Some advice on choosing which electronic design industry

Thread Starter

Jack Tranckle

Joined Jan 20, 2016
Hello, I am a recent graduate looking for some professional advice. I finished university this year and have just come to the end of a period of interviews, I am fortunate enough to have offers from both of my favourite companies but am having trouble deciding which one to choose…. Deadline is in 2 days. Both job roles are as a graduate electronic design engineer, have similar salaries, holidays, are medium sized companies, very friendly colleagues. I know I am lucky to have a choice, but I can’t help but feel that the industries they specialize in are very different and I am worried that I may make an uneducated decision. Here are some of the other comparisons:

Job A
Leader in enhancement of broadband cable network performance, job will involve designing transformers, taps, etc. Company is also deals with fibre optics.
  • Average Total hours + car travel = 45 Hours, made up of:
    • 20-minute commute, (also possible to cycle in an hour). Beautiful journey through the countryside
    • 8:30 to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 4pm Friday finish
  • 25 days holiday a year + bank
  • 9 miles away. Petrol will cost around £70 a month
  • Can wear casual clothes
Job B
Design advanced and bespoke electro-optical surveillance and communications systems, extremely expensive and cutting-edge products (Ray Guns!). Part of a big team of designers.
  • Average Total hours + car travel = 47 Hours a week, made up of:
    • 8:30 - 5:30 Monday to Thursday and 1pm Friday finish
    • 40-minute Commute (motorway so way too far to cycle)
  • 28 days holiday a year + bank
  • Often do contracts with defence industry, therefore a lot of traceability, documentary which apparently can get frustrating
  • 26 miles away. Petrol will cost around £160 (- £50 as higher wage) = £110
  • Must wear smart clothes, iron shirts!

It’s a very difficult decision as you can see, they both offer very similar things. I am hoping that someone has had experience in either one of these roles or can maybe express how important a morning commute is as part of a career. To me, Job B sounds more exciting in terms of what it is I would be working on, but then the idea that I would be so close to home and able to cycle for Job A would be a dream, but then as I said this is nothing more than an uneducated guess. Thank you in advance for your help
Last edited:


Joined Mar 30, 2018
Given that had you been offered only one of these job, you would have been more than happy – I would not fret too much that your choice might not turn out to have been the best (for any number of reasons).

You might consider casual work-wear to be a plus (especially for someone at a young age).
Interestingly in my early years I was a scruff, wearing jeans/t-shirt – now I’m virtually the only employee at my work location who wears a shirt & tie.

Working within a defence type industry, with all the document control/traceability can make you more employable to others – who are looking for someone who can show that they are well organised/keeping good records.

One thing that might sway me would be the financial stability of my potential employer – I’d look over their reported profit/loss for the last few years, which might indicate how well they are performing. You don’t want to find yourself being made redundant because the company is downsizing/bankrupt.

That said, these days no-one has a guaranteed job for life – I would advise you always look after number one. Remember that your loyalty to your employer is paid for in your monthly cheque, they do not owe you anything more; similarly you are free to seek alternative employment at anytime.


Joined Oct 2, 2009
While that is good advice, one cannot predict what the future holds.
Straight out of school with an engineering degree, I was offered a job with a leading telecom giant. I didn't take the job. Today, that company exists only in the annals of the telecom industry.


Joined Jul 4, 2015
Job B for me. It's clear that the skills learnt there will be invaluable as you advance with time. Rmb time is the only change that is constant and you will learn important skillsets that are hard to replace.


Joined Aug 21, 2008
This is only your first job after graduation. Choose the one that is most interesting to you. Experience gained on that job will likely help you find the next job and you will be a lot happier in a job related to your field of interest.

Yes, you may be working because you need an income but believe me as one who has been on both sides of this coin, a job in which you occasionally step back and think "They are actually paying me to do this!" is a whole lot better than wishing you were somewhere else.