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Old July 29th 03, 08:21 PM
Justin
 
Posts: n/a
Default Persuing a Career in Electronics, HELP!

I am not sure if this is the right place to be posting this, but i
figure its worth a shot. OK, first of all i have been away from radio
for a few years (regretably) my call is KB2YFH. Anyway, i got my
ticket when i was 16 i think or maybe younger... My question is i am
getting older and still have nothing but a H.S diploma and dead-end
jobs to show for... so, obviously i would like to continue my
education. I realize now that my only true love was fixing and
tinkering with my old radio equipment. I would like to know if someone
could tell me what career path i should take that will qualify me and
give me the experience i need in working with electronic equipment...
preferably Wireless communications, RF circuts ... you know all the
skills used to diagnose and repair such things as amateur transievers
etc. I was licensed in NJ, but recently moved to Florida's Space
Coast (Melbourne) where i am happy to see that ham radio is alive and
thriving. I assume taking courses in electronic engineering would be
in the right direction, but i am not sure exactly what i should do. If
anyone could please give me some advice on what type of schooling i
should look for, and if possible what schools are good for what i am
looking for it would be greatly aprreciated. Thank you and i look
forward to getting back on the air ASAP.



  #2   Report Post  
Old July 29th 03, 10:37 PM
Roy Lewallen
 
Posts: n/a
Default

If your main interest is in diagnosis and repair, I suggest you look
into an Electronic Engineering Technology (EET) curriculum. Courses and
degrees are offered by a lot of community colleges, as well as technical
schools. Visit your local community college and have a talk with a
counselor there -- he or she can give you a lot more information about
what they offer, what the course content is like, and the kinds of jobs
it'll prepare you for.

An Electrical Engineering (EE) degree at a college or university
prepares you more to do design, rather than repair. A BSEE (Batchelor of
Science in Electrical Engineering) curriculum involves a lot more
mathematics than an ASEET (Associate of Science in Electronic
Engineering Technology) or BSEET degree. If you follow a traditional
order of course work, you'll be in a BSEE program quite a while before
you get to much that you recognize as electronics, since you'll usually
start with calculus, physics, chemistry, and, yes, English. This is to
lay the ground work for you to be able to understand electronics at the
necessary level when it's introduced later in the program. In contrast,
EET courses are a lot more hands-on, and get to the basic subject matter
earlier. But it doesn't cover the material in as much depth as in an EE
program.

While community colleges seldom or never grant a BSEE degree, they
generally offer quite a number of courses that can be transferred to a
full college or university toward a BSEE degree, if that's your choice.
Those courses are likely to be non-electronics courses, though, like the
physics, chemistry, math, and English I mentioned.

You might start along one path and decide later on the other. That's
fine, although you should be aware that quite a number of courses in one
program might not directly transfer for credit into the other. The
counselor can give you the straight story about all that.

Roy Lewallen, W7EL

Justin wrote:
I am not sure if this is the right place to be posting this, but i
figure its worth a shot. OK, first of all i have been away from radio
for a few years (regretably) my call is KB2YFH. Anyway, i got my
ticket when i was 16 i think or maybe younger... My question is i am
getting older and still have nothing but a H.S diploma and dead-end
jobs to show for... so, obviously i would like to continue my
education. I realize now that my only true love was fixing and
tinkering with my old radio equipment. I would like to know if someone
could tell me what career path i should take that will qualify me and
give me the experience i need in working with electronic equipment...
preferably Wireless communications, RF circuts ... you know all the
skills used to diagnose and repair such things as amateur transievers
etc. I was licensed in NJ, but recently moved to Florida's Space
Coast (Melbourne) where i am happy to see that ham radio is alive and
thriving. I assume taking courses in electronic engineering would be
in the right direction, but i am not sure exactly what i should do. If
anyone could please give me some advice on what type of schooling i
should look for, and if possible what schools are good for what i am
looking for it would be greatly aprreciated. Thank you and i look
forward to getting back on the air ASAP.



  #3   Report Post  
Old July 29th 03, 10:37 PM
Roy Lewallen
 
Posts: n/a
Default

If your main interest is in diagnosis and repair, I suggest you look
into an Electronic Engineering Technology (EET) curriculum. Courses and
degrees are offered by a lot of community colleges, as well as technical
schools. Visit your local community college and have a talk with a
counselor there -- he or she can give you a lot more information about
what they offer, what the course content is like, and the kinds of jobs
it'll prepare you for.

An Electrical Engineering (EE) degree at a college or university
prepares you more to do design, rather than repair. A BSEE (Batchelor of
Science in Electrical Engineering) curriculum involves a lot more
mathematics than an ASEET (Associate of Science in Electronic
Engineering Technology) or BSEET degree. If you follow a traditional
order of course work, you'll be in a BSEE program quite a while before
you get to much that you recognize as electronics, since you'll usually
start with calculus, physics, chemistry, and, yes, English. This is to
lay the ground work for you to be able to understand electronics at the
necessary level when it's introduced later in the program. In contrast,
EET courses are a lot more hands-on, and get to the basic subject matter
earlier. But it doesn't cover the material in as much depth as in an EE
program.

While community colleges seldom or never grant a BSEE degree, they
generally offer quite a number of courses that can be transferred to a
full college or university toward a BSEE degree, if that's your choice.
Those courses are likely to be non-electronics courses, though, like the
physics, chemistry, math, and English I mentioned.

You might start along one path and decide later on the other. That's
fine, although you should be aware that quite a number of courses in one
program might not directly transfer for credit into the other. The
counselor can give you the straight story about all that.

Roy Lewallen, W7EL

Justin wrote:
I am not sure if this is the right place to be posting this, but i
figure its worth a shot. OK, first of all i have been away from radio
for a few years (regretably) my call is KB2YFH. Anyway, i got my
ticket when i was 16 i think or maybe younger... My question is i am
getting older and still have nothing but a H.S diploma and dead-end
jobs to show for... so, obviously i would like to continue my
education. I realize now that my only true love was fixing and
tinkering with my old radio equipment. I would like to know if someone
could tell me what career path i should take that will qualify me and
give me the experience i need in working with electronic equipment...
preferably Wireless communications, RF circuts ... you know all the
skills used to diagnose and repair such things as amateur transievers
etc. I was licensed in NJ, but recently moved to Florida's Space
Coast (Melbourne) where i am happy to see that ham radio is alive and
thriving. I assume taking courses in electronic engineering would be
in the right direction, but i am not sure exactly what i should do. If
anyone could please give me some advice on what type of schooling i
should look for, and if possible what schools are good for what i am
looking for it would be greatly aprreciated. Thank you and i look
forward to getting back on the air ASAP.



  #4   Report Post  
Old July 29th 03, 11:05 PM
Roy Lewallen
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Roy Lewallen wrote:
A BSEE (Batchelor of
Science in Electrical Engineering) curriculum


That should, of course, be Bachelor.

How embarrassing. Guess those English for Dumb Engineers courses weren't
quite enough. . . needed a course in Using a Spelling Checker.

Roy Lewallen, W7EL

  #5   Report Post  
Old July 29th 03, 11:05 PM
Roy Lewallen
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Roy Lewallen wrote:
A BSEE (Batchelor of
Science in Electrical Engineering) curriculum


That should, of course, be Bachelor.

How embarrassing. Guess those English for Dumb Engineers courses weren't
quite enough. . . needed a course in Using a Spelling Checker.

Roy Lewallen, W7EL



  #6   Report Post  
Old July 30th 03, 02:47 PM
NeoVolt
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Roy Lewallen" wrote in message
...
snip
If you follow a traditional
order of course work, you'll be in a BSEE program quite a while before
you get to much that you recognize as electronics, since you'll usually
start with calculus, physics, chemistry, and, yes, English. This is to
lay the ground work for you to be able to understand electronics at the
necessary level when it's introduced later in the program.


However this doesn't stop you from taking a more hands on electronics
course each year or each half year. Usually you will get a little leeway
in what order you need to take classes.

Another route to go is a trade school. A friend went to ITT and loved the
instruction method there. 2-3 hours of theory followed by 3 hours of
application. He now works for Altera on there Nios Development. System.

I was going to go to my local community college this coming fall but with
budget cuts they dropped over 100 courses which all seem to have come from
their Physics and Engineering departments. There isn't a single
"Electronics"
course offered.


Neo-Volt



  #7   Report Post  
Old July 30th 03, 02:47 PM
NeoVolt
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Roy Lewallen" wrote in message
...
snip
If you follow a traditional
order of course work, you'll be in a BSEE program quite a while before
you get to much that you recognize as electronics, since you'll usually
start with calculus, physics, chemistry, and, yes, English. This is to
lay the ground work for you to be able to understand electronics at the
necessary level when it's introduced later in the program.


However this doesn't stop you from taking a more hands on electronics
course each year or each half year. Usually you will get a little leeway
in what order you need to take classes.

Another route to go is a trade school. A friend went to ITT and loved the
instruction method there. 2-3 hours of theory followed by 3 hours of
application. He now works for Altera on there Nios Development. System.

I was going to go to my local community college this coming fall but with
budget cuts they dropped over 100 courses which all seem to have come from
their Physics and Engineering departments. There isn't a single
"Electronics"
course offered.


Neo-Volt



  #8   Report Post  
Old July 30th 03, 05:58 PM
David B. Thomas
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Amen on the grammar comment. I often look at resumes for computer
programming positions. Good programmers are notoriously meticulous
about things like spelling, grammar and punctuation. It sort of goes
with the territory. So, if I see sloppy, disorganized language, I
figure I'm not dealing with a Real Hacker. A big red flag for me is
misspelled or miscapitalized names of industry brands, names or terms,
such as C, UNIX, uC, kHz, etc., especially if the applicant claims to
have experience in those areas.

To address the poster's original question, all of the advice I've seen
in the responses is good. What I'd add from my own experience is:

1. Don't hesitate to cite nonprofessional experience if it applies.
I've designed and built some nifty projects and published a few on
the web and elsewhere. I put those in a section of my resume
labeled "hobby achievements".

2. I have the utmost respect for schooling and degrees but I am
self-taught and so are some of my coworkers. Small companies tend
to focus more on results and less on credenitals, so if you're in a
position where you have more abilities than you can prove on paper,
you might want to try small companies.

3. If you don't get a job you wanted, ask that employer specifically
what education you should pursue, and if you really want the job,
come back in a year or so and try again. That makes a tremendous
impression and I've been in on at least one such hiring.

4. Whatever education you pursue, do lots of hands-on projects on your
own. They're fun, but they're also an important part of your
education. It's one thing to write "10 watts" as the answer to a
textbook problem on power supplies and another thing altogether to
put your finger on a resistor that is dissipating 10 watts, or to
observe how quickly a battery runs down under that kind of load.

Good luck to the original poster or anyone else who is interested in
electronics. It's fun and exciting stuff!

David
  #9   Report Post  
Old July 30th 03, 05:58 PM
David B. Thomas
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Amen on the grammar comment. I often look at resumes for computer
programming positions. Good programmers are notoriously meticulous
about things like spelling, grammar and punctuation. It sort of goes
with the territory. So, if I see sloppy, disorganized language, I
figure I'm not dealing with a Real Hacker. A big red flag for me is
misspelled or miscapitalized names of industry brands, names or terms,
such as C, UNIX, uC, kHz, etc., especially if the applicant claims to
have experience in those areas.

To address the poster's original question, all of the advice I've seen
in the responses is good. What I'd add from my own experience is:

1. Don't hesitate to cite nonprofessional experience if it applies.
I've designed and built some nifty projects and published a few on
the web and elsewhere. I put those in a section of my resume
labeled "hobby achievements".

2. I have the utmost respect for schooling and degrees but I am
self-taught and so are some of my coworkers. Small companies tend
to focus more on results and less on credenitals, so if you're in a
position where you have more abilities than you can prove on paper,
you might want to try small companies.

3. If you don't get a job you wanted, ask that employer specifically
what education you should pursue, and if you really want the job,
come back in a year or so and try again. That makes a tremendous
impression and I've been in on at least one such hiring.

4. Whatever education you pursue, do lots of hands-on projects on your
own. They're fun, but they're also an important part of your
education. It's one thing to write "10 watts" as the answer to a
textbook problem on power supplies and another thing altogether to
put your finger on a resistor that is dissipating 10 watts, or to
observe how quickly a battery runs down under that kind of load.

Good luck to the original poster or anyone else who is interested in
electronics. It's fun and exciting stuff!

David
  #10   Report Post  
Old July 31st 03, 12:51 AM
Alex
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I'm taking Electronics Engineering Technician at Saint Lawrence College
this fall so I can pursue a similar career. It's a 2 year program, and
it seems to be available at most college's. The starting salary for a
technician is supposed to be about $35,000 CDN. The technologist level
(3 year program) is about $45,000 CDN starting. If you wanted to go
university level it's 4 years plus and the salary is much higher, but
the math level is crazy.

Justin wrote:
I am not sure if this is the right place to be posting this, but i
figure its worth a shot. OK, first of all i have been away from radio
for a few years (regretably) my call is KB2YFH. Anyway, i got my
ticket when i was 16 i think or maybe younger... My question is i am
getting older and still have nothing but a H.S diploma and dead-end
jobs to show for... so, obviously i would like to continue my
education. I realize now that my only true love was fixing and
tinkering with my old radio equipment. I would like to know if someone
could tell me what career path i should take that will qualify me and
give me the experience i need in working with electronic equipment...
preferably Wireless communications, RF circuts ... you know all the
skills used to diagnose and repair such things as amateur transievers
etc. I was licensed in NJ, but recently moved to Florida's Space
Coast (Melbourne) where i am happy to see that ham radio is alive and
thriving. I assume taking courses in electronic engineering would be
in the right direction, but i am not sure exactly what i should do. If
anyone could please give me some advice on what type of schooling i
should look for, and if possible what schools are good for what i am
looking for it would be greatly aprreciated. Thank you and i look
forward to getting back on the air ASAP.





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