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Expert Opinion Required !

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Feb 17, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    Hello All,

    I would be most grateful to receive some expert advice\opinion on the
    subject of electronics education.

    I'm seriously considering taking the AAS Degree program offered by CIE
    ( Cleveland Institute of Electronics ). As this represents a sizeable
    investment in both time and money, some expert industry opinion would
    be of great help.

    How do you people in the industry feel about the quality of this
    program as compared to say a technologists program from a community

    They claim that their grads are in great demand, but so do most
    colleges and universities.
    Has anyone hired one of their grads ( or know someone who has ), and if
    so, how would you rate them against an traditional college grad ?

    Lastly, is there a demand for people who specialize in micro controller
    programing or PLC's?

    With much thanks,
    Rob M
  2. Hi Rob,
    So, you like programming micros and PLCs, but you want to get some
    education that PROVES you know how to do it, RIGHT?

    My take on these things is this - If you already know how to do this
    stuff because you are a hobbiest, and have have been playing around in
    your workshop with it for a few years, then MAYBE these programs will help.

    Most of these programs work at the most basic level. Their purpose is
    to raise money for the schools by offering hope to lots of poor students
    that they can get high paying technology jobs by taking a few courses.
    Most students drop out (after paying their fees) or finish the classes
    and are still flipping burgers. The ones who succeed are the ones that
    already knew this stuff before going in, and just learned a little more
    about what they wanted, but especially now have certification that maybe
    they now know something about the field.

    Back a few years ago, I had the task for hiring a few techs to help
    install and maintain some fairly complex computer systems. I had
    several applicants with ITT and DeVry 'degrees' come in, but only one
    was worth the paper his resume was printed on. That one was a hobbiest,
    the others were Bill Gates wannabes that thought just knowing how to
    turn on a computer and play video games was enough to get a job in
    computers. This stuff is HARD! You have to have a love for it, or you
    will never be any good at it.

    So, yes, it can be worth it, but you are better off going to your state
    university and getting a BS:EE if you really want to make any money.
  3. Dave Boland

    Dave Boland Guest

    Is an education in electronics/software really worth the
    effort and cost? I ask the question in light of all of the
    off-shoring that is going on, and more to come. My take is
    that the earning potential for these degrees is going to go
    down over time, while the cost of the education is skyrocketing.

    Just my 2 cents.

  4. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    About 40 years ago, when submitting my chosen classes toward a BSEE,
    the "counselor" tried to talk (badgering is a closer term) me into going
    for an ASS (oops!) AAS degree.
    Not *one* unit for the AAS was acceptable towards a BSEE! And is most
    likely the same now.
    Most companies (then) hiring electronic techs view mail-order
    "degrees" as being worse than useless and give the applicant a
    *negative* count toward any "score" they silently give to them.
    And ASS (oops!) degrees are not viewed to be much better.

    Either jump in now, with no background and learn while working, or go
    for a real education and work during summers to replenish school funds
    and learn while working.
    There may even still be some companies that offer work-study programs.
    Theory alone is not of a lot of value, unless that is all you will be
    working with.
    Practice counts; the theory helps in tough situations.
  5. Outsourcing doesn't work, no, but in Europe there's a lot of 'in-
    sourcing' - bringing the operatives to the jobs rather than the other
    way round.
  6. Luhan Monat

    Luhan Monat Guest


    I see mostly software jobs going off-shore. Companies still seem to
    like their hardware/microcontroller designs done in-house. Then there
    is 'support engineering' - keeping production, testing, and QC going.
    That is not about to be outsourced either.

    Finally, there's prostitution - let's see 'em outsource that one!
  7. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    What's sex tourism if not outsourcing?
  8. Find an older expert engineer that owns his own company and is hard
    working, John Larkin on this NG comes to mind. Go work for him for two
    years, pay him the same amount that you would of paid for that AAS degree.
    Do everything he says, sweep the floor, wash his car, read all that he
    recommends, show respect and work your ass off. If your not putting in at
    least 60 hours per week, your a wimp. Find a room near the lab. At the end
    of two years, if John gives his approval, you will be hired as an EE at
    will easily understand. Your classmates will think you are brilliant. If you
    continue working hard, the sky is the limit. I would not touch a recent AAS
    grad. Oh, by the way, I only have a AAS degree but did do much of the above.
    Can't call myself an engineer but can call myself a contractor or consultant
    with much better benefits.
    That does not get you to the top of the heap. That takes a brilliant mind,
    excellent college education and maybe at least 10 years of hard work. J.T.
    our $200/hr man, and he is worth it, can explain more.
    boy, that is a good Merlot,
  9. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    That is actually not a bad scheme, except that he could actually
    expect to get paid for his work. Half-time doing tech stuff and scutt
    work, half-time at a community college, would be a good start.
    Learning the teory and doing the work simultaneously is immensely
    valuable, as is being aroundsome working EEs who will help expalain
    the academic abstractions. I'd hire somebody like that who really
    wanted to work and learn. But my car *never* gets washed.

    I'd suggest taking EE-track courses, even if you might not ever be
    able to get the 4-year degree. Associates degrees and tech training
    are intellectually limited and not worth much on a resume. Many of the
    technical schools start by teaching electron flow, switch to
    conventional current later, and some people never get un-confused.
    That's also true. It takes a certain kind of talent to be good at
    electronics, plus a lot of learning and experience. Years to get
    pretty good, for sure.

  10. I've seen this referred to as the "offishal peice of paper".
  11. Luhan Monat

    Luhan Monat Guest

    Thanks, but I think I'll still prefer to 'Buy American'.
  12. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Hey, looks like my typing goes to hell while I'm working out with the
    hand weights.

  13. I forget who wrote the article in Popular or Radio Electronics decades
    ago, (Lancaster?), but they said an EET degree is nearly as difficult
    and will get you considerably less salary and respect, and I can only
    say from what I have seen and experienced (DeVry) and other (ITT) its true.

    It is really discouraging to think a college diploma is something
    honorable, to be earned, rather than a snob license, what our founding
    father's called a "title of nobility" which they forbid.

    I see HP's CEO Fiorina is getting the boot for trashing HP? More
    Ivy-League snobs should likewise, but I digress.

    If you aren't in a hurry, or have family waiting to give you a job once
    you get your training, you better get a sheepskin from a state
    university, or other sheepskin'd state university grads will
    discriminate against you. They only hire DeVry and ITT types to make
    cables and do the work of their cronies.

    If you don't really have a passion for electronics, consider law or
    marketing. People are getting more corrupt and stupid, so there is
    likely to be more demand and more money.
    Perhaps in China or Asia, where our politicians are outsourcing decent
    careers for their corporate investment profits.



    DIY Piezo-Gyro, PCB Drill Bot & More Soon!

    POLITICS, n.
    A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
    The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. - Ambrose Bierce

  14. I read in that John Larkin <[email protected]
    landPLEASEtechnology.XXX> wrote (in <[email protected]>) about 'Expert Opinion Required !', on Thu, 17 Feb 2005:
    That's why you should start before you are 10 years old.
  15. Yeah, you really have to hand it to those American whores.

    Which is why so many guys prefer Asians. ;-)
  16. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke Guest

    There's me thinking that was what YOU paid THEM to do.

    Paul Burke
  17. Or, if that's too late,t before you start acting/feeling older than
    about ten.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany

  18. OTOH, we hired a DeVry graduate some years back, who turned out to be
    one of the best technicians I've ever worked with. He was certainly
    better than the "experienced" technicians we had at the time (he would
    follow instructions). After a few years working for me (I was rather
    protective of my work ;-), the research division hired him away and two
    years later he was given an engineering title and the money to go with
    it. He was by no means a "hobbyist" when he went in. YMMV.
  19. Fred Bloggs

    Fred Bloggs Guest

    Most university programs are total crap- so you figure out where the
    correspondence schools rate. There are some states with large industrial
    bases that have set up state technical college systems apart from the
    usual community college system. The faculty at schools like these are
    all active and/or retired industry engineers with an incalculable wealth
    of practical experience. These are the best schools to attend for a
    ground floor introduction to applied electronics that is in demand.
    Every single one of their graduates is placed, because there is usually
    an implicit agreement between local industry and the state to hire them-
    with the state school adjusting the curriculum in accordance with
    industry input.
  20. Hey Speh, you still got it!
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