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Making $$$$ out of your electronics business?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by dude, Jun 14, 2014.

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  1. dude

    dude

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    Apr 15, 2014
    So you know what you're doing but you don't have an electronics engineering degree, is it still possible to get work and get paid the same as someone with those intimidating wall decorations? The answer is yes, absolutely!
    Getting employment working for someone may be a little harder but in the end it depends on who you know. Ultimately, employers are only interested in people that can do, not in the amount of degrees that they have. If you start your own business and can produce products that are up to standards and present them in a timely manner there is nothing stopping you.
    Here's a board I designed, a very simple LED board for a front panel of an automotive assembly line test jig. I was given 5 A3 schematics with mistakes in them as there was no time for the engineer to re-do them. I was expected to sort out the mistakes myself and deliver a handful of populated boards within 4 days, two of which were a weekend. That meant 2 days for me to design the board, one day for my PCB guy to come up with the goods, and another day assembling the boards. It had to work 100% on Rev1 otherwise there would be hell to pay as it would stop a whole automotive assembly line.
    I made $3000 out of three days work. But yes there was some beads of sweat on my face before I got the phone call to say, dude, it works! :D
     

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  2. Ehsan

    Ehsan

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    I used to believe that without academic knowledge one can gain glorious achievements. That is a myth.

    Without academic level you can NOT exceed the level of being just a 'copy and paste' guy. Playing with the knowledge which others have created.

    But to invent things you surely need academic education. years of it !

    Talking about making money is irrelevant in scientific world.
     
  3. dude

    dude

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    Actually the ability to invent cannot be taught, it is something someone has or not. Theory just gives you the means to make it materialize on a given subject.
     
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Whilst I agree somewhat that you need to have academic knowledge (I think the work academic may be superfluous), the route to such knowledge is not solely via academia. Thus I disagree that you can be no more than a cut and paste person without it.

    However having the "wall decoration" can provide some "proof" that you might have such knowledge. In some cases, or perhaps to some people, the piece of paper rather than the knowledge is the prerequisite.

    A good and bad thing about the internet is that you can't see my wall and I can't see yours. We judge each other on the demonstration of that knowledge that we offer through what we say.
     
  5. dude

    dude

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    Apr 15, 2014
    Correct and I wasn't trying to say you need no academic knowledge, that would be very silly.
     
  6. Rick L

    Rick L

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    May 21, 2014
    Having the knowledge and ability doesn't guarantee success. You need the motivation to go out and find a place who needs your knowledge and ability, and is willing to pay a fair price for your skills. Being in the right place at the right time doesn't hurt ;)
     
  7. dude

    dude

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    Which is why I posted this up Rick :) I think a lot of people would be surprised at what they can achieve if they actually DO something about it, and no it isn't going to usually fall in your lap.
     
  8. Rick L

    Rick L

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    May 21, 2014
    Finding the right "Fit" to me is hard part. I have worked with some very intelligent people but for what ever reason things didn't click and the end result was not what it could have been or should have been. I have also worked with people who were out of their element and lacking in knowledge and the end result was better than it should have been.
    Some times everything just clicks and you end up with something great, I wish I could figure out the formula for that magic that happens all to rarely... kind of like with these three guys https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...nlZal3V82e6P8ul3A&sig2=0Yd8AOQaebp7zayTTPUpYw
     
  9. dude

    dude

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    That is something I don't have the answer for either. You have to be on the same wavelength in more ways than one to make a good team. Having a genius in a particular field does not guarantee anything, he might be more concerned about his up and coming fishing weekend than solving the tasks assigned to him. But surrounding yourself with the right people has a lot to do with success, that's for sure.
     
  10. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    I don't have any gold letter accolades on the wall. And in almost 40 years of working life, I have never had any problems getting work in the electronics industry. I have had the mix of working for some one else as well as working for myself. Over the last couple of years those 2 have been combined
    I work full time for an employer, but my home business has an annual turnover of $15 - 20,000

    I have seen too many people with all the qualifications but still don't know what end of a soldering iron to hold onto ;) Academic abilities DOESNT guarantee practical abilities. On the couple of occasions over the years where I have had a say in the hiring of a new technician, I have always gone with the person that can show me a wide range of practical experience across a range of electronics disciplines

    cheers
    Dave
     
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  11. chopnhack

    chopnhack

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    I believe you need a balance of both. Inventiveness is not something necessarily innate to a person. Many times, people without "imagination" come up with solutions to their problems which then become useful "inventions". There are many hobbyist that are probably more knowledgeable than Dr's with the wall art because some of those professors work solely in theory or academia and have had no practical experience. Without work experience, many things that are common sense to us, (which end of the soldering iron type of thing ;-) are simply not known to them.
     
    davenn likes this.
  12. dude

    dude

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    I'll give an example of what happens when one bases employment of a person by their paper based qualifications, not to say this is always the case or that one should not look at getting "qualified" if that is a goal. A noob engineer was given a part of a large system to design, nothing too complicated but without which the whole system would fail. There were time constrictions (when aren't there?) for the firm to complete the project as it was for an important event. Everyone was just too busy to thoroughly check this persons work as "they must obviously know what they are doing". A couple of days before the deadline the system was fully checked onsite and this persons work went up in a puff of smoke. What made it worse was that the project was being used in another city and state. It cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars to rectify both in wages and penalties. I'm not sure if this engineer is still sweeping the floors and going out to buy the lunches, but they may well be.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  13. shumifan50

    shumifan50

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    As with all disciplines a minimum level of knowledge is required. This will vary with the complexity of the problems that need to be solved. Thereafter a level of problem solving ability is required and again it will vary depending on the complexity of the problems that need solving. The first can be taught, the second is an natural ability or not. Designing and building of electronic circuits require a much lower level of knowledge than designing new components as an example with the latter requiring knowledge in multiple disciplines.
    I am a software engineer with a civil engineering background, but have been turned off employing degreed software people as they expected their degrees to earn them more recognition than much more experienced workers, the latter having been more valuable to me. Being taught standard solutions to problems they also tried to shoehorn problems into their known solutions, which was not always the best solution.

    The bottom line is that you can teach people knowledge but not ingenuity.
     
  14. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    A lot to agree with there
    Tho I have survived well all these years without really deep theory. There's been often times that I wished I had the knowledge that Steve and Kris ( on this forum) have


    cheers
    Dave
     
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  15. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    The first thing people with degrees learn is how much they don't know.

    Through a career that has taken me almost everywhere but where my degree pointed me, I am now comfortable that my knowledge is like a thin veneer compared to some people who have dedicated far more years than me (as a newcomer) to their fields.

    This post now has, perhaps, some unintended humour having just read Dave's post.
     
    KJ6EAD likes this.
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