Career Options

Thread Starter

Stu-b1ng

Joined Mar 8, 2021
6
Hi, I'm wondering about career options in electronics. I took a class in analogue electronics and enjoyed that quite a bit but I'm not sure what jobs this would apply to. I've just graduated this year with a degree in electronics/computer science, so I haven't taken any of the electrical/power classes as part of that. If anyone could give any pointers about the type of jobs (looking at analogue electronics but open to other things as well) and what they would consist of I would be very grateful!
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,115
What area are you interested in, a general rule is that Industrial manufacturing is one of the most lucrative. at least what i found.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,871
Welcome to AAC!

There will always be good paying jobs for good analog EE's, but becoming a good one isn't easy. If you can, stay in school and get at least a masters degree. That's the minimum degree requirement for many large companies.

Electronics and computer science are a good combination because it opens you up to many areas.

Mediocre analog engineers are a dime a dozen. I met a guy that had a PhD in computer engineering who said he liked designing opamps. After talking to him for a few minutes, it turned out what he meant was that he could use them. There's a big difference in being able to design one and simply being able to use one.
 

Thread Starter

Stu-b1ng

Joined Mar 8, 2021
6
Thanks a lot for the responses! In terms of areas of interest if I'm being honest I'm not sure what the options would be but I was thinking about what the difference in jobs between designing PCBs or ICs would be. Thanks for the tip on getting a master's degree Dennis, I was thinking of doing an internship for a year and then I guess it would probably be a good idea to do this afterwards.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,871
I'm not sure what the options would be but I was thinking about what the difference in jobs between designing PCBs or ICs would be.
It depends on what you mean about designing PCBs or ICs. PCB or IC layout for either doesn't require an engineer and it's usually done by technicians. The engineer designs the circuits and draws schematics.

I worked for a microprocessor manufacturer and architects would define the microprocessor architecture. That would be broken into functional blocks that engineers would design circuits to implement and draw schematics. The schematics would be given to people (non-engineering degrees mainly) to convert to the actual circuit layout. They would usually use a combination of standard and custom cells to implement the circuit.

There used to be analog circuitry in the I/O portion of microprocessors, but at around 90 or 65nm, analog transistors were replaced with digital (limited Z/L combinations) so analog design devolved into using regular transistors, diodes, guard rings, and capacitors. Before that, analog sections used a larger variety of Z/L combinations to get the desired behavior.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
285
Thanks a lot for the responses! In terms of areas of interest if I'm being honest I'm not sure what the options would be but I was thinking about what the difference in jobs between designing PCBs or ICs would be. Thanks for the tip on getting a master's degree Dennis, I was thinking of doing an internship for a year and then I guess it would probably be a good idea to do this afterwards.
Internship? That's for people without degrees.
if you're in the US, get a job. Try it for two years. If you don't like it, you should be scoping out other career paths within and outside your company and ask to transfer to another role or switch companies. Repeat until you're reasonably happy or until you have so many loans (car, boat, mortgage, kids student loans, credit card...) that you can't risk moving again because your next boss might make you work even harder and spend more time in the office.
If it was easy, fun AND rewarding, they wouldn't have called it WORK.
Cheers.
 

Thread Starter

Stu-b1ng

Joined Mar 8, 2021
6
It depends on what you mean about designing PCBs or ICs. PCB or IC layout for either doesn't require an engineer and it's usually done by technicians. The engineer designs the circuits and draws schematics.

I worked for a microprocessor manufacturer and architects would define the microprocessor architecture. That would be broken into functional blocks that engineers would design circuits to implement and draw schematics. The schematics would be given to people (non-engineering degrees mainly) to convert to the actual circuit layout. They would usually use a combination of standard and custom cells to implement the circuit.

There used to be analog circuitry in the I/O portion of microprocessors, but at around 90 or 65nm, analog transistors were replaced with digital (limited Z/L combinations) so analog design devolved into using regular transistors, diodes, guard rings, and capacitors. Before that, analog sections used a larger variety of Z/L combinations to get the desired behavior.
Thanks a lot for the information, that's cleared some things up for me!
 

Thread Starter

Stu-b1ng

Joined Mar 8, 2021
6
Internship? That's for people without degrees.
if you're in the US, get a job. Try it for two years. If you don't like it, you should be scoping out other career paths within and outside your company and ask to transfer to another role or switch companies. Repeat until you're reasonably happy or until you have so many loans (car, boat, mortgage, kids student loans, credit card...) that you can't risk moving again because your next boss might make you work even harder and spend more time in the office.
If it was easy, fun AND rewarding, they wouldn't have called it WORK.
Cheers.
Ah, the idea I had behind doing an internship is to decide if that's a career that I would like to work in and if it is then I could take a masters in it. I don't really want to commit to a masters if it's something I find out I don't enjoy (for the effort and expense). I guess I could try and get a job now but I feel that with a masters it would make it at least easier for me to get accepted and give me some more knowledge.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
285
...but I feel that with a masters it would make it at least easier for me to get accepted and give me some more knowledge.
The exact opposite is true. If you've never had a job in EE and you walk in with your BS degree, then everyone expects you to make a mistake or not understand how some things work. Especially the technicians (no
EE degree), they are always amused (angry) when a young engineer walks in and doesn't know which way to turn a screwdriver, find a restroom or ship a package and they do. Especially when a first year EE is expected to do similar tasks as the mid- to high-level technicians but may get paid more than the technicians.

Now, imagine coming in with a Masters degree and getting even higher pay, and expected to know even more than a BS engineer - and still not knowing how to draw a PCB, select parts for a motor controller, design a circuit that doesn't fail an EMI test, or find the bathroom.

it sounds more like you are afraid to get your career started. Everyone has done it, everyone gets past the sarcastic technicians comments / hazing, and then you can get your employer to pay for your masters degree. Even if it is an MBA instead of a technical masters degree. Who knows, you may enjoy the business side more than the technical side after a year into the process. Get started now. Your career is like a new product development process. It's better to test snd fail early and try something different as soon as possible rather than trying to make a perfect product before any testing or before getting some feedback from potential customers. Get started, send your resume out and take any interview you can - practice makes perfect. You also get to learn about different types of jobs and companies as you interview. Get to it.
 

Thread Starter

Stu-b1ng

Joined Mar 8, 2021
6
The exact opposite is true. If you've never had a job in EE and you walk in with your BS degree, then everyone expects you to make a mistake or not understand how some things work. Especially the technicians (no
EE degree), they are always amused (angry) when a young engineer walks in and doesn't know which way to turn a screwdriver, find a restroom or ship a package and they do. Especially when a first year EE is expected to do similar tasks as the mid- to high-level technicians but may get paid more than the technicians.

Now, imagine coming in with a Masters degree and getting even higher pay, and expected to know even more than a BS engineer - and still not knowing how to draw a PCB, select parts for a motor controller, design a circuit that doesn't fail an EMI test, or find the bathroom.

it sounds more like you are afraid to get your career started. Everyone has done it, everyone gets past the sarcastic technicians comments / hazing, and then you can get your employer to pay for your masters degree. Even if it is an MBA instead of a technical masters degree. Who knows, you may enjoy the business side more than the technical side after a year into the process. Get started now. Your career is like a new product development process. It's better to test snd fail early and try something different as soon as possible rather than trying to make a perfect product before any testing or before getting some feedback from potential customers. Get started, send your resume out and take any interview you can - practice makes perfect. You also get to learn about different types of jobs and companies as you interview. Get to it.
Ah, I hadn't thought about that. I thought of doing an internship since I thought it could help me gain a bit of experience without having to commit too much but doing a job seems quite reasonable the way you've put it. I'll have a look around and maybe send a few CVs. Thanks for the advice!
 

Bryan Hord

Joined Aug 24, 2019
3
If you want to do something really specific for your entire career, get your Masters. It is not a bad choice. If you are more of a generalist, you may not need more education. If you are still in school, an internship is great but if you need find employment, then find a place with a good mentorship program. As a new graduate you will have skills that experienced engineers may not have so the mentorship can go both ways. They can explain a power circuit and you can show them how to do better data analysis. The engineering world is pretty small so make as many relationships as you can.
Explore on your own and find things you like to do. There are many areas where you can become an expert just from resources found on manufacturers sites and even hobbiest tools. You can put this on your resume. These explorations will likely inform your next job choice. Do not let yourself get stale in your career. Try to get someone else to ask you questions and write your resume.
And yes to getting your employer to pay for additional eduction!
 

Young2

Joined Dec 7, 2020
34
I see the recent development of the IT industry is very strong, I think IT in the future development of society is also playing an important role, you can also have a great deal of opportunity to develop, earn a lot of money, and even learn more and more knowledge in the work.
 

Thread Starter

Stu-b1ng

Joined Mar 8, 2021
6
I see the recent development of the IT industry is very strong, I think IT in the future development of society is also playing an important role, you can also have a great deal of opportunity to develop, earn a lot of money, and even learn more and more knowledge in the work.
Ah, I'm not too interested in programming at least. I moved to taking more electronics classes rather than computer science ones since I find programming a bit tiring. I wouldn't mind having a job that involves coding but I wouldn't like to do that for the full work day or anything like that.
 
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