I really don't know about the demand in the US as a whole. I know we (small
company of 40 or so engineers and techs) are always looking for good techs.
We recently had the local ITT Tech. campus send us several recent graduates
for interviews. We have a simple test we give techs. It has 10
questions/problems, all of which are very simple. It includes things like
voltage across a resistor in a dc circuit, parallel combination of
resistors, questions on identifying the symbols for differnt types of
transistors (pnp, npn, etc). I have not done anything with electronics or
dc circuits for 7 years and I can answer every question. Out of 6 or so
applicants, none could pass. None even got more than 3 correct!!!!!!! We
ended up hiring a guy whose only training was electronics school in the
Airforce several years ago. He answered all 10 questions correctly with no
problem. We called him back and had him answer some oral questions and also
do some simple things like solder. He is a keeper.
If you do go back for an A.S., please learn something. Don't just beat in
your time to get your grade and go on. A good electronics tech with a
strong software background can do quite well in my opinion.
Charles Perry P.E.
Yes. We had an engineer in a tech position for about 6 months. We both
understood that it was a temporary arrangement. He wanted to work a while
and then go back to school. We would hire an engineer into such a position.
However, we have to consider that fact that the engineer is more likely to
up and leave. Of course the engineer might also work himself up to an
engineering position in the company when one became available.
Charles Perry P.E.
An AS degree is pretty much an entry level degree. Our "techs"
are mostly Engineers (degree outside EE) and BSEETs and they're
few, outside manufacturing. However, with your software
background it might be a very good career move, if you can do it
without going broke. A technician with extensive software
experience could find a very good job. Perhaps not in six
figures, but all life isn't $$.
If you're looking for a recession-proof position, well they don't
exist. However, the more diverse your education/experience the
better off you'll be. In your case, (given that you can step
"down" - salary wise - into a technician position) you should be
in a very good position.
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