BSEE degree vs BSE w/ EE concentration

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
7,983
Making a judgment based on a nuclear power company doesn't seem fair, given that Geneva doesn't offer a BSE degree with a concentration in nuclear engineering. Since they don't, I wouldn't expect a nuclear power company to hire many engineers graduated from Geneva.

If I get a BSE at a school like Geneva, I might be able to get a job that would pay for me to get an MSEE, and then I would have a degree in EE.
It does seem fair since Geneva claimed that students are working at Westinghouse as an example of companies that hire Geneva graduates. All former divisions of Westinghouse are now defunct or operating under other names. CBS / Viacom owns the Westinghouse brand name and the TVs and appliances you see at Walmart with the Westinghouse name is really several different Chinese companies paying CBS to use the Westinghouse brand name. Even Westinghouse Nuclear Power (owned by Toshiba) is paying CBS a licensing fee

So, in short, the record-keeping jobs at Westinghouse Nuclear Power are the jobs that Geneva College is bragging about. Notice, the Geneva website never claims those alumni are working as engineers.
 

Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
649
I really don't like swimming in the politics of what name of engineering school is the best to have on your diploma, so I'm putting my rather mediocre educational plan out for public view.

I'm planning on moving from California to Kansas and attending Washburn University in Topeka. Washburn is one of those "Brand X - No Name" institutions, however it is fully accredited. A BS degree in engineering will land you an upper middle class job and the cost of living in that region is low so you can live like a king to boot.

I realize I'm one of the few that is willing to take such a non-glamorous approach, however my idea for happiness in a career is more of a quality of life issue than a status symbol. :)
 
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WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,695
Making a judgment based on a nuclear power company doesn't seem fair, given that Geneva doesn't offer a BSE degree with a concentration in nuclear engineering. Since they don't, I wouldn't expect a nuclear power company to hire many engineers graduated from Geneva.

If I get a BSE at a school like Geneva, I might be able to get a job that would pay for me to get an MSEE, and then I would have a degree in EE.
But if your goal is a degree in EE, then why not go somewhere and get a degree in EE to begin with? Especially given the rather high tuition expenses at Geneva.
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
7,983
I really don't like swimming in the politics of what name of engineering school is the best to have on your diploma, so I'm putting my rather mediocre educational plan out for public view.

I'm planning on moving from California to Kansas and attending Washburn University in Topeka. Washburn is one of those "Brand X - No Name" institutions, however it is fully accredited. A BS degree in engineering will land you an upper middle class job and the cost of living in that region is low so you can live like a king to boot.

I realize I'm one of the few that is willing to take such a non-glamorous approach, however my idea for happiness in a career is more of a quality of life issue than a status symbol. :)
My best advice is to check the placement / careers office and find out which companies are recruiting at that school and which of those companies are actively hiring from each school. Finally, contact alumni and see what type of jobs they get in those companies. Then confirm that the examples you found are not one-off flukes but a consistent trend.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
4,510
Most big companies look for the big schools (PIT, Penn State, Rutgers, UPenn). Regional companies usually hire people out of the small regional schools. I live near Geneva and several of my sons' classmates are there.

My company will not hire anyone from there unless they have experience and, if hired, they would likely work in operations/manufacturing or, possibly, tech service their whole career. No chance to move to the design engineering/technical marketing/business mgmt.

It is just too expensive to maintain recruiting relationships with small schools. Out HQ doesn't know anything about them.

It really depends what you want to do (big/small companies, and manufacturing vs design/development vs ...)
A few of the very best hires we did actually came from schools like Toledo University here in Ohio. One of the better engineers I had the pleasure of working with for the last 20 years at my company graduated from CSU (Cleveland State University). Here is some irony. I remember when this engineer and his wife had their first child. Well come the day when this child was ready to start college. Dan was looking at all the big schools like OSU, Penn State and the list goes on including MIT. One day over lunch I reminded him of his humble roots and pointed out that Blake one of our best hires was out of Toledo University. Due to the nature of my early work my own education was a hodge podge of schools, heck I wouldn't have hired me. :)

I tried my very best to avoid having anything to do with hiring and that especially held true for when it came time to hire my own replacement. When it did suck me in and there was no escape I looked at the GPA and wanted transcripts but my main concern was could this person learn a very unique one of a kind product? I could have cared less what school they graduated from. I wasn't hiring a university I was looking to hire an individual. Because the product was unique I wasn't all that concerned with experience as I was with feeling the person would be a good fit and could learn the product.

Had I not been where I was doing what I was doing and hiring for what we did I likely would have looked at things differently.

Just My Take
Ron
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
7,983
A few of the very best hires we did actually came from schools like Toledo University here in Ohio. One of the better engineers I had the pleasure of working with for the last 20 years at my company graduated from CSU (Cleveland State University). Here is some irony. I remember when this engineer and his wife had their first child. Well come the day when this child was ready to start college. Dan was looking at all the big schools like OSU, Penn State and the list goes on including MIT. One day over lunch I reminded him of his humble roots and pointed out that Blake one of our best hires was out of Toledo University. Due to the nature of my early work my own education was a hodge podge of schools, heck I wouldn't have hired me. :)

I tried my very best to avoid having anything to do with hiring and that especially held true for when it came time to hire my own replacement. When it did suck me in and there was no escape I looked at the GPA and wanted transcripts but my main concern was could this person learn a very unique one of a kind product? I could have cared less what school they graduated from. I wasn't hiring a university I was looking to hire an individual. Because the product was unique I wasn't all that concerned with experience as I was with feeling the person would be a good fit and could learn the product.

Had I not been where I was doing what I was doing and hiring for what we did I likely would have looked at things differently.

Just My Take
Ron
I wasn't saying it was right that big companies look for the big engineering schools. It seems to be a matter of efficiency. Establish a relationship, visit the school, make a company pitch to > 50 graduating seniors, interview the best looking resumes of those 50 on one trip. My son went to UAkron his first two years on my encouragement (Akron actually attracts a good selection of big companies in the area). He eventually transferred because he noticed the difference in the caliber of students vs other schools when he visited friends at PennState, Pitt and OSU.

In any case, I too hired someone from Cleveland State but, as said above, he had the requisite previous experience after graduation.

Small and mid-size companies usually know the small schools on the region and can do a good job separating the wheat from the chaff as you did. And, as I said above, the recent research shows that caliber of school attended doesn't indicate success, the caliber of the best school that accepted the student is the better indicator.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,695
Big employers are in a position to play the numbers game. If they are going to hire dozens of engineers in a given year and they get hundreds of resumes for each position, then they can adopt a two prong approach. Put strict guidelines on new grads such as a 3.8 GPA from a select list of schools. That will narrow the list of candidates to something manageable. They know that they are losing out on many good candidates because of their arbitrary guidelines, but they don't care. They have to narrow the list to something manageable and any of those good candidates that didn't make the list and still want to work there will apply a few years later after they have some work experience behind them. At that point, the company may well not even look at their GPA or what school they went to because they have a better metric to work with. On top of that, a company that hires lots of engineers will usually have some kind of formal training program and can afford to make some bad hiring decisions and rely on the probationary training period to weed them out.

Small companies are in a very different situation because they may hire one or two engineers a year and need them to become productive almost immediately with minimal OJT. They can't afford to make very many bad hiring decisions and they seldom have the visibility looking forward far enough to go recruiting in the fall for new hires that will start at the end of the spring. Nor do they often have a lot of time to take engineers off of projects to go recruiting. So they frequently focus on local schools and develop a relationship with the departments who then recommend specific students. That's the mode we were in and it's one of the reasons that my boss was so accommodating of me teaching at the local university -- I got very good insight into the abilities of the students we might want to hire. What we were looking for wasn't a good GPA, but merely a very good grasp on the fundamentals -- and we found it hard to find students, regardless of GPA, that had that.
 
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