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Alot of questions - RF Cafe Forums

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 Post subject: Alot of questions
Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:17 pm 
 
Lieutenant

Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:00 pm
Posts: 1
I have a few questions concerning education (degrees) and RF Engineering jobs.

Myself and a few coworkers are in a discussion on how we should proceed with our education.

1. We are in the military with many years of experience in Satellite and Wideband Communications. (Long Haul RF).
2. We are looking to be in the RF field when we retire.

Questions:
1. To be RF Engineers. What degrees are companies looking for?
2. Are companies looking for regional accredited schools or does work experience (20 years in the career field) and national accredited schools fill the degree requirement.

Here's the deal. I been in the military for a long time and going to Grantham University (nationaly accredited) majoring (BS) in Electronics Engineering Technology. EET. Would I be in the running for a RF engineering job?
IF not, does anyone know of any colleges offering online degrees to help. We are deployed alot and have families at home. So traditional colleges are out of the question.

But, I cannot throw away 20 years in this career and waste tax payers money.

Anybody have any suggestions on how to be in this field in our situations...

Thanks,
Wanna be an RF Engineer


 
   
 
 Post subject:
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:24 pm 
 
Captain
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:27 am
Posts: 13
Location: Dallas, TX
Hi poolek,

I will give you some answers to what I know or at least have been seeing recently.

Quote:
1. To be RF Engineers. What degrees are companies looking for?

Typically, companies want to hire people with M.S. or M.E. degrees or a Ph.D./D.Sc. for these positions due to the increasing complexity in modern systems. However, that is not to say the individuals with B.S. or no degree at all aren't capable or working in this field either. No amount of schooling can replace real world experience though. So, do not get discouraged by not having a degree currently. Although, it may be a little difficult to get your foot in the door without a B.S., but if the company looks past this they may be able to help you out with furthering your education.
Quote:
2. Are companies looking for regional accredited schools or does work experience (20 years in the career field) and national accredited schools fill the degree requirement.

Sure, experience is always first and foremost on people's minds. If someone has been doing RF design for 20 years, there is probably a good reason for that. Typically though, they will probably want a BSEE and not a BSEET.

Hope this helps and good luck with your future endeavors.

-J


 
   
 
 Post subject: So ya wanne be an RF Engineer
Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:53 pm 
 
Captain
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:43 pm
Posts: 5
When I was just starting out in my career, everyone was interested in computer programming and digital engineering. A good friend who was an EE told me that all the old guys that know anything about analog are beginning to retire, and there will be a huge demand for analog and RF engineers. I took his advice and went the analog/RF route, while virtually everyone else was going digital. Over the next 10 years, demand for RF engineers was high, and the supply was very low.

However, the market has responded to the demand.

In the past ten years or so, there has been a huge bubble of people interested in RF engineering. Not just interest from people in the US, but people from all over the world - in fact, the demand for beginning RF engineering jobs has outstripped the supply, while the demand for experienced people begins to stabilize as the bubble moves through the system, more immigrants arrive to fill the slots and competition from overseas firms in low wage countries increases. US Employers are extremely picky and only take the best candidates into their entry level RF positions. All you have to do is read the employment section the RFCafe forum, or any other RF forum. I would say we're at "Peak RF" right now.

That being said, I think analog/RF is the most interesting field in Electrical Engineering. I can remember how BORED I was in digital classes. There is always something new to learn in analog and it takes many years to learn it. There are always new design experiences to be had and everything builds on itself. If that's what you want out of RF engineering, then jump in.

But I think the money just isn't going to be in RF anymore. There's just too many people trying to get in.

If you want money, then identify a field where there's a dearth of people entering the field because everyone else is jumping on the RF/analog bandwagon.

If you are truly US citizens and soon to be military veterans, I continue to hear that the defense/aerospace industry is predicting a huge shortfall in engineers with US citizenship as the boomers begin to retire over the next ten to fifteen years - you can almost certainly benefit from your military background there. There are also many, many immigrants getting their US citizenships to fill that need.

Although it's iffy, I understand that the petroleum industry is also going to be hurting soon - there's an industry with big bucks, short on people and the ability to delve into any other energy field. Alternative energy maybe. You know, I think I'd take a serious look at petroleum engineering if I were starting out.

It's like the stock market, you don't want to go where the rest of the lemmings are headed. You want to find the undervalued path that everyone else is ignoring and which has potential to explode in demand due to some sort of shortage.

For someone just starting out, RF just isn't it any more. Good luck to you.


 
   
 
 Post subject: One more thing
Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:18 pm 
 
Captain
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:43 pm
Posts: 5
You mentioned that you have 20 years in the military. Let's assume you're enlisted (or you'd already have a degree), and you were 18 years old when you started out.

That makes you about 38 years old. There is age discrimination to contend with after age 40.

http://www.todaysengineer.org/2008/Mar/resumes.asp

You might want to try the defense/aerospace industry where your military experience might be valued.

The BSEET degree puts you somewhere between a technician (Associates degree) and an engineering degree (BSEE). If you can switch tracks into an EE degree, that would be helpful.

I don't want to sound discouraging, but being forewarned should help you to plan your strategy correctly.


 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Alot of questions
Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:51 am 
 
Lieutenant

Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:38 am
Posts: 3
You simply say the right thing. In military, carefully study every detail and warnings that crosses your way.








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