Large design team in the Defence industry vs working autonomously in broadband Cable network

Thread Starter

Jack Tranckle

Joined Jan 20, 2016

So I am in need of some guidance, I have recently finished university and have been offered 2 jobs. I would have been happy with either one of them, but now I have the difficulty of choosing which one and am really having a hard time doing so. The main concern I have is what the industries are like to work in (defence vs network cable) and whether one will better my future more than the other. Heres a run down:

JOB A - Defence
I will work within a big team of design engineers, designing cutting edge electro optical systems for the defence industry, I will be a small part of something much larger. The day to day is a huge variety of systems engineering, electronics, some software, and manufacturing engineering (making sure what you designed is producible). The CEO can be a little moody, and progression is slow: you will have to put in all the effort yourself if you want to get chartered.

JOB B - Broadband Cable Network
Work within the established R&D team to develop active and passive broadband access products for home and international markets, essentially enhancing the performance of the network cable. The job, to assemble, test and evaluate prototype components/equipment such as taps, transformers, splitters. Including the PCB layout, soldering and some mechanical (Autocad to design the metal body). This will be working autonomously, with about 3 other electronic design engineers who will be working on their own projects.

Besides the job roles, Job B is much closer in the country side (meaning no morning traffic and shaving about 40 minutes a day travel) and also the pay is higher, although I am trying to not let the salary sway my choice. Both mentors are really friendly!

Now I have never worked in an electronics engineering environment before so I cant imagine which role I will enjoy the most. If they had equal prospects and were equally as enjoyable, I would obviously choose job B. However I have somehow convinced myself that I might find job B a bit repetitive and potentially boring long term?? But I am not sure why I feel this way and my brain feels like it will explode soon. If anyone has any experience in either one of these environments then please share your advice! I understand that most engineers tend to move on after 2 years but I want to choose a job that will offer the best future prospects in my new career. I guess just the idea of working on cutting edge surveillance systems sounds enjoyable, but does that necessarily correlate?


Joined Mar 30, 2018
You have asked this question already – perhaps it would have been better if you had only been offered one position, so that you did not suffer this dilemma.

As you say, your preferred option has more pay and less travel time – both factors should not be ignored in your choice.

When I was head-hunted for my current position, the job involved an extra 40 minutes commute/day. In naming my salary, I took into account the extra time I would be away from home and the cost of that extra commute.

As someone starting out in a career in electronics (having gained a university degree), your knowledge of the myriad of electronic devices available is close to zero – you should expect to continue to learn throughout your working life. I’m virtually at the end of my working life and I still regularly learn something new relating to my work.

Throughout my career I have always worked for large organisations, some say that it is much harder to be recognised for your work compared with a small company. But even in large organisations, management know who the good workers are. Many times, when one area has suffered redundancies (for whatever reason), the companies have tried to retain the good workers, letting the not so good go.

As to which of these jobs would be best for you, it’s almost impossible for anyone to say. Be courteous in your letter to whichever position you reject – if things don’t work out with your first choice, they might be willing to offer you the job at some later date.