New EET grad seeking advice/help

Discussion in 'Career Advising' started by Kram724, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Kram724

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 30, 2014
    Hello all,

    I'm new to the forum and I'm graduating in May with an Electronics Engineering Technology degree. I have some questions that I can't get the answers to at school.

    1. Are there certain industries or companies where I should focus my job searches in order to have the best chance to find a good job?

    2. What extra skills should I concentrate on outside of school i.e. soldering, computer languages/programming etc.?

    I'm currently living in MD but willing to move. I'm 41 years old so I'm not the typical graduate and I have plenty of experience working with tools and my hands.

    I'm trying to find out from those of you with experience what you would do if you were in my shoes. Any advice or insight would be great.

  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    What industry/company do YOU want to work for? What do YOU enjoy?
    Do you just want a "job" or a "career"?
    What skills YOU should focus on are dependent on what industry/company you might work for..
  3. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
    what was your focus in school? communications? IT? consumer electronics?
  4. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    I'm an EET myself. Originally my idea of a career was circuit and PCB design and manufacturing, but that's a hit or miss whether there are jobs available for that sort of work. However, people are always looking for programmers. A few years ago I started putting my focus into software rather than hardware and got a job almost immediately as a software developer with ADP. It's not the best example--it's only temporary at this point--but I'm in my second round and am really enjoying it. With luck when a permanent position pops up, I'll be at the top of their list.

    Anyway, if you feel comfortable with hardware, I'd say you'd do well focusing on software for a bit, familiarize yourself with several languages (but only one at a time), especially object-oriented programming languages. There is a high demand for C++ and Java developers these days, so I highly recommend learning one or the other, and eventually probably both.

    IT is another good one that's highly sought after. You're bound to get a job in either hardware, software, or IT.

    That's my recommendation anyway. I wish you the very best of luck!
  5. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
    it kind of depends on if you want to relocate, or if anything interestng in your area. hefre in Wichita,Ks. there arent very many ee type jobs. the aircraft industry has been shedding engineers for 5 years, and others such as KSN engineering have folded up completely.
  6. Kram724

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 30, 2014
    Thanks for the replies. As far as a focus in school, there wasn't one as far as I could tell. The courses for my EET degree ranged from basic-advanced electronics to C++programming with no clear concentration in one area. I also had some communications electronics courses.

    My goal is to have a career as opposed to just a job and I feel that I would prefer hardware to software, but I have been considering a potential opportunity in testing (either SW or HW). My preference would be to be doing actual engineering as opposed to sitting behind a computer but I also need an income so I'm open to anything. I do find that I am enjoying programming but I still think that I prefer circuits.

    I was required to take some C++ for my degree but I went beyond the req. and took all of the C++ courses that were available (3 years worth). I plan on working on learning Java on my own outside of school. I'm also considering getting soldering certifications but there is a considerable cost.

    I'm trying to decide if there are enough available positions in engineering or if I should pursue the potential opportunity I have in software or hardware testing.

  7. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    We all want a career and companies want us to have jobs. It is an ongoing struggle of what the company says when recruiting vs. how they treat you. A modern company wants your job so well defined that they can replace you tomorrow if you get hit by a beer truck or if they simply don't like you. Career development is up to you, apply for internal and external jobs and do something different every two to four years. Nobody is preordained to become CEO.
  8. Gibson486


    Jul 20, 2012
    Depends what you want to do. I can tell you from experience that it is easier to break into software, than hardware. That said, hardware people are hearder to find.... You should do what makes you happy. Just because you get a software job does not mean you cannot do hardware later on, but it is a pretty tough transition if you do not focus on the lower level software.
  9. ronv

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
    I don't know what you like to do. For myself I preferred to fix things over initial design. I spent most of my time in management in what we called product engineering, which was follow on support of existing products. Most people liked new design, but I liked fixing their mistakes. As a pre retirement job I did failure analysis for a disk drive company. That was really fun - hardware, firmware and statistics. There are often jobs there as with super high volumes it becomes very important to catch problems early on.
  10. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Why pigeonhole yourself into one area, hardware or software?
    Why not do both and get the best of both worlds.

    You may want to narrow your interests a bit:

    1) Design
    2) Repair
    3) Test & Calibration
    4) Construction & assembly
    5) Field installation & servicing