One thing I've noticed in my time since earning my degree is that many recruiters and headhunters do not understand the distinction between Electrical Engineering and Electronics Engineering. As a DeVry graduate, by degree is in Electronics Engineering, and I've found that I've had to explain the difference; that Electrical Engineering deals in moving and manipulating power, while Electronics Engineering deals in moving and manipulating information.

How often have other Engineers seen this confusion in industry? I'd understand if we were still using vacuum tubes to crunch numbers, but silicon chips are everywhere, and digital logic is the primary way of controlling machines now, why do the recruiters not seem to know that one type of EET would be more comfortable with linesman's pliers and the other type prefers a low-wattage soldering iron?

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Gerald Pellett said:
The main thing is, yes you will probably always have to explain what your degree is. But, you can also market the skills that it gave you compared to traditional degrees. There will be jobs out there where your education is a better fit than the traditional degree. Meanwhile, check out the coursework that traditional EEs have (and also the NEC) since it never hurts to add to your knowledge base and you might find it useful some day. Best of luck!

Thanks for the kind words, I'm always trying to add to my knowledge base, as I would expect any decent engineer, or even any person of average intelligence or above, to do.

If I'm going to bed, and my answer to 'What have I learned today?' is 'nothing,' then I consider that day a complete waste, an opportunity lost forever.
I am from the old (literally) school. I got my EE education at a traditional 4 year univ back in the late 50s. There were few junior colleges at the time and no such thing as tech degrees. Engineering education, at the time, had just gone thru a huge curriculum revision, all over the country, emphasizing more math, physics, and theory. This movement was spearheaded by MIT, and most engineering schools moved to follow the leader. At Wayne State Univ in Detroit, the so called 4 year curriculum was so intense, that it took most students 4.5, to 6 years to complete successfully. It, in fact, should have been a BS plus MS result. As somebody above mentioned, it was aimed more at preparing graduates for more education, masters, Phd, or teaching, research, then for practical job training.

Post WW2 industry demanded employees who could take much of the "new" technology developed during the war, and apply it to new apps, as well as the upcoming space and moon programs. They needed that theoretical approach to succeed. Also there was much gov research money available, and litttle "foreign" help available.

The technologists were the drafters, machinists, technicians, who learned their trade, in high schools, trade schools, and in the military. They satisfied the need for the people to actually build the stuff, and do the practical work.

This lasted thru the 70s until society put a stigma on people working with their hands. Then society demanded everyone have a college education. The colleges wanted more students and more money, so they started the engineering tech movement. At first it was just a 2 year curriculum past HS. Then later 4 years.

Most of the demand for help is controlled by industry. It is surprising that the HR people don't even understand who or what they are asking for.

My career has lasted over 45 years (still working at 70) with a specialty of Power Electronics. I bet that confuses those who have divided the electrical world into power and digital. In fact, it incorporates power semiconductor physics, analog, digital, embedded programming, thermo-dynamics, mechanical structures, emi-emc, controls-feedback loops, packaging, etc. Currents from milliamps to thousands, voltages from millivolts to thousands.

Projects have ranged from hybrid vehicles (presently), aircraft power systems, shipboard power systems, diesel-electric locomotives, industrial motor drives up to thousands of hp, welders, process power supplies, etc.

All of my career I have read about the half life of an engineering education. BS. It is because of my general purpose, math and theory laden education, that I have felt comfortable doing so many different things right up to the moment. But was I ready for work the moment I graduated? No - it took many years of practical experience applying my knowledge, and mainly, continuing to learn, and keep up to date - a life long challenge.
Thanks for the input, but I think you posted in the wrong thread. From the tone of the comment it would seem to belong as a reply to the 'What good are PE Licences?' blog: http://engineeringexchange.com/profiles/blogs/what-good-are-pe-lice...

Larry helenius said:
I believe that this is an easy question. If your degree does not end with a "E", you should
not call yourself an Engineer. You have a 4 year Tech degree. You took a easier path.
That doesn't say anything about you as a person, or how smart you are, it is just that true engineers took
a harder and longer path and need to be recognized for it.
Unfortunately, we don't live in a society that really cares much for education and
where even a garbage man can be called an engineer!

If the term "Engineer" was well regulated, we would have more respect and be making the same money that doctors, lawyers or even at the levels that the salesmen that sell our products pull down.
I like John Alexander's summary, "The bigger question is the difference between BSEE and BSEET. You get more hands on lab experience with the BSEET and more theory with the BSEE, but you still will have a hard time finding knowledge that one has but not the other."

As a BSEET student we used the same text books as the EE major students but we took the material to the labs and they went to the math books. For example, certain portions of the semiconductor books were not taught because we were not expected to ever design semiconductors

In practice I found my path as a BSEET to not be very limited. As a result I have become a respected generalist who has done well in design development, project engineering, product verification, manufacturing, fielding of products. I have defined myself by what I have chosen to do and have done. It is not up to some one else to define you and your degree, it is your task to define who you are and what your knowledge means to an employer.
I believe we are getting your point. You want Engineering to be 'tiered' with Technicians, at the bottom, 'Technologists' (EET) down with the Technicians (despite the extra two years of training the EETs have over the ETs), then the 'Real' Engineers, and at the top of the heap, the Licensed professional Engineers.

In other words, you want the prestige and compensation to be directly proportional to the cost of the education & certification.

That is a valid point, and i encourage you to start a thread on that if you want to. It is just that this thread is for Electrical versus Electronics Engineering, and your points, while worth hearing and considering, are taking this thread off-topic. it is like having a meeting to discuss the latest rounds of tests on a jet engine, when someone comes in to talk about the problems at the hydroelectric dam. Valid information, bot not related to the topic at hand.

Or to use your favorite language in closing, your Quod Erat Demonstrandum (That which has been demonstrated) is a Non Sequitor to the thread. (it does not follow the topic)




Larry helenius said:
People may be missing my point. America is getting dumber every year and all people want to do
is take any short cut to get to a high paying job. Just look at all the goverment people who got caught buying their degrees online. (for example) Some people even refer to house wives as "Domestic Engineers!" People who suffer through the 4-6 years at a University to get a real engineering degree should get something for taking the long high road. It doesn't matter to me what you do with the degree or what you end up doing in life.
It is a matter of respect.
It is like the climber who takes hours to climb to the summit to find his buddy waiting there after taking a short helicopter ride.
People with a "T" on the end of their degree took a simplier path. Q.E.D. (thats Latin for you tekies)
Electrical Engineering vs Electronics Engineering - My company doesn't see a difference.To me BSEET is the same as BSEE .To me both are engineers.One of my senior guys is a BSEET.The mans brilliant ! Twenty-nine years in the business has taught me that talent has nothing to do with titles.According to ABET the main difference of the two licenses are: "BSEE is preparatory for graduate studies" versus "BSEET is applying existing technologies in creative & new configurations to solve application challenges". This is correct.
I admit I screwed up many years ago when I got my AAS in electronics and due to the fact that I chose to start a family at the age of 22, don’t get me wrong I’ve spent the last 20 years working as an engineering development technician, but I would find it hard now at 52 to spend four or more years in night school to get the coveted BSEE. Then there is the problem of affording the tuition cost associated with someplace like DREXAL or TEMPLE (which by the way will not transfer any of my electronic courses), I have to start thinking about my retirement funds.
So I have been thinking of going to Devry to get a BSEET where a good portion of my courses from the AAS will transfer, I’m hoping that this will boost my income by 10%. I still have another 15 to 20 years before I retire, do you think it is worth it?
As a final note to Larry, even with my AAS degree I have had the respect from every engineer I have ever worked with over the last 20 years and I don’t think that whether the degree ends in an “E” or “T” will not change that. . Easy way out not necessarily I work roughly 10 hour days not because I have to but because I enjoy the work that I do.
David R. Peruso said:
As a final note to Larry, even with my AAS degree I have had the respect from every engineer I have ever worked with over the last 20 years and I don’t think that whether the degree ends in an “E” or “T” will not change that. . Easy way out not necessarily I work roughly 10 hour days not because I have to but because I enjoy the work that I do.
I wouldn't worry too much about what Larry H said above, I suspect he is a sock puppet account. His only activity was to join the Exchange and make two comments trying to derail the topic into an argument about how EET's are 'lesser' than EEs. There has been no activity on his account from 2/24 (his join date) to today (6/30). No groups joined, no discussions started, despite by statement that he brings up a valid topic that deserves its own thread for discussion, no friends added, nothing. The real person behind the account wanted to anonymously start a screaming match by throwing out veiled insults, and I countered with calm logic of 'Good point, but not the topic of discussion.' Some people are just like to try and start emotional arguments for fun, you see that a lot on the internet.

As to building your AASET into a BSEET in your 50's, I really can't provide a solid answer, there's to many unknowns from where I sit. I do remember having a few 'distinguished gentlemen' as classmates back in the late 80's, when I was earning my own AASET, so it proves that you're never too old to learn.
So the account is till being used to watch this thread. if my statement about the account being a 'sock puppet' was inaccurate, I sincerely apologize.

Larry helenius said:
Andrew Dreasler said:
David R. Peruso said:
As a final note to Larry, even with my AAS degree I have had the respect from every engineer I have ever worked with over the last 20 years and I don’t think that whether the degree ends in an “E” or “T” will not change that. . Easy way out not necessarily I work roughly 10 hour days not because I have to but because I enjoy the work that I do.
I wouldn't worry too much about what Larry H said above, I suspect he is a sock puppet account. His only activity was to join the Exchange and make two comments trying to derail the topic into an argument about how EET's are 'lesser' than EEs. There has been no activity on his account from 2/24 (his join date) to today (6/30). No groups joined, no discussions started, despite by statement that he brings up a valid topic that deserves its own thread for discussion, no friends added, nothing. The real person behind the account wanted to anonymously start a screaming match by throwing out veiled insults, and I countered with calm logic of 'Good point, but not the topic of discussion.' Some people are just like to try and start emotional arguments for fun, you see that a lot on the internet.

As to building your AASET into a BSEET in your 50's, I really can't provide a solid answer, there's to many unknowns from where I sit. I do remember having a few 'distinguished gentlemen' as classmates back in the late 80's, when I was earning my own AASET, so it proves that you're never too old to learn.
I don't know where Larry's hate comes from, but it's tiring. The measure of a productive engineer is what he has done with the engineering opportunities presented to him. I have seen both impressive and useless results from holders of associate degrees to PEs. The letter on the end of the degree name has little to do with it. Unfortunately, as posted in the original blog entry, there are people in the industry (including hiring managers) who share Larry's biases. The only way you can win their battles is to prove what you can do. Even then you may not be able to work with them, but hopefully you can apply your talents for someone else. Don't waste time on people who just want to argue.

A degree with a "T" on the end of its name is not necessarily a cop out. All accredited programs cover the same core curriculum. If it is a four year degree program then the content is pretty much the same. The reputation of the school is important, but most important is a person's own efforts. The degree is only a basis. You have to keep learning more stuff and applying more principles to stay effective. I'd rather hire an ET who is always building stuff in his basement than a BSEE who has gone stale because he doesn't do anything more than the limited project work he is assigned on the job. Not saying that Larry is one of them, but I've seen many BSEEs who spend too much time strutting and too little time doing.

You can carry elitist arguments on ad nauseum since there is always somebody with better credentials who can sneer at you. It serves no useful purpose. Ego stuffing is the same fluff that you deride Facebook and Twitter for. Then you have to add insults to McDonalds, online universities, people who speak Spanish, the service industry and our President. Makes me wonder who is the one who’s stoned.


Larry helenius said:
Just like face book and twitter, do you actually think that anybody really cares what you may be thinking???
Its all a waste of time - I for one have a real life.

With your logic, soon they will be passing out engineering degrees at McDonalds U.

Today, everybody wants to take the easy road, they even buy their degrees online.
Why don't we close our Universities, all learn Spanish and out source all our real engineering off shore?
We can then all work long hours in the service industry, assuming we are not too stoned, and let Obama take care of us all!

Your friendly sock puppet.............



Larry helenius said:
Andrew Dreasler said:
David R. Peruso said:
As a final note to Larry, even with my AAS degree I have had the respect from every engineer I have ever worked with over the last 20 years and I don’t think that whether the degree ends in an “E” or “T” will not change that. . Easy way out not necessarily I work roughly 10 hour days not because I have to but because I enjoy the work that I do.
I wouldn't worry too much about what Larry H said above, I suspect he is a sock puppet account. His only activity was to join the Exchange and make two comments trying to derail the topic into an argument about how EET's are 'lesser' than EEs. There has been no activity on his account from 2/24 (his join date) to today (6/30). No groups joined, no discussions started, despite by statement that he brings up a valid topic that deserves its own thread for discussion, no friends added, nothing. The real person behind the account wanted to anonymously start a screaming match by throwing out veiled insults, and I countered with calm logic of 'Good point, but not the topic of discussion.' Some people are just like to try and start emotional arguments for fun, you see that a lot on the internet.

As to building your AASET into a BSEET in your 50's, I really can't provide a solid answer, there's to many unknowns from where I sit. I do remember having a few 'distinguished gentlemen' as classmates back in the late 80's, when I was earning my own AASET, so it proves that you're never too old to learn.
i need a explanation about what are the extra courses wants to study in electrical and electonics engineer
I have to reply to Larry Helenius even though this thread is old. I wonder how many people have suffered through night school while working full time and raising a family, taking the “easy” route because they wanted the advancement that they saw those, whose parents had funded the “hard” route, making. I have seen it many times- engineers who were total incompetents, who had taken the “hard” route, rocket through the ranks on the backs of those who took the “easy” route. This, of course, is not a blanket statement about engineers- I have also known many brilliant individuals. I think it might be time to climb down out of the clouds and take a hard dose of reality -and perhaps a trim to the ego may also be warranted. – There is a growing problem with the education in this country- but ensuring that people with a degree that ends with “EE” are suitably compensated, is not the solution.
qui tacet consentire videtur- Also Latin

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