the personnel guy I was applying for an electronic position and wasn't sure I wanted to change light bulbs for the rest of my life. I was told the title was maintenance electrician, but the guy doing the interviews had screened specifically for electronic backgrounds. The interview was 90% electronic questions and 5% base electrical (how do you reverse a 3 phase motor, how do you connect for 220 or 440 volts?) The other 5% were about how I could have just turned 21 and come out of the Navy E5, etc. I took the job, worked 10 years as a maintenance electrician specializing in NC (now called CNC) repair. After 10 years, moved into management and after 5 rungs up that ladder, retired with 32 years of service with the company. BTW, I did get my Bachelors Degree AFTER I retired!
    Don't be afraid of the job title. It is what the job is that should be the deciding factor.
     
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  8. BReeves

    Member

    Nov 24, 2012
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    $$$ The electricians I know that ended up owning their own business are living in big houses and driving Vets, I have a higher education and driving a 2005 Minivan.

    Technicians seem to be a dime a dozen, even working for Motorola as a service center manager I wasn't really making the big bucks. Good living and always had a job but never made any real money.
     
  9. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Electronics is rough. In silicon valley, most companies now do their hiring from Chinese citizens here on B1 visas because they work for half what American engineers get. The push is to get everything offshore to go cheap. Quality is no longer even a consideration. It's definitely not like it was 30 years ago when I started in the business.
     
  10. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    A guy I worked with took his tests and became an electrian back around 1990 and he did make good money at it. Problem is it's tied to the housing industry which goes up and down like a roller coaster.
     
  11. bug13

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2012
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    sorry to jump in again, I heard that someone who sales the equipment make more than the one who install it, the one who install it make more than the one who design it, is it true?
     
  12. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    depends, I don't think that is universally true. IC designers here in Silicon Valley are (or were) very highly paid. When I got dumped in 2008, an experienced designer was probably making $150k/year ballpark.
     
  13. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Personally, I agree with Duane. EET is one of those tricky ones. Most companies look for degrees in EE, not EET. I studied EET in college and wished I'd done EE. Your best bet is to go get a Bachelor's and/or Master's. A lot of companies will probably turn down an EET with just an Associate's.

    This is just my opinion, and it was gathered from personal experience.

    I wish you the best of luck!
    Regards,
    Matt
     
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  14. JMac3108

    Active Member

    Aug 16, 2010
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    I've hired or participated in hiring decisions for many technicians, and worked with a lot more. What I found over many years in this business is that a good attitude and willingness to be productive, organized, and learn new things means a lot more than technical knowledge.

    I'm surprised to hear so much negativity about the electronics field. In my experience, the market has been improving steadily over the last few years. I've seen my share of jobs sent to Asia, but I've also seen plenty of good jobs in the US. I hope the OP won't be discouraged by what he's heard. In my opinion the market is not bad, and getting better. Good luck and get a job!

    And if you get a technicians job with your AS degree, and you find that you like the electronics field, consider going back to school at night and get your BS degree. Former technicians often make the best engineers!

    Good luck.
     
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  15. Amra

    New Member

    Feb 21, 2013
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    Sounds like you were in electronics for the wrong reasons. I entered the field because I love electronics, the income was barely a concern. Id rather be making 35k per year doing electronics than 70k a year doing something I hate. There is something to be said for loving your job.

    If you want to make money, there are countless other professions that are less demanding and pay quite well, from welding to carpentry, and as a bonus don't require near as much educational debt.

    To the OP, assuming you go to a decent college, see if they have a program or administrator who helps find jobs for graduates, there are often intern programs available to students of these schools for local companies that offer a good deal of real world experience and assuming you are a good employee, a future job. Graduates of our EET program often ended up getting internships for places like the FAA or Haliburton.

    I agree with some of the earlier posters, make sure you know the basics, there is a *lot* of specialization in the electronics field, employers know this and wont expect you to know motor control systems if you specialize in amplifiers and small signal manipulation. If you don't know, tell them, but either ask for the answer or tell them you can have the answer for them in an hour, these types of answers show either a willingness to learn or a willingness to do the research necessary to find an answer. Honesty goes a long way.

    Good luck!
     
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  16. BReeves

    Member

    Nov 24, 2012
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    Not exactly, I entered Electronics for the same reasons you did, built my first electric motor when I was 10 and discovered one could hook up a toy telephone and dial out by taping the hook switch when I was 11. Fixed my first radio at 13 and was repairing radios and record players for the neighbors at 14. Passed the FCC first class radiotelephone test and received my license when I was still in high school. Joined the Navy and became an AT. As you can see, electronics has been my life for as long as I can remember. I was good at it, promotions came quickly wherever I worked from Hughes Aircraft to Motorola C&E but it never really paid all that well. When I left the corporate world 20 some years ago to start my own business the best I ever did was 40K. I could continue onto how difficult it is to charge for what one is really worth in the electronics industry but think you get the picture.

    I then see my two friends with just above high school educations that own their own electrical companies and wonder. They are not any smarter or business savvy than me, only conclusion I can come to is I picked the wrong industry. Electronics is fun but electricians make more money.
     
  17. harry99932

    Member

    Dec 30, 2010
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    I cant offer to much advice as im still fairly young in my career:D But in my experience electronics is going the same way injection moulding did. I attended several interviews recently for electronics design engineers in the uk. 2 Preferably wanted degrees and experience and not one of the positions offered over 25k a year. I accepted a maintenance engineers role on 34k and so far there's been nothing more in depth than ladder logic on plc's;)

    If electronics is were you want to be and happiness is the greatest thing for you then stick with, there is money to be had but generally at the higher levels in specialist areas (like control systems for refining platinum at high altitudes:p) and fpga engineers still seem to get paid well but in general ppm's and changing plc modules seems to pay much better and its a much easier life!
     
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  18. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I remember one guy we interviewed some years back. He had worked as a technician for a number of years with an AA degree in electronics. He quit his technician job to go back to school and get his EE degree because he "wanted to be an engineer". So he went from an experienced technician to a completely unemployable engineeer with no experience who couldn't get hired anywhere. I remember the guy to this day because he started crying during the interview and said he would take a technician job or anything he just needed work.

    Moral: getting higher degrees may not always be an advantage, depends where you are.

    Moral 2: electronics is a cruel business.
     
  19. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I notice you are in Arizona, which is one of several places that tech jobs from silicon valley have migrated over the years so companies can force salaries down. National Semi had a design center in Tucson where cost of living is cheaper than San Jose. If you are in one of the areas jobs are going to, the electronics field may be expanding. Out here, it's drying up.
     
  20. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Problem is that work, by definition, is rarely fun..... it's work and that's why they pay you for it. Choosing electronics as your profession probably means that over time, your "passion" turns into something you have to do for money..... be prepared to deal with that. It's a lot like the gradual transition that happens from the first day you meet the love of your life, then you get married and then transition into the drag that is marriage.
     
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