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Old 07-07-2004, 12:45 AM   #1
edubb11
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Default Possibly rethinking my career goals, would like some input

A little background: I served in the military for 6 years as a radar/tactical RF link technician. After the military I went on to work as a government contractor for a while before deciding to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering, which is what I am doing at the present moment.

While I enjoyed what I did in the military and civilian sector, I am not sure if I want to really pursue it further. Truthfully, I don't really need a degree to get a decent paying job as a technician with my experience, but the degree will keep me from becoming stagnant on the 'corporate ladder' or what not.

I know that I definately want to get a bachelors and possibly a masters degree, but I am beginning to feel as if I am too old to go to school full-time and work menial jobs while I do. I have been considering taking a more leisurly pace with the education, and getting back into a full-time career. If I do that, I will most definately be working in the electronics field again considering it is the only revelant experience I posess.

My question is, should I stick with the EE program or should I pursue another degree? My main interests, if it would be of any help, are really tinkering with cars and computers, I am a very hands on person. I am also very interested in finance/real estate, although I have very little of one and none of another. What are some careers that other OTers are happy with? What kind of degrees does everybody have???

Thanks for any input.
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:02 AM   #2
GarySheehan
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How far along are you into your BSEE? One way to look at is you will land a pretty decent job as an EE that pays fairly well. Once you start getting a steady paycheck you can start looking around at the things you REALLY want to do. Whether that's changing careers or chasing a dream. Even if you don't go back to school for a different degree, you have the option of working for a couple of years as an EE, then moving over into marketing, sales, whatever. Once you get quality experience in several areas you can basically get a job doing anything.

I graduated with a BSEE and used the security of a steady job and the resulting paychecks to chase my dream of driving racing cars. It's working.

Gary
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:08 AM   #3
edubb11
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Quote:
Originally posted by GarySheehan
How far along are you into your BSEE? One way to look at is you will land a pretty decent job as an EE that pays fairly well. Once you start getting a steady paycheck you can start looking around at the things you REALLY want to do. Whether that's changing careers or chasing a dream. Even if you don't go back to school for a different degree, you have the option of working for a couple of years as an EE, then moving over into marketing, sales, whatever. Once you get quality experience in several areas you can basically get a job doing anything.

I graduated with a BSEE and used the security of a steady job and the resulting paychecks to chase my dream of driving racing cars. It's working.

Gary
Sheehan Motor Racing
www.teamSMR.com
Gary, I am starting my second year this fall. I am already 26 though, and being a sophmore in college at my age, I feel as if I am losing out on a lot of career experience that I could use.

Do you still work, or is racing your full-time job now?

edit: saw that you drove World One's STi for a time-attack race in August's edition of SCC. Cool deal!

Last edited by edubb11; 07-07-2004 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:10 AM   #4
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you can definitely be a realtor or computer tech on the side. one of them pays a lot better, if you have the people skills to pull it off.

if there are things you enjoy, do them! but you have to remember to keep sight of what is your career and what are your hobbys. for example, Gary's story would've turned out differently if he'd just tried to get a pro ride right off the hop and then quit when that didn't work out.

ideally, we all do jobs that we love and are paid well enough to support our desired standard of living. a job that you don't hate and pays the bills to do the things you really love is a good second, though.

specific to you: that is kinda late to be a sophomore, but I would get a bachelor's in something.
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:11 AM   #5
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I just got my BSME. It took me 8 years. Six of those years I worked as a designer. The plus was I got great experence, but the negative side, it took me twice as long and my grades suffered. The last two years (the hardest) I didn't work and went to school full time. My grades went to bad/OK to great. I would just get your degree and do some co-ops. Engineering is a very useful and powerful degree, stick with it.


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Old 07-07-2004, 01:17 AM   #6
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I have been fighting the same decision for a few months myself. My current job pays quite well but it has crappy hours. Its production too. Its my company's own fault I am considering this too. I taught a few Junior Achievement classes since last Fall and absolutely love doing it and had nothing but excellent comments from the teachers I worked with.

It would be very difficult for me to go to school and keep working due to some physical limitations and they may even play into the future with my job I am at now. I contacted a state ageny but I have to go down and talk to a counselor about it within the next couple of weeks.

I cuess I would say follow what you think you are going to enjoy doing the most that is going to meet your financial demands. I have relatives that make some pretty big $$ but they aren't ever around for their family(kids that is) and it seems to be showing more the older the kids get.
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:39 AM   #7
edubb11
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ColinL, I definately will be getting a degree. But the bad thing is that going to school full time has not allowed me to support my previous living standards, and I had to move in with my mother because money has become a rare sight in the bank account. I am trying to get a decent paying job and get my own place again, but not without a roommate, and I don't trust anybody enough to pay half of my living expenses.
STORER, I am sure that the engineering degree would be a great lifetime investment I could make, but I am beginning to consider alternative avenues for my education which may allow me to take it a bit slower in school and have a career as well. I don't think I will get through an engineering program if I do this.
Rattler, the last thing I would want is to have a high paying job and no time to spend with my family. I just want to make a modest living.
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:09 AM   #8
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I am going the EE route... I am 1/4 done with my assoc degree, and once I get it I plan to get a decent job (something better than $7 at starbucks).

Then move to Arizona (or Florida - would be the first step to living my dream), then if I am up to it (read: feel like more torture) I will finish & get my BS at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

I keep getting told that EE jobs are going to be like the IT field, but IMHO these people are misinformed.

-justin
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:11 AM   #9
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My sis suggested I beacme a car salesman after the comment I told her about 99% of them seem to be uneducated about what they are trying to sell. She said "All those car mags you read, you should be doing it. You know enough about cars to begin with."

I thought for a minute and told her "Not sure how that would work. I question the people about how big a family, hobbies, lifestyle, etc. Tell them a minivan would be great for them and they just keep saying they want the Blazer. Besides, I don't like to BS people unless they are deserving of it."
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:16 AM   #10
edubb11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blindeye_03
I am going the EE route... I am 1/4 done with my assoc degree, and once I get it I plan to get a decent job (something better than $7 at starbucks).

Then move to Arizona (or Florida - would be the first step to living my dream), then if I am up to it (read: feel like more torture) I will finish & get my BS at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

I keep getting told that EE jobs are going to be like the IT field, but IMHO these people are misinformed.

-justin
I have been looking into Embry-Riddle as well, flying (specifically fighters, flight officer program almost kept me in the Navy) has always been a 'dream' of mine I suppose. I don't live too far from the Daytona, Florida campus. That school is pretty expensive!
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by edubb11
That school is pretty expensive!
Its about the same as going to Ga Tech, plus once I get my Assoc, I want to get out of Georgia. I need change b/c I have been here for 22 years .

Flying was a dream of mine aswell - till I found out I cant fly b/c of my eyesight... so designing stuff would be the next best thing to me .
Quote:
Originally posted by Rattler
My sis suggested I beacme a car salesman after the comment I told her about 99% of them seem to be uneducated about what they are trying to sell. She said "All those car mags you read, you should be doing it. You know enough about cars to begin with."

I thought for a minute and told her "Not sure how that would work. I question the people about how big a family, hobbies, lifestyle, etc. Tell them a minivan would be great for them and they just keep saying they want the Blazer. Besides, I don't like to BS people unless they are deserving of it."
you gotta be good at selling. I know alot about cars too, but I suck at sales *snaps finger* darn..

-justin
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:29 AM   #12
edubb11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blindeye_03
Its about the same as going to Ga Tech, plus once I get my Assoc, I want to get out of Georgia. I need change b/c I have been here for 22 years .

Flying was a dream of mine aswell - till I found out I cant fly b/c of my eyesight... so designing stuff would be the next best thing to me .

you gotta be good at selling. I know alot about cars too, but I suck at sales *snaps finger* darn..

-justin
Would your eyesight problems be associated to your username in any way? What do you want your focus for EE to be in? If I stay in the program, I want to have either laser or RF.
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:41 AM   #13
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Blah, blah, hlah.
Grow up.
A double E is cube land.
Do something fun.
Flight engineer.
Or Male Gigolo.
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by edubb11
Would your eyesight problems be associated to your username in any way? What do you want your focus for EE to be in? If I stay in the program, I want to have either laser or RF.
no, my left eye is -8.5 and my right is at -7.5, so I am nearing legal blindness . They are healthy though.

If I just stay in EE I am interested in designing circuit boards or running electrical systems in either cars or houses...etc. There is so much you can do with this.

I would rather continue my education and study in areonautics, and learn about Avionics or Aircraft physics (embry-riddle offers alot of interesting majors).

You mean you want to have laser surgery? I am thrown off by you staing RF tho.. lol radar surgery . That or you are interested in laser or radar systems?

-justin
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:49 AM   #15
edubb11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blindeye_03

You mean you want to have laser surgery? I am thrown off by you staing RF tho.. lol radar surgery . That or you are interested in laser or radar systems?

-justin
I meant that I was interested in laser and radar systems. BTW I have perfect eyesight, I'm one of two in a family of 7 children who doesn't wear glasses. I got lucky.
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:57 AM   #16
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BlindEye,

We're both blind! I'm L-8.0 R-7.5 myself. Corrected to 20/15 with contacts. I'm dreading the day a contact slides off my cornea in a high G corner.

edubb,

I'm still working at a real job but am getting closer to independence with motorsports. If you enjoy EE type stuff, it should be easy to get through the next few years to get your degree. If you are so crazy about it any more, the next few years are going to be miserable.

Gary
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Old 07-07-2004, 11:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by edubb11
I have been looking into Embry-Riddle as well, flying (specifically fighters, flight officer program almost kept me in the Navy) has always been a 'dream' of mine I suppose. I don't live too far from the Daytona, Florida campus. That school is pretty expensive!
definitely forget all about this idea. I've posted about this before... but anyhoo-- the military is the only realistic way to acquire hours, ratings and preferential treatment that can result in a good civilian job. I know pilots, both former military and civilian-only, and one of my best friends is an aviation electrician who interacts with pilots everyday.

a staggering percentage of even embry-riddle grads never go anywhere, and just hop around doing odd jobs and infrequent, poorly paid instructor lessons until they quit and do something else. they never get that break because it just doesn't exist.

"I'm just trying to get my hours in." -Joe Everypilot
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