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Thread: Electronic Engineering ideas for a new career path

  1. #1
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    Electronic Engineering ideas for a new career path

    I have recently come to a point in life where I feel a change may be needed. I don't really enjoy my current job as a storeman. And now I have an opportunity to put aside the next few years and study in something I really do enjoy. I see a few guys on here who work in the electronic industry. Obviously you must enjoy electronics because you appear here and with enthusiasm convey your knowledge to the laymans among us.

    So if anyone wants to share I'd be very interested to hear about what you do.

    And if you could recommend a career path for a person who lives for fpv type work, I am all ears.

  2. #2
    I Like Waffles... SENTRY's Avatar
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    I'm a Sr. UNIX Systems Engineer. The money is great, and even entry-level I.T guys make decent money. This career-field isn't for everyone - if you're a "people person" then I'd steer clear. Despite my interaction w/ people with whom I share common hobbies, I generally do not like people. Well I do, but just not the ones from Earth. Give me my computer monitors and put me in a dark room alone and I'm happy. But I can fake it well when put in environments where I need to appear to be a socialite. EE seems to be a great field much like mine. Any place where technical minds converge I do okay.
    "I Like Waffles" : FPVLab on Facebook and FPVLab on Twitter

  3. #3
    Engineer for Jesus Christ IBCrazy's Avatar
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    I'm an electrical engineer... Well sort of. That's where I started my "professional" career. Now I run the mobile substation division of Delta Star INC here in Lynchburg, VA. Mobile substations are typically used for disaster relief. When a storm/flood/hurricane/tornado/ect. comes through and knocks out the power, my substation can be pulled in, locked down and have the power back to 50,000 homes in a matter of hours.

    I do all the "design on the fly" stuff. No 3D software for me. Hand me a customer spec and an overview and off we go. I have a crew of 11 guys who I supervise. 5 control wireman, 3 welders and 3 Assemblers. So I'm more of a manager now. Despite being the youngest guy in the department, my crew really likes to work for me. They like the fact that I'll step up and do the dirty work and I'm not very criticizing. Heck, I abuse the privelege to screw up!

    I only use my EE degree for Video Aerial Systems and FPV flying. It only recently went from hobby and money drain to a profitable business. R&D is expensive!

    My advice, get any engineering degree and take a lot of business classes in the process. You'll start out with decent pay and with all the business courses, you'll understand how the business works and quickly climb the "corporate ladder".

    Attached is a picture of me with my 3rd mobile substation E3822. A 47MVA mobile sub. Yes, thats 47 MegaWatts!

    -Alex
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    If it is broken, fix it. if it isn't broken, I'll soon fix that.

    videoaerialsystems.com - Performance video piloting

  4. #4
    I Like Waffles... SENTRY's Avatar
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    ^^ So you're saying I'd need a step-down to power my 5V camera with that?
    "I Like Waffles" : FPVLab on Facebook and FPVLab on Twitter

  5. #5
    Flying in my Mind Rexamajinx's Avatar
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    I would love to see the foamy big enough to carry one of those. LOL

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    Thanks Jason and Alex,

    I am right there with you Jason on the whole working alone thing. People drive me nuts sometimes haha. However on the other hand I tend to get lazy if I am alone so you must be quite self motivated and disciplined.

    I seem to work best in an environment where people rely on me. That team atmosphere gets the blood pumping and helps get me outta bed early

    So I think what you said Alex is possibly a good option for me. And it seems logical. I might look into getting a electronic engineering degree and start investigating some business course options also.

    Cheers guys,
    Justin

    p.s Look here Sentry this will fit your project better... http://www.flickr.com/photos/fspecker/5419806002/

  7. #7
    Moderator Derek_S's Avatar
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    I would also do you all you can to start early interning or working with people in your desired field. Not just to build contacts, but also to get exposure in those 'niche' fields that might be very profitable, exciting, and cutting edge. I always felt that was something that really slowed me down in choosing a career field is I grew up in a town that was dominated by carpet manufacturing. We grew up only knowing that, so it was hard to every really see real diversity and possibilities out there until you were 2 years into college (if you went at all). hell, my highschool electives were metal shop, wood shop, and gym. Seriously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek_S View Post
    I would also do you all you can to start early interning or working with people in your desired field. Not just to build contacts, but also to get exposure in those 'niche' fields that might be very profitable, exciting, and cutting edge. I always felt that was something that really slowed me down in choosing a career field is I grew up in a town that was dominated by carpet manufacturing. We grew up only knowing that, so it was hard to every really see real diversity and possibilities out there until you were 2 years into college (if you went at all). hell, my highschool electives were metal shop, wood shop, and gym. Seriously.
    Yes for sure, I totally see the truth in what your saying. Gotta get amongst the action. I will aim to get started in a uni course (electronic engineering) while working part time as a storeman (my current job) and one year or so down the track will start applying for positions in firms. I have heard that with engineering you usually get kept on once you have finished your degree.
    And like Alex said get some business courses done in the meantime and Bobs your uncle the ball has started rolling......Well in theory anyway FPV has taught me that most things play out differently, but ya need a plan.

    Thanks so much for all your input here fellas it helped me huge.

  9. #9
    Yes, there's R/C on Mars S_Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SENTRY View Post
    I'm a Sr. UNIX Systems Engineer. The money is great, and even entry-level I.T guys make decent money. .
    Sentry's right on here, IMHO. I'm an RF/antennas engineer with over 25 yrs experience. They have some of us interview potential new hires, so we get to know a little about starting salaries, etc. In our region, SE USA, RF engineers are having to really work to land jobs. We understand that, except for sales (which you may like if you're a real people person), IT seems to be where the big money is for new graduates. And IT security is the most lucrative of the IT field.

    I know two young men who joined the Air Force Reserve and they were sent to IT and Network schools. During their service, they picked up a LOT of valuable training and experience. After their active duty stint was up they were each hired as network security specialists at very good salaries. I'm just offering this as data about IT engineering jobs.

    Did you mention your age? If you were in college, you could work as a co-op student, where you attend classes one semester/quarter and work alternate semesters. You would pick a technical organization to work for, getting on-the-job training in your field of interest. This is good in two ways: 1) you get a sample of what your life may be like, so if it turns out you don't like it, you can bail and try something else before investing 4-5 yrs in that career path....and 2) if you really like it and impress your employers, you're almost guaranteed a good job offer upon graduation.

    Oh and BTW, I have *SEEN* people with a high grade point average get hired over someone obviously more experienced and better suited that has a lower GPA. If you can convert sea water into gold dust, you might not get an offer from some firms if your GPA doesn't impress. My point is to do as well as possible while in school and party after you get that first job. =)

    Quote Originally Posted by SENTRY View Post
    Despite my interaction w/ people with whom I share common hobbies, I generally do not like people.....
    Why Sentry, you seem so charming online--I can't believe you don't like people. It's okay, though 'cause there are plenty of us who like you. A lot!
    Last edited by S_Dave; 5th June 2011 at 08:12 PM.

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    Hey S_Dave

    Thanks for the info. I am actually 27 yrs old and have been doing triathlon part time as a pro and storeman part time since I was 20 and now im finished. I still work as a storeman, but I feel a bit lost because I am not passionate about it.

    My girl who is soon to be my wife actually suggested me doing this because of how demoralised I have become with my current job. I guess she doesn't want cranky pants for a husband lol.

    So im going to have to enter my course as an adult special entry. Which means I have to sit a two hour test: http://www.satac.edu.au/STAT/default.htm

    I should be ok because I did ok at school and finished even though sport ran my life back then haha

    Anyway I have got my options laid out. I have chosen a university I like and the courses also. However I have a descision still to make.

    The one thing for sure is my electronic engineering course. http://www.flinders.edu.au/courses/u...benge_home.cfm

    Then I want to combine it with either Master of Business Technology, http://www.flinders.edu.au/courses/u...benge_home.cfm which is what Alex above suggested.

    Or Computer Science http://www.flinders.edu.au/courses/u...benge_home.cfm which is what Sentry and S_Dave suggest.

    I am not sure about the computer science because I have never really been into computers. Although the job prospects are endless I don't want to do it just because of that....hmmmm

    By the way Derek I looked into the work experience and this university does about 20 weeks worth over the 4 years in the electronic engineering.

    I will definetely get back to u guys.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Justin C; 6th June 2011 at 04:18 AM.

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