engineering graduate school question

panfilero wrote:


I too was 30 when I got my BEE. It was too long ago for my experience to be relevant, so I can offer only an observation, not advice. I got on fine without an advanced degree, but they are more necessary now than they were then. And even considering the more than 40-year interval, I was lucky to have advances as far as I did. (I was good. The luck was working for people who valued achievement more than credentials.)
Jerry
--
Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 6/18/07 3:55 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@example.net,

Of the responses I have seen so far, this is the best advice. What do you want to do? Do you have any passion for some specialty? In my day, I am retired now, amateur radio was a passion for many a potential EE. That seems to be replaced by computers now and ham radio is dying. Do you like working at the bench in preference to design and analysis? Let that guide you.
Good luck!
Bill -- Support the troops. Impeach Bush. Oh, I forgot about Cheney.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Amateur Radio killed itself off by allowing appliance operators to go wild. They should have insisted on taxing imported ahm equipment and put a practical test in place like the one for an A&P license for the Extra.
As a career decision the MSEE makes sense only if very, very carefully evaluated in terms of the future of the H-1B program, which has killed EE/CS as a desireable career path for many Americans.
You can't compete with an Indian who will work for thirty or forty thousand a year in Silicon Valley and live eight-up in a one room apartment. I know a man that with a master's in EE and several years experience in defense plants bought a bus and headed out to Silicon Valley with the idea he'd live in the bus for awhile. This was a very nice MCI MC-8 conversion formerly used by a famous country singer on tour. He couldn't get hired in any engineering job at any rate of pay, he even applied for engineering tech positions and they turned him down, of course, as overqualified. He FINALLY (speaking very good Spanish) had the wild ass idea of getting a Matricula Consular card under a fake name-and to understand why it's funny he's a really Nordic looking guy-and got a job at a big semiconductor company as a fab maintenance person. He finally was able to get an engineering support job under his real name, but the pay isn't a lot better. If he didn't own the bus, and its economical 'toad' (a towed small car behind it) outright he couldn't possibly live out there. As it stands he dreads having to get California tags and insurance on the bus: the toad will never get past CARB.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 6/18/07 6:34 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@m36g2000hse.googlegroups.com, "Bret Ludwig"

The purpose for most amateur radio activities has vanished. Operation during emergencies such as Katrina is about the most useful activity I can think of. Under ordinary circumstances communication is so cheap and more reliable through submarine cable and satellite that the thrill is gone. In my day, phone patch traffic for the military and others provided a service that was not otherwise available. Today, even if I were active, I would prefer paying a few cents a minute for a transcontinental phone call compared to running a patch.

I was a partial victim of the H-1B program in the 70's. That is why I am against amnesty and guest workers at this time. <snip>
Bill -- Support the troops. Impeach Bush. Oh, I forgot about Cheney.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have my amateur radio license and all, but at the end of the day, what does it get you? The ability to go out and legally transmit on a bunch of frequencies that you otherwise couldn't.
This is no longer all that horribly interesting to most people, especially when you consider that historically hams prmiarily used those frequencies for conversing about nothing in particular (their use for, e.g., propagation studies, coding studies, etc. has always been miniscule in comparison), and today anyone with Internet access or a cell phone can do the same thing... and a lot more. I have a fancy PDA phone that let's me access any web site on the Internet -- including secure sites -- at speeds in the "many hundreds of kbps" range, and plenty of my colleagues do as well. What does the *typical* ham have today? A 2m HT that's hitting a voice repeater. While I expect it's primarily lack of interest and funds that precludes hams from building similar systems, the fact that the FCC regulates amateur radio with rather obsolete rules -- only certain modulation formats are allowable, for instance -- definitely doesn't help either. (For every licensed amateur with a 2m HT, I suspect that something under 5% have any form of a digital radio system, and probably <0.5% have a *high-speed* system, say, 128kbps or better. With cell phones, I'd guess that at least half have some data access, and at least 10% have high-speed data access... a number that will only increase over time.)
I'm not trying to "dis" amateur radio... I think it's a great thing, I very much enjoy it, and recommend those with an interest in radio give it a try... just pointing out that there's no longer the motivation to become a ham as there once was (i.e., years ago, if you wanted to talk with people wirelessly amateur radio was often the only choice).

I'd say it's only killed it as a desirable career path for those who really weren't particularly passionate or good at it in the first place.
On the other hand, I can definitely see why someone who's not sure if they want to be an engineer or a businessman deciding to go the MBA route instead of the EE route these days. Plenty of competition there as well, of course.

It's not a crime to leave out some of your prior job experience and educational qualifications on your resume. :-)
There's also a lot more to the country than Silicon Valley.

It really sounds like he should try to find a job outside of California...
---Joel
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

RF Radio Interference issue abatement for an ever-changing number of tower sites (and company names) (from as little as 12, to as many as 8,000 towers. And all types: cellular, paging, AM/FM/TV, rotatable log periodics, C-band uplink, etc...)
At the time, I refused to get my Amateur license. (Even at the encouragement of my radio friends, who could never quite understand my aversion to it.)
What turned me off most were the countless "back-to-back Mitrek mobile repeaters", and the ensuing interference complaints & extra workload that would often generate. And having met many a HAM, I just didn't feel like I ever fit into that crowd.
Now that I'm a bit older, and more importatnly not doing interference work anymore (unless someone pays me big bucks!), I've warmed up a little. HAMS are definitely a social bunch, but I'm not sure as a whole, they are advancing the art anymore..?? I think THAT is the "decline" we're all trying to put our fingers on. A lot of HAMS just buy gear off the shelf. And finite element analysis (which exceeds most amateur's comprehension) took over the rest.
That's a far cry from "Honey, can you bring home some milk?"
-mpm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I primarily "joined up" so that I would have somewhere to test out higher power transmitters legally. I'm not at all a social person, although I do enjoy some of the seminars you see at the hamfests and of course just "shopping" for parts. Hams are generally quite pragmatic, so you can pick up a lot more, say, industry-applicable antenna information at their seminars than you would from, e.g., Krauss's excellent book.

No, they aren't that much, and it's understandable when you look at just how complicated the "competition" (cell phones!) are. There *are* hams out there doing quite sophisticated work -- folks running EM simulators for antenna design, folks creating pretty fancy modulation techniques with FEC using DSP, the digital voice guys, etc. -- but it is a tiny proportion of the ham community.
Have you ever had the chance to go to Dayton (the annual national conference)? It's very much worth it, since one trip gives you a lot of insight into how amateur radio encompasses everything from, "I used to be a CB'er, but the FCC confiscated my linear and my buddy told me I'd be legit if I passed this here 35 question multiple-choice test!" to "Yeah, we're implementing some turbo codes on top of our OFDM and looking at processing with a few dedicated 32 bit DSPs or might move to FPGAs if they run out of steam..."
---Joel
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Salmon Egg wrote:
<snip>

How on earth did the rec.radio.amateur hierarchy descend into such idiocy (except for the homebrew ng)? I hadn't looked there for many years and am aghast at what I see. This situation is certainly reflected on other online amatuer radio venues on the Internet as well.
In the US, one could argue that FCC policy that has downgraded licensing requirements since the late 1970s has played a significant role in deficits of character, but what explains the online bad conduct of amateurs from elsewhere?
Do you see any hope of restoring an engineering orientation to the amateur radio services and if so by what instrumentality?
Regards,
Michael
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Re-edjimucate 'em!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 6/18/07 6:40 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com, "msg"

Not really. Modern electronics and radio is not really feasible or economical for home construction. I can get an FM stereo radio with earphones at the 99 store. You cannot buy the parts for a transceiver for what it costs for a much better piece of equipment commercially.
Don't blame the FCC. The US Navy no longer uses Morse code as far as I know. Even short wave broadcasters have given up good frequencies because internet over fiber gives more reliable and cheaper service.
Bill
-- Support the troops. Impeach Bush. Oh, I forgot about Cheney.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(repost attempt, first post failed)
Salmon Egg wrote: <snip> > Modern electronics and radio is not really feasible or > economical for home construction. I can get an FM stereo radio with > earphones at the 99 store. You cannot buy the parts for a transceiver for > what it costs for a much better piece of equipment commercially. >
FWIW, please try my homebrew HF receiver (online/interactive) at http://www.cybertheque.org/homebrew/rcvr
I hope to have measurements of its characteristics available on the site soon also.
Regards,
Michael
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 6/19/07 7:06 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com, "msg"

I do not know if this poster is malicious, but I ran into problems trying his site. I had to force quit my browser to continue.
Bill
-- Support the troops. Impeach Bush. Oh, I forgot about Cheney.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Salmon Egg wrote:

Apologies for any problems you may have experienced. The main page uses a java applet to handle the remote-control session with the receiver. It is known to work well on Netscape/Mozilla and IE on Win32 using JRE1.4.x and on Netscape/Mozilla on Solaris; I don't have many reports of how well it works on MacOS/OS X, Linux or other X-windows OS implementations.
What browser/OS were you using? Did you look at the Java Console messages in your browser?
Your newsgroup posting headers include domains 'prodigy.com' and 'yahoo.sbc.com'; are you using some kind of bundled browser/Internet access software that may be conflicting with Java on your machine? I also see reference to Microsoft Entourage (I am not familiar with that client).
It is difficult to provide a client-side realtime browser- embedded control method without using Java or undesirably Microsoft-specific active controls (which I'm not using).
If anyone has problems, I'd appreciate a report.
Regards,
Michael (msg _at_ cybertheque _dot_ org)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 6/19/07 3:44 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com, "msg"

I was using Safari and got into an infinite loop.
Bill -- Support the troops. Impeach Bush. Oh, I forgot about Cheney.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 6/19/07 2:57 PM, in article C29D9F72.80C89% snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net,

It worked for me, as far as I went, but it is klunky.
Don
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don Bowey wrote:

<snip>
The documentation provided at the site admits that it is a preliminary interface just to get the radio on-the-air after some months of engineering and construction; I hoped to make a fancy GUI but again that would require client-side installs or applets...
Anyone who doesn't like the java (used only for an embedded telnet client and and embedded IRC client) may access the receiver controls at:
telnet://cybertheque.org 1238
and for the chat to coordinate its use with other users:
irc://cybertheque.org#rcvr
The audio is available in an RTP stream by placing a SIP call to:
sip: snipped-for-privacy@cybertheque.org
These steps may be a little 'klunky' but so far I have not found an os-agnostic way to handle each of these media types without requiring client-side installs unless the user is willing to put up with a little trouble with java or the user is willing to make the effort to access the streams using separate clients as above.
Regards,
Michael
(msg _at_ cybertheque _dot_ org)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
msg wrote:

<snip>
However, I forgot to mention that in order to establish a session if there already is a connection (in other words, to grab the session from another user) is to use the 'RESET' button on the main web page (which invokes a cgi program to clear the connection).
Regards,
Michael
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
msg wrote:

I agree with the other posts. If we can't interest students in Ham Radio early, it's going down the drain. If anyone wants to speak to someone new now, they can get on a chat room...
We are becoming a consumer nation, producing less and less as time goes on. Technical jobs, even some computer jobs are being off-shored, removing the desire for new students in colleges to pick non-technical fields.
Math and Science/Physics is being dumbed down in early schools, and many schools can't afford to pay the better teachers. In part due to the need to allow Hispanic students to compete. Some schools, I've heard, even require Spanish education for prospective teachers!
The PC (Politically Correct) slant is affecting the Universities most of all. My son was going for a Math degree but was turned off with the requirement of 30 semester hours of multicultural core classes, and dropped out with only two Math classes to go! Literature replaced American Literature, with only 3 of the required books being written by authors in the US!). A BSEE at several Universities now requires 20%-50% more hours of Liberal Arts than 30 years ago, probably due to the low number of tenured Math/Sciences professors when graduation requirements are voted on...
A class in Black Studies was a required course in both my boy's High School too. I would expect that to change if the current Amnesty Bill passes, as the largest minority would be Hispanic then. (Well, after the over 55 who don't count -- we're too old to get "real" jobs when we're let go due to downsizing and outsourcing.)
Gary KB9CG
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't see this happening. People have successfully argued that many of the old tests (such as Morse code!) were outdated and should be dropped (quite reasonable, I think), but the culture today is very much against replacing those old tests with up-to-date tests in there place. Hence, getting an amateur radio license today is not much harder than getting a driver's license. Even that's not entirely a bad thing, but it makes it clear why hams today reflect a pretty "generic" slice of society (plenty of bad in with the good) compared to the largley "niche engineering" slice it once did (somewhat more good than bad...).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I have to disagree a little here. If your goal is to be, e.g., an analog IC designer, unless you're Jim Thompson's kid it's very difficult to do these days without the formal education. The problem is that building ICs requires big bucks, which implies big companies, and big companies are notoriously bad about using academic credentials as the first "gatekeepers" to employment.
On the other hand, for someone who wants to write software, do some digital design, perhaps some power supply stuff, etc. (i.e., decent chance of getting a job in a smaller company as a "general-purpose useful person), it is reasonable to just learn on the job. Perhaps not the most secure career strategy, but I certainly know several people who've taken this route and it works just fine for them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.