Prerequisite education for Electronic Engineering Technology diploma program

Discussion in 'Career Advising' started by Signboy, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. Signboy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 10, 2016
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    This is a backwards homework question. I'm starting an electronics engineering technology diploma program in the fall, and it's been quite a few years since I have been in school (I'm 40 now).
    I'm stressing out about the prerequisites - some of them are just silly, like "biology or chemistry", and I get it that they just want you to have taken some sciences. Physics and precalculus on the other hand, are "strongly recommended". I took physics 23 years ago, and I'm going to need some brushing up.

    What should I study to realistically be on a good footing for this course? I have no idea which topics students are expected to be well versed in, and I can't just... learn all of physics in a month. Through forum searches and such, I'm starting to see that most people learned a bit about electronics in physics, although the class I took as a kid didn't even touch on the subject.

    If it's a case where they just want students to have had some previous exposure to the concepts of electronics, I think I'll be fine. I've been dabbling as a hobby for a few years now, and have a good understanding of all the Ohm's law permutations, transistor biasing, etc. Just enough to mess with some guitar/audio projects.
    On the other hand, maybe they expect students to know stuff that I've never even heard of.

    TL;DR - I'm *not* fresh out of high school, and want to know what is essential to learn before I start an EET diploma program.
     
  2. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    I wouldn't worry about it. You'll know within three weeks if your preparation is suitable. Even if it isn't you'll just have to work harder, but if that is the case you must do it immediately. Once you fall behind catching up be comes progressively harder. If I read what you wrote it sounds like a two year program. Is that correct?
     
  3. Signboy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 10, 2016
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    Yeah, it's a 2 year program. I guess the thing is that I feel like I'll do fine, but it seems unrealistic to expect a geekish adulthood to make up for recent physics & math classes. I've started going through the math at Khan Academy, starting with trig (mostly just refresher), as well as the education section on this site, which is freaking fantastic, BTW.
     
  4. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    You're working with a state of incomplete information. You fear the worst, but hope for the best. See if you can make an appointment with one of your future professors and ask him what you need to know. That would be the MOST efficient use of your time. Alternatively go to the campus bookstore and purchase the textbooks you will be using. Scan through them for clues on how to prepare. This may be less efficient, but it avoids interpersonal contact if those skills are rusty. Remember that you have to be BOTH stupid and lazy to fail. If you are neither, then you have nothing to worry about.
     
  5. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    Don't they issue a précis or course outline of what is expected and to prepare for?o_O
    Max.
     
  6. Signboy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 10, 2016
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    not really, they just have a list of "what you will learn".
    [copied]
    What you will learn
    • Electronic Devices, Circuits, Signals, & Systems
    • Electromagnetics
    • Microprocessors
    • Communication Systems
    • Networking
    • Computer Programming
    • Biomedical
    • Calculus
    • Physics
    • Technical Reports
    • Technical Drawings
    • Work Safety, Public Safety, & the Environment
    • Codes and Standards
    • Project Management
    • Computer Tools & Technology
    • Quality Assurance
     
  7. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    At least it is over a two year period!
    But probably is going to involve burning the midnight oil, and dropping by here with the odd question.
    When I went through it, the WWW did not exist.!:(
    Max.
     
  8. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
    3,373
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    That's quite the syllabus. Each of those topics will have a syllabus as well.

    If you haven't taken a speed reading course, I would recommend it. You will be reading more and more after graduation.
     
  9. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    That is quite a list. It makes me wonder how much depth you will get on each of the areas.
     
  10. Signboy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 10, 2016
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    Yeah, I'm certainly not expecting to be a master of all things electronic out of a two year program. I'm guessing it'll be enough of a foundation that some on-the-job training for specific equipment can fill in the niche-specific details, though. Besides, I'm currently only certified to pick things up & put them down, which is getting pretty tiresome at 40.
     
  11. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    When I look at your course outline, I don't see a lot of inter-relationships. Calculus is just need to the basic understading of derivatives and integrals. Physics is a way of understanding electromagnetics. Before delving in, make sure you have a basic understanding of algeba and trig. At least know what integration and differentiation is.

    I suspect a fair bit will be placed on CAD and report writing and presentations.

    Project management could involve gant charts or aspects of human relations. Nothing to sweat about.

    The Internet didn't exist when I got an AAS in Electronics technology with a 4.0 GPA. It's a game, so learn how to play. i managed to be a ghost in two classes. ironically, College reading and study skills was my LAST class. I also did pull off a 4 year engineering degree very weirdly. I graduated during a leave of abcense.
     
  12. Signboy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 10, 2016
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    Thanks for that! I've been through a bit on derivatives & integrals, now I'll dig deeper into differentiation & electromagnetics. At least I have something to throw nervous energy at.
     
  13. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    One other hint: Learning is based on three things: 1) Visual, Verbal and 3) Kinestetic. the latter being how you may learn to ride a bike or repetition. I'm the last one and it makes school tripple hard and I didn;t realize you had to be able to do the math problems without the book. Exploit the way you best learn.

    My final method was:
    a) Find a way out of the class.
    b) As I was reading, I wrote anticipated questions on one side of an index card and answers on the other.
    (Every waking hour, I would look at those cards). Memorizing by repetition.
    c) Don't be afraid to challenge if you know your right. I said your answer is wrong (privately) and teach said, your not supposed to know that yet. So, the tests were bases on info presented, not the correct info.

    We had 100 words to memorize spelling, definition and write in a sentence. They were given to us in advance, but not corrected. I used both the card trick and the info recorded. e.g. word. Pause. Spelling. pause. Definition. Pause. Sentence. Pause. And played it before bed. (Cassette tape).

    In math, do watch x's and y's. They are too easy to confuse. Scripting them makes it less confusing.
    Something like 3x-2y-1x=6x+5y can be done really easily.
    X: 3 -1 -6 or 4x
    Y: -2 -5 = -7 or -7x
    4x-7x=0

    No re-arranging non-sense, just an occaisional sign flip and scanning for coefficients.

    practice your penmanship for math.
     
    odm4286 likes this.
  14. odm4286

    Active Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    155
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    I agree with KeepItSimple, I'm in school for a EE degree but started out in EET. When it comes to math nothing sucks more than doing every step of a problem flawlessly and getting the wrong answer because your t's started to look like +. Or, my personal favorite, dropping a - sign midway through the problem for no reason. Anyway, I just finished chemistry last semester; It wasn't my favorite class but all of the sciences are connected. In chem you'll learn about valence electrons, covalent bonds, what actually makes a conductor a conductor, etc etc.

    If you go into the "unrelated" classes with an open mind you'll see how you can bridge them together to strengthen your engineering skills. I recently had a problem at work that involved a volume-mass relationship, wouldn't have known how to approach it if I didn't take chemistry. Also, just like you I'm not fresh out of school. I'm 29 and had to take EVERY math class over when I started this journey again o_O always try to make connections back to EE. It will help you deal with the "unnecessary" classes.

    P.S. try not to get annoyed with the people in your classes, just keep reminding yourself you were that young one time too ha
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  15. Signboy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 10, 2016
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    Ha! Yeah, the kids might just be the biggest challenge of the course. I finally got a hold of the program director to ask about what I should brush up on. He said they've had to include more topics every year as a way to make sure the high school graduates actually know how to do things like shuffle an algebra equation around, or write their names with an old-fashioned pencil.
     
  16. odm4286

    Active Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    155
    5
    I pulled up a command prompt in one of my classes. This 18yr old next to me looked at me completely confused, "WHAT is that?!?!?"
     
    Adarsh Roy likes this.
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