Which Degree?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by nDever, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    Hey,

    I have a simple question but I believe that I need to tell a bit about myself. If you just want to read the question, just skip to the last paragraph.

    By nature, I was always observant of the world around me and I was a thinker. Although my quest in science began at an early age, Art was my first interest.

    During kindergarden, I could only be shown an image and sketch a copy almost exactly as the original. Later, though, I finally began to use my own imagination to sketch landscapes, house plans, characters I enjoyed watching on TV and more.

    I was also sensitive to sound. Music crawled into the deeper parts of my mind. I listened mainly to classical because I was exposed to it in my earlier years. I could feel and see the textures of notes. When I heard an orchestrated piece, an image of a landscape would enter my mind's eye. All of this was simply a magical experience for me at that age.

    Later, during my kindergarden year, I received the machine that first piqued my imagination in many areas at once, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. When I played (especially Super Mario games), I experienced a world within a world. The art, the music, the way that the environment would react to my actions; it was simply overwhelming. I didn't know what a microprocessor was at that time, nor was I interested in the engineering of the game system, but it opened my mind.

    The next year, during first grade, was when my pursuit in science began. That year, my parents bought our first computer. I certainly did not hesitate to began learning how to operate it. At first, I used the computer only to play games on but when I installed educational software on it and later learned to use the internet, there was no stopping me. I learned anything that interested me, from the solar system to the human body to the biographies of important people in history. I could not only recall all of this information verbatim to someone else, but I understood it.

    Skipping ahead to sixth grade, by this time, nobody understood anything I was saying. I was always alone. I was the odd guy out. In the seventh and eighth grade, I finally found the curiosity to disassemble some of the machines that made me think in my earlier years, my old Nintendo Entertainment System, computers, clocks, CD players, cell phones, anything digital that I could find. I collected the circuit boards and often, I would take them to school with me. I could tell you quite a bit about computers. I became interested in physics and calculus and I even took a glimpse of the crux of modern theoretical physics, string theory.

    Association at school only worsted in high school, but I kept going. I taught myself computer programming in C++ and I started to learn about the architecture of digital systems; logic gates, sequential and combinational.

    I have always thought of what I wanted to do in my life. I knew that I didn't want to do a small thing. I have always enjoying finding creative ways to apply science. Put simply, I believe that I want to create.

    I want to build electronic devices under my own brand and to become a corporation such as Sony. I have ideas that I would like to bring forth to the world. Now that I am at that point of going to college, I am not sure of what degree that I would need in order to market my ideas. Perhaps you guys can give some advice and/or guidance.
     
  2. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    Hi, nDever.

    It sounds like you would make a fine engineer (or physicist or any other technical endeavour). Unfortunately, being a good technical person rarely (IMHO) translates into the business savvy that results in the really big bucks!

    You have experienced the loneliness of having more interest in things and processes than in people. I can relate. Unfortunately, the separation between you and your peers will likely only get larger over time, not smaller. Especially if you continue your technical endeavours. This is something will will need to come to terms with eventually, and you will need to accept it or it will drive you nuts in the end.

    Bill Gates is not a genius, or even an exceptional computer programmer. He is a ruthless and smart business person with a personality that invites others to follow him along for the ride. Technical people tend to push others away, not draw them in.

    My suggestion to you is: do what you love! You will find much more fulfillment in the process of doing things than in the end result. And, if you are as good as I think you are, the money will follow, just maybe not as much as you dream of.

    BTW my mom was a concert pianist. She played in Carnegie Hall when she was 16 years old. Unfortunately, I never grew to appreciate music the way you do, and many times today, I wish I did.

    Good luck to you.
     
    absf likes this.
  3. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    Most engineers and scientists want to create -- and this creativity takes a variety of forms. You'll also find that as you grow older that other endeavors in the work world also require creativity (e.g., managing people and processes).

    If you want to create electrical things, then the traditional path is to study electrical engineering. If you want to be in control of your own destiny by starting your own company, then you'll also have to get some business knowledge; this is often done by engineers by getting an MBA, but you certainly could combine business study with engineering as an undergraduate.

    Also, critically importantly, if you're going to start a business, you need to learn about marketing and sales. This is often shunned or overlooked by engineers, but it limits them later in career moves. The best time to learn something about it is to take some college courses. In fact, the key three tasks of a business are: product development, manufacturing, and marketing/sales. Fail in any one of them and the business fails.

    You'll also likely want to get experience working for other people. This teaches you lessons that simply aren't learned in school -- in fact, you'll do much more learning on the job than you will in school. School is primarily a vehicle to teach you to teach yourself. OK, well it also gives you the rudimentary skills to begin a career. However, the newbie fresh from school is low man on the totem pole and needs to learn practical experience under the mentorship of an experienced person. A key is to pick the right mentor. This means finding out who would make the best mentor for you. They'll teach you the inside secrets and teach you people skills you need to survive. Don't forget the people skills -- they're the most important because you can't survive without the help of others. Read and master Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People". Looking back on my career, I'd say that's probably the most important single thing to learn about -- and many of my friends who were my peers (both as an engineer and in management) would agree.

    Go find some successful people and interview them. Find out what made them successful and what secrets they're willing to give you. But you'd better prepare carefully for these interviews -- don't waste the time of the people you're talking to.
     
  4. edgetrigger

    Member

    Dec 19, 2010
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    You have projected that you are brainy, so at least you should know that degree is not a prerequisite for building a dream brand. Entrepreneurship is not taught or awarded or bestowed it is an intrinsic attribute. Bachelors/ Masters/ Doctorate in electronics or whatever field you like will help you to hone your technical skills and quintessentially help you secure a job in case of a failed venture.


    Management degree may be a second option for getting a job but is of little use if you are venturing on your own [ I am not making a blind statement you please recall that a herd of MBA’s and management gurus could not save Lehaman Brothers]


    BTW I am open for a partnership and investment if you have a sensible business idea!
     
  5. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    Oh my! So that is where I went wrong. I read this instead!

    I do agree with everything else you wrote, BTW.
     
  6. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    So, basically, there is no tony stark.

    I agree to the T. I have long envisioned myself one day working for a company that I created. Not in the high rise office, but in the lab; let someone who is comfortable in an armchair sit up there and call the shots - so long as I sign off on the big stuff. I just maintain 51% of the company and do my own thing; not to be bothered with managing people or advertising. This would require a lot of faith in someone though; a big leap for me. probably a recipe for disaster.
     
  7. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    Actually...I did this! Exactly as you described (well, I'm a 50% partner, not 51%). I have a small engineering/manufacturing company that I started 10 years ago. I sit in my office, and invent things. My partner takes care of the manufacturing/business/marketing side of the business. If you can find the right partner, I *highly* recommend it.
     
  8. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
    154
    4
    Thank you for your compliments and advice. I will certainly recall it from time to time.

    By the way, I find it interesting that your mother played at Carnegie Hall. Never feel that you are disconnected or cannot appreciate music on a deeper level. Sometimes, we just need to analyze music in a different sense. Just as phonemes can be solidified into letters, which form words, which form sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and stories, such also is vibration, sound, phrases, and songs. It is all the same matter, just a different form.

    Thank you for your advice and the book recommendation, I will immediately get a copy and read through it. I do not have any doubts about being well informed about business mechanics. I do need a mentor and work experience.

    I have a question regarding colleges, though. If I follow your advise regarding the undergraduate study, would I need to double major in both engineering and business or have a major or a minor in either?

    I have questions regarding your reply, edgetrigger. Are people likely to take others more seriously in the business world with a formal education some sort? If I don't acquire a degree, will retailers be less willing to sell my product in their stores? I greatly thank you for your offer, however, I believe I will need just a little more time before my project is complete. Also I believe it would be better if I acquired some business knowledge first before going into partnership or accepting investments.
     
  9. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    I had a dream and a goal,I wanted to go from the a/c In the car to the
    a/c Into my business .Then go home to my a/c at home.
    If you set your goals they will happen.
     
  10. edgetrigger

    Member

    Dec 19, 2010
    133
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    Importance of degree is not negotiable, any amount of money are business success can’t replace the joy of earning a degree. I have earned it in a hard way and I know the importance of it. You can venture into business any time but not easy to go to college at a later stage. Its better you take up some part time job and simultaneously complete your graduation.

    Retailers are interested in products which keeps their cash register ringing, they are least interested in the promoters educational qualification.


     
  11. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    Job's are tied to education,when a job title Is written,the
    education needed Is written Into the application.No degree
    no job.There are state boards of education that write these
    rules.
     
  12. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    Loosewire, there are former NASA people with Master's Degrees looking for work. Those older than 45 haven't been called in for interviews ... according to CBS News.
     
  13. KatieL

    New Member

    Jul 2, 2011
    1
    0
    I got a degree in Biochemistry, determined to cure cancer and become a doctor and then realized I passed out at the sight of blood. Then I went to law school and got a JD, determined to patent the coolest stuff in the world and discovered I wanted to be an engineer to do that. So here I am, starting degree number three in Electrical Engineering to achieve my dream.

    Not that I advocate going through all that but I'm sure that all my education along the way will be nothing but helpful to my final goals of patent law/invention. I'm not sure if that was helpful but Electrical Engineering and law school is a really nice combo for the business & science knowledge combined.
     
  14. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    When I got my present job, I was told in the second interview that the company was looking for someone just like me; young, motivated, a good candidate to stay with the company for the long haul. I guess their rationale is that if you are 45 years old, the longest you are going to stick around is 5-15 years. It sucks; there is a lot of experience out there stagnating. Sometimes I wish companies didn't make cold calculated decisions like that. That's only one of many gripes I have with the direction companies are taking in their hiring process.
     
  15. plankieee

    New Member

    Jul 9, 2011
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    Electrical Engineering will give you the most intensive Mathematics background short of any other major, except Quantum Physics. (the degree in Quantum Physics I believe is only awarded – again I suspect on the PhD level)


    As for MBA; and above …” Financial Engineering there are alias for this field“, I only found one college course outline leading to a PhD “Financial Engineering” in Business or online quite some time ago. The PhD in “Business Administration” did not get the course work for Partial Differential Equations until the last semester, applied to Black-Scholes Model. You will be apply it after your Bachelor Degree in EE; to give you idea of the difference.


    Ralph Wagner, a guru like Warren Buffet, received his BSEE degree from MIT; he founded the mutual fund Acorn; then the Acorn Funds, which he sold probably 15 years ago. He did not go into engineering design.


    If you do pursue a Electrical Engineering Degree. I would strongly suggest buy two books a) Engineering In Training Review Guide, This condenses all the Engineering Core Courses b) Professional Electrical Engineering Review Guide, in addition to the answer books. This is for several reasons 1) condenses the course work into about a six or seven inches of stack of paper. 2) Good Reference Book at least for Electrical Engineering, 3) The percentage of Engineers who pass both the EIT and PE (electrical) is about 30%; the success rate for repeated attempts at taking either test is very poor << 10% pass on second or more attempts ( I did not save the source of this information; but it was either of the two link provided below). Note, this 30% pass rate (combined of two tests, EIT and PE). Note not all degreed EE take these examinations, it is not required for a lot of positions. – I have not seen statistics on the number of degreed EE's and the number of Professional Electrical Engineers. Unfortunately, the PE test could not be attempted until one year of design experience has been accomplished. Three to Five P.E. References are required. this might have change; although I doubt it, consult your State Board of Engineers for Requirements. Also … Look at occupations … under USA Jobs … for General Engineer/Professional Engineer in the requirements. The PE license is valued, and is distinct.


    http://www.pels.ca.gov/applicants/exam_statistics.shtml
    The statistics about repeating the exams I vaguely remember coming from NCEES publication.
    http://www.ncees.org/


    As for diversity, of where you can go with an EE degree …. Consult IEEE organizations/chapters
    Also, consult Quantitative Analysis, and Operational Research.


    http://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/journmag/journals_magazines.html


    I doubt any other degree has this diversity applicable to other fields.


    A reporter asked (it was either ) Thomas Edison or Henry Ford which was more important to his success; a) Hard work b) Brains, c) Capital (money) …. his reply was which leg of a three legged stool is the most important.


    Very few door will be closed to you with an Electrical/Control/Computer Degree... it will leave maximum number of “doors open”; which I can not say for majority of other degrees.
     
  16. plankieee

    New Member

    Jul 9, 2011
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    Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

    1. The Road Not Taken


    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same, 10

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference. 20
     
  17. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,298
    6,810
    OMG! I haven't seen that book since I found it in the front seat of my boss's car in June, 1976!!!
    I was merely puzzled about why his management style was so much like my sister...until I found that book.
    He was trying to intimidate micro-switches from glitching when dropped on concrete and it wasn't working. :rolleyes::D LOL!

    Thanks for the memories. :p
     
  18. plankieee

    New Member

    Jul 9, 2011
    0
    0
  19. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Guys, this thread is from 2011 :eek:

    (Mainly talking to plankieee here, he's the one who resurrected it with a completely unrelated post)
     
  20. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,298
    6,810
    He got me! :(
     
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