: We are contemplating a move, as the second wage earner in the family,
: I am not under a lot of pressure, but will I have much luck finding a
: job using my Pro-E skills, six months from now? A year from now?
: Anyone care to take a W.A.G. on this? how many Pro seats are in the
: San Diego area? How many companies out there use Pro-E?
: How does the economy look in that area?
Hey, Dan, more unemployed Pro/e designers are always welcome in sunny SoCal.
Actually, the job market is booming, if you want to work for $6-8 per hour. Or,
you could come out here and join the Vons and Albertson's clerks on strike. My
advice is start sending out resumes to places now advertising design work on the
internet (Monster, Net-temps, Hotjobs, etc.). Explain your situation and see what
the response is. It's best to come with a job offer. If they don't think enough
you to talk to you while you are out of state, their opinion and approach won't
improve once you are here, unless you have something they really need but are
expecting to just fall into their laps. There's a fair bit of that stubbornly
blase airheadedness out here. And, they seem to be getting away with it as long
the economy is slogging along.
Some big places do, as Alex pointed out, use Pro/e: besides Solar Turbines, there
are Genomics, Nokia, Kyocera, Qualcom, General Atomics Aeronatuics, Northrup
Grumman, Baxter Labs and some other aeronatical, electronic and medical equipment
places. None of them have hired in the last 6 mos. They will bring in people
occassionally through an agency like Volt, Aerotek, Butler or Addeco. And there's
a lot more of that kind of thing happening in Orange, LA and Ventura counties
down here. So, you could easily live in North SD County and wind up driving up to
Orange County daily for work. The contracts are running, though, only 1-3 months
So, some things you ought to have on your Resume:
* Engineering degree, advanced is better, some specialty is best
* Aeronautics experience
* Stress analysis (Ansys, Nastran, Patran, Mechanica)
* Plastic part or mold design experience
* DoD security clearance
* Any more specialized use of Pro/e: system admin, Windchill, Intralink
But, if you want to see how depressed things are, check out the website of the
local Pro/e user group.
The meeting announcement for Nov 12 didn't appear until the 13th. About a dozen
people have signed up for it, three quarters are board members or vendors. They
had a problem with their old site based on no one maintaining it, so they dumped
the old one and started this elaborate bulletin board system, no supposedly
moderated which means they gone to the other extreme meaning so restricted and
regulated, no one wants to have anything to do with it. The last meeting I went
to, before the UG went into hiding, had about 20 percent of participants (by my
informal poll) either unemployed or under employed or newly 'self-employed'. So,
if you have a license of Pro/e and want to start drumming up business, you might
be able to make a go of it, especially if you can afford to start slowly and
devote a few years to building up the business. However, from the small design
shops I've talked to, none of them are thriving either. Everyone is pretty much
waiting for the economy to turn around. Six month down the road, who knows!
They've been saying six months more for almost two years. So far, I've had better
luck looking for work in Texas. At least the cost of living, including gas
housing, etc. is more reasonable. Anyway, if moving depends on a booming job
market, it is not and will not be six months from now. Even after the recovery of
the second half of the 90s, it was only the last couple years where the labor
market got tight, it was relatively easy to find a job and wages were going up.
Now, they're all bargain hunting, so even if you can find a job out here, even
though the cost of living is not cheap ($400k to buy a house), don't expect the
money to be that great. If you're an international star of exotic metals research
with advanced degrees and patents, you'll have an easy time of it; expect the
sledding to be rougher and the reception cooler if you're just Average Dan. That
was always true, just more so now.