From: Chuck Simmons
Organization: You jest.
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Subject: Re: Kevin, Kevin, Kevin.....Re: Questions on EE job market.
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Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 14:53:51 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 06:53:51 PST
Kevin Aylward wrote:
> "Leeper" wrote in message
> > Oh Kevin, Kevin, Kevin
> > Thanks for all the laughter.
> > I spent 12 years in the US Marines repairing Avionics to the
> > component (resistor, cap, transistor, etc) level. I also ran around
> > carrying other Marines during NBC drills, shooting rifles, running
> over 20
> > miles a week and many other, Marine type things. During this time
> > I didn't learn specifically how to design circuits, but I sure had fun
> > deducing
> > how they worked to a point to determine where a failure occured, and
> > specific component that was causing the issue.
> I still think you miss my point. Sure, there are the less able and more
> able in any discipline, whether it be commercial or military, but this
> is not really relevant to the original question.
> There seems to be a lack of respect for the *real* statistics of the
> case in this thread. Individual cases, are not optimum for giving
> general advice. In your case, I can say right of the bat, unequivocally,
> that this is a major *exception*. Whilst it is true that a scant few
> non-degree'ed EE's become design engineers, e.g. Jim Williams, *most*
> companies wont entertain such people.
> I also agree that people who have had good practical background, can
> make much better design engineers then golfing EE's. Indeed, I repaired
> music equipment for a music shop to "supplement" my student grant.
> The issue here is still one of an overall recommendation of the skills
> that commercial companies request. And, despite, a *handful* of
> *exceptions*, I don't believe that the military, in general, gives the
> design and development experience that these companies require.
Then let's look at this from a different direction.
Just how many EE students who start out wanting to go into electronic
design ever work in design engineering after they are awarded a degree?
I don't know the numbers but design engineers are quite often out
numbered by engineers doing other tasks some of which are related to
experience that one might easily acquire in the military. One example
would be engineering related to buy out parts. I've worked for companies
where we had PhDs in physics working on buy out parts. Field application
engineering is another important area where military experience might be
The OP says he intends to go into the military after he gets his BSEE.
He might have an opportunity to train as an officer. He certainly would
have when I was in. Even without a degree, I was offered opportunities
to become an officer, a warrant officer (helicopter or small fixed wing
pilot or some technical field), a green beret and so on. The officer
route is possibly good in that it concentrates on management skills.
Don't forget, of course, that one of America's most famous experimental
physicists was a naval officer.
There are great material benefits in the military for further civilian
education while in the military. These can apply to infantry privates
all the way up to officers. During the time I taught various mathematics
courses at UCCS, I always had Fort Carson soldiers in my classes. This
was by no means isolated. I could expect such students in every class.
What the special cases in this group should tell you is that everybody
is a special case even in the military. The very makeup of the chain of
command in the military has the flexibility to deal with the special
cases. Think of the military as being rigid in its mission but not so
The OP can consider his options and there is a good chance he can find a
military option that seems to meet his career goals when the time comes.
What my posts and others show is that the military, like any other
occupation, has the potential of offering opportunity. It is up to the
individual to see it and take advantage of it.
... The times have been,
That, when the brains were out,
the man would die. ... Macbeth
Chuck Simmons firstname.lastname@example.org