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Should I Take Job Offer or Keep Looking? Advice From Anyone in the Engineering/Technology Field Greatly Appreciated

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I graduated in December with a degree in Electrical Engineering. The job search for a engineering position has been a bit of a struggle, and the job I have now just isn't making ends meet and has nothing to do with what I went to school for. I was offered a technican position with a fairly large medical device company today. The problem is the pay isn't really what I was expecting with an engineering degree, and it's not a engineering position.

 

The company does have engineering positions, but I was contacted about this particular position by a staffing agency and wasn't aware of who the company was until they sent my resume. I didn't want to apply for two positions at the same time. I did explain to the hiring manager that I'm ultimately looking to be an engineer, but I need to make ends meet right now and I'm open to positions somewhat related to my field. He did say the company is big on hiring from within, and many of his technicians do move to other departments.

​My other concern is getting stuck. I've read online and been told by some of my instructors not to take technician positons if you want to get into engineering because It's easy to get stuck in those roles, and may not look good to future employers. I also have a technical degree in electronics, and was a Avionics Technician about a decade ago, then ended up working a customer service position when the company went under. I haven't held a technical position for about a decade which is also hurting me.

 

Money is another issue. I don't want to sound like a spoiled brat, but I do feel like the pay is a bit low. They're offering approximately $41,000 a year. it's more than I'm making now, but I'll still be struggling when student loans start to hit in a few months.

 

On the positive, the manager seems like a very nice guy and wants to do what he can to make his workers succeed. They also had me do a soldering test, and some of the other technicians came up and offered me some advise. Everyone seemed nice and laid back and they didn't have that corporate atmosphere feeling.

 

At this point I'm unsure what to do. I'd hate to accept a offer just to resign a short time later.

 

Pros:
​1. Good way to get foot in door.

2. May lead to engineering position.

3. Co-workers seem friendly.

4. Pays more than I make right now.

5. NO CUSTOMERS!

 

Cons:
​1. Pay seems low.

2. Not really the type of positon I was looking for.

3. Worried about getting stuck in technician positions.

4. Will this ultimately hurt my chances of getting a engineer position?

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Its a challenge for IT as well as engineering jobs. Be willing to relocate as engineering jobs might be found in other parts of the country. If you're on LinkedIn follow Liz Ryan she's a well known career counselor and employment guru. Don't waste your time with agencies and headhunters. They're looking for their 10% and would dump you into Tier I telephone tech support if it would get them a commission.

 

Since you are in a financial bind, I'd go ahead and take this job and keep looking on the sly. Don't concern yourself with taking this job then jumping ship for a better offer later. Would the company feel bad if they laid you off two weeks after hiring you? NO. They won't. It's a two way street. Companies are not loyal to their employees, and employees should not be expected to show big loyalties to their employer.

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Its a challenge for IT as well as engineering jobs. Be willing to relocate as engineering jobs might be found in other parts of the country. If you're on LinkedIn follow Liz Ryan she's a well known career counselor and employment guru. Don't waste your time with agencies and headhunters. They're looking for their 10% and would dump you into Tier I telephone tech support if it would get them a commission.

 

Since you are in a financial bind, I'd go ahead and take this job and keep looking on the sly. Don't concern yourself with taking this job then jumping ship for a better offer later. Would the company feel bad if they laid you off two weeks after hiring you? NO. They won't. It's a two way street. Companies are not loyal to their employees, and employees should not be expected to show big loyalties to their employer.

 

I'm in Minnesota which supposedly is a good market for engineering. My main issue is that I wasn't able to get a internship and now it's like my resume is falling into a black hole. As much as I'd hate to leave my home state, I have been considering jobs in other states.

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Its a challenge for IT as well as engineering jobs. Be willing to relocate as engineering jobs might be found in other parts of the country. If you're on LinkedIn follow Liz Ryan she's a well known career counselor and employment guru. Don't waste your time with agencies and headhunters. They're looking for their 10% and would dump you into Tier I telephone tech support if it would get them a commission.

 

Since you are in a financial bind, I'd go ahead and take this job and keep looking on the sly. Don't concern yourself with taking this job then jumping ship for a better offer later. Would the company feel bad if they laid you off two weeks after hiring you? NO. They won't. It's a two way street. Companies are not loyal to their employees, and employees should not be expected to show big loyalties to their employer.

 

I'm in Minnesota which supposedly is a good market for engineering. My main issue is that I wasn't able to get a internship and now it's like my resume is falling into a black hole. As much as I'd hate to leave my home state, I have been considering jobs in other states.

 

when I was under-employed I did an international job search and moved thousands of miles and greatly improved my financial life.

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I'm also an EE. I dropped out of school for a year to earn money to complete my courses. I found a job at Analog Devices in QC. It was a fantastic position because I got to apply the stuff I'd learned in college in analyzing design and environment failures. Before I left to go back to school the company offered to promote me to an engineer if I had stayed. Then, when I went back, the experience was incredibly helpful in following the coursework.

 

My first job out of college was at a small company but that was an accident. In retrospect, starting at a small company was incredibly fortuitous. I learned a bit about how stuff I designed was built in production and the kinds of design approaches that addressed the needs of the various groups involved from building through testing, and with sales field trips, how customers used them. This sort of thing made it easy to advance later and ultimately start my own business since intimate understanding of how different departments and people interact is easy to acquire in small companies. Probably the best size is somewhere between 25 and 250 employees.

 

Also, check out the very cool and cheap DIY things you can build with the tiny microcontroller boards. Great fun and a good way to learn hands on. Experience doing this will impress those that hire. At least those that hire at a place you would want to work at.

Edited by cashnocredit

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I'm also an EE. I dropped out of school for a year to earn money to complete my courses. I found a job at Analog Devices in QC. It was a fantastic position because I got to apply the stuff I'd learned in college in analyzing design and environment failures. Before I left to go back to school the company offered to promote me to an engineer if I had stayed. Then, when I went back, the experience was incredibly helpful in following the coursework.

 

My first job out of college was at a small company but that was an accident. In retrospect, starting at a small company was incredibly fortuitous. I learned a bit about how stuff I designed was built in production and the kinds of design approaches that addressed the needs of the various groups involved from building through testing, and with sales field trips, how customers used them. This sort of thing made it easy to advance later and ultimately start my own business since intimate understanding of how different departments and people interact is easy to acquire in small companies. Probably the best size is somewhere between 25 and 250 employees.

 

Also, check out the very cool and cheap DIY things you can build with the tiny microcontroller boards. Great fun and a good way to learn hands on. Experience doing this will impress those that hire. At least those that hire at a place you would want to work at.

 

First, thank you for your input. So in your opinion, taking a detour and working a technician position won't be detrimental as far as an engineering career?

 

I did create a portfolio website and put some of my academic projects on there. I've been using Code Academy and TheOdinProject to learn HTML,CSS, and Ruby, and Ruby on the Rails since it may open the door to a software engineering position.

Unfortunately, I ended taking the power path in college since the digital/microcontroller classes were in very high demand and would fill up very quickly. So I don't have much experience with microcontrollers. Do you think it'd be more worth my time learning to program microcontrollers instead of learning web development tools? I do have experience with Arduino, but I'm not sure if that would really be impressive since it's more of an amateur device.

 

 

 

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Does the area you would be working for every work with the engineers? Going in and doing well and interacting with the engineering department may get you that "promote from within" angle that you need.

 

Now, the second question is a bit delicate....how old are you? By your original post, I would guesstimate that you are at least 30 or possibly older.
In engineering - as with many professions - it is harder to get that first job if you are older unless you have an "in" somewhere. I really don't know why it works that way, but oftentimes it does.
If it looks like this company does indeed promote from within, then you might want to go with it. It won't keep you from looking elsewhere at the same time.

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Does the area you would be working for every work with the engineers? Going in and doing well and interacting with the engineering department may get you that "promote from within" angle that you need.

 

Now, the second question is a bit delicate....how old are you? By your original post, I would guesstimate that you are at least 30 or possibly older.

In engineering - as with many professions - it is harder to get that first job if you are older unless you have an "in" somewhere. I really don't know why it works that way, but oftentimes it does.

If it looks like this company does indeed promote from within, then you might want to go with it. It won't keep you from looking elsewhere at the same time.

​They do have engineers working in the department I'll be in. In fact, I met one of them during my interview. I actually accepted the job offer earlier today and will be starting in three weeks. I'm thinking it's a good way to get my foot in the door and work my way into a engineering position. I can always keep looking; plus, there's still a few phone interviews I did recently that haven't got back to me yet.

 

​Yes, I am in my mid 30's. I would have pursued the engineering path right after high school if I could do it all over again. One of my friends with was able to get a engineering position and he's 47(and looks older), so I feel there's some hope. I think my main problem is I haven't had any technical work experience for so long and it's hurting me, so hopefully this new position will help in some way.

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My brother is an EE, and he's moved across country a couple of times. He likes to work in an industrial setting. It really seems like one area will boom for a while, then business dies down. I would think you have to be flexible, tackle different aspects of your field, develop a kinds of skills - like managing people as well as the machines or whatever you work with that doesn't talk back. :D He also managed to get an MBA a few years ago.

 

Build a good resume, take on jobs you don't have to do, branch out if you can, and make your boss look good. ;)

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I'm also an EE. I dropped out of school for a year to earn money to complete my courses. I found a job at Analog Devices in QC. It was a fantastic position because I got to apply the stuff I'd learned in college in analyzing design and environment failures. Before I left to go back to school the company offered to promote me to an engineer if I had stayed. Then, when I went back, the experience was incredibly helpful in following the coursework.

 

My first job out of college was at a small company but that was an accident. In retrospect, starting at a small company was incredibly fortuitous. I learned a bit about how stuff I designed was built in production and the kinds of design approaches that addressed the needs of the various groups involved from building through testing, and with sales field trips, how customers used them. This sort of thing made it easy to advance later and ultimately start my own business since intimate understanding of how different departments and people interact is easy to acquire in small companies. Probably the best size is somewhere between 25 and 250 employees.

 

Also, check out the very cool and cheap DIY things you can build with the tiny microcontroller boards. Great fun and a good way to learn hands on. Experience doing this will impress those that hire. At least those that hire at a place you would want to work at.

 

First, thank you for your input. So in your opinion, taking a detour and working a technician position won't be detrimental as far as an engineering career?

 

I did create a portfolio website and put some of my academic projects on there. I've been using Code Academy and TheOdinProject to learn HTML,CSS, and Ruby, and Ruby on the Rails since it may open the door to a software engineering position.

Unfortunately, I ended taking the power path in college since the digital/microcontroller classes were in very high demand and would fill up very quickly. So I don't have much experience with microcontrollers. Do you think it'd be more worth my time learning to program microcontrollers instead of learning web development tools? I do have experience with Arduino, but I'm not sure if that would really be impressive since it's more of an amateur device.

 

 

Not at all. You can put complete OS's on an Arduino and there are various add-ons that are both cheap and provide flexibility in doing a project. The key thing that's possible with them is you can learn a lot about coding for embedded systems with them. C and C++ are both languages that are well suited for microcontrollers and embedded programmers are in demand.

 

Play with this stuff on the side.

 

What was your EE focus? If power, then consider working for a Prof. Engr. (PE) license. These are pretty much required for anything other than entry positions in the power industry. There are a lot of specialties in EE but the one characteristic of the EE field is very rapid change so it's both incredibly fun because of so much new stuff all the time but also incredibly demanding. Many people burn out and find a different field but much of what you learn in EE is highly transferable so they tend to do well after changing fields.

 

Oh, and enjoy your time as a tech. I did. Techs rule.

Edited by cashnocredit

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What was your EE focus? If power, then consider working for a Prof. Engr. (PE) license.

 

Don't you have to be working as an engineer and have documented engineering experience in order to sit for the EIT or PE exams?

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What was your EE focus? If power, then consider working for a Prof. Engr. (PE) license.

 

Don't you have to be working as an engineer and have documented engineering experience in order to sit for the EIT or PE exams?

 

 

Not for the EIT. You need to have a certain amount of approved coursework OR relevant work experience before being allowed to take the all day EIT exam, Once that is passed then you have to have specific work experience in EE along with recommendations by your supervisors before you can sign up for the PE exam, another all day exam. It's hard. At the time I took the exam the pass rate was 25%. This has improved over time and is now about 50%. If you fail you can retake it after some time has passed.

 

I did all that shortly after starting my career thinking it might be necessary. Technically, in Calif., you are not allowed to hang out a shingle as an engineer without a PE license. You are supposed to stamp electrical engineering designs, etc. The reality is that no one gives a rat's behind. With the exception of those in the power industry or those that design electrical systems for large buildings. I have never seen an industrial employer ask or care whether you had a PE and have only rarely encountered an engineering job applicant with a PE. At least in the computer industry.

 

A PE is valuable in the power industry and some areas of consulting. But if he doesn't work in that field it's pretty much a waste of time.

Edited by cashnocredit

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Its a challenge for IT as well as engineering jobs. Be willing to relocate as engineering jobs might be found in other parts of the country. If you're on LinkedIn follow Liz Ryan she's a well known career counselor and employment guru. Don't waste your time with agencies and headhunters. They're looking for their 10% and would dump you into Tier I telephone tech support if it would get them a commission.

 

Since you are in a financial bind, I'd go ahead and take this job and keep looking on the sly. Don't concern yourself with taking this job then jumping ship for a better offer later. Would the company feel bad if they laid you off two weeks after hiring you? NO. They won't. It's a two way street. Companies are not loyal to their employees, and employees should not be expected to show big loyalties to their employer.

 

I'm in Minnesota which supposedly is a good market for engineering. My main issue is that I wasn't able to get a internship and now it's like my resume is falling into a black hole. As much as I'd hate to leave my home state, I have been considering jobs in other states.

 

when I was under-employed I did an international job search and moved thousands of miles and greatly improved my financial life.

 

Funny thing is I am actually in a pretty good position now, all things considered, but am going to school because I can't get a working visa in my country of choice without a bachelors degree.

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On 3/22/2017 at 7:05 PM, hegemony said:

when I was under-employed I did an international job search and moved thousands of miles and greatly improved my financial life.

Why didn't you just stay where you were and demand lower house prices?

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2 hours ago, cv91915 said:

Why didn't you just stay where you were and demand lower house prices?

I moved to a place with more expensive housing, but that is probably lost on you.

 

I'll add that you are pretty screwed-up in the head to decide to stalk me on this issue. I have not been whining about housing costs. You're the one telling people to move to shytehole places in the south if they want cheap homes.

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9 minutes ago, hegemony said:

I moved to a place with more expensive housing, but that is probably lost on you.

 

I'll add that you are pretty screwed-up in the head to decide to stalk me on this issue. I have not been whining about housing costs. You're the one telling people to move to shytehole places in the south if they want cheap homes.

I'm sure I look ridiculous next to someone who's such a good sport when they get teased a little. 

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On 3/24/2017 at 10:05 AM, cashnocredit said:

 

Not for the EIT. You need to have a certain amount of approved coursework OR relevant work experience before being allowed to take the all day EIT exam, Once that is passed then you have to have specific work experience in EE along with recommendations by your supervisors before you can sign up for the PE exam, another all day exam. It's hard. At the time I took the exam the pass rate was 25%. This has improved over time and is now about 50%. If you fail you can retake it after some time has passed.

 

I did all that shortly after starting my career thinking it might be necessary. Technically, in Calif., you are not allowed to hang out a shingle as an engineer without a PE license. You are supposed to stamp electrical engineering designs, etc. The reality is that no one gives a rat's behind. With the exception of those in the power industry or those that design electrical systems for large buildings. I have never seen an industrial employer ask or care whether you had a PE and have only rarely encountered an engineering job applicant with a PE. At least in the computer industry.

 

A PE is valuable in the power industry and some areas of consulting. But if he doesn't work in that field it's pretty much a waste of time.

A lot of engineering students take the EIT right out of college, as soon as they graduate -- at least that's what most of the EE, ME, and CE grads at my school do.  A lot of schools across the country offer intensive refresher courses to help you prep for the EIT or PE exams -- they're usually well worth the cost and effort to attend.

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8 hours ago, Burdell said:

A lot of engineering students take the EIT right out of college, as soon as they graduate -- at least that's what most of the EE, ME, and CE grads at my school do.  A lot of schools across the country offer intensive refresher courses to help you prep for the EIT or PE exams -- they're usually well worth the cost and effort to attend.

I don't recall the EIT or PE ever even coming up at my school. I ran across an article on it in some trade publication after I started working. Seemed like a good idea so I took the EIT. It was interesting. Covered a broad area of engineering. To get the EE PE, I had to wait until I had the required year or so of work experience. It was a full day test on EE related topics. Fun too as it makes you think a bit.

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On 3/22/2017 at 5:29 PM, Rms6799 said:

I graduated in December with a degree in Electrical Engineering. The job search for a engineering position has been a bit of a struggle, and the job I have now just isn't making ends meet and has nothing to do with what I went to school for. I was offered a technican position with a fairly large medical device company today. The problem is the pay isn't really what I was expecting with an engineering degree, and it's not a engineering position.

 

The company does have engineering positions, but I was contacted about this particular position by a staffing agency and wasn't aware of who the company was until they sent my resume. I didn't want to apply for two positions at the same time. I did explain to the hiring manager that I'm ultimately looking to be an engineer, but I need to make ends meet right now and I'm open to positions somewhat related to my field. He did say the company is big on hiring from within, and many of his technicians do move to other departments.

My other concern is getting stuck. I've read online and been told by some of my instructors not to take technician positons if you want to get into engineering because It's easy to get stuck in those roles, and may not look good to future employers. I also have a technical degree in electronics, and was a Avionics Technician about a decade ago, then ended up working a customer service position when the company went under. I haven't held a technical position for about a decade which is also hurting me.

 

Money is another issue. I don't want to sound like a spoiled brat, but I do feel like the pay is a bit low. They're offering approximately $41,000 a year. it's more than I'm making now, but I'll still be struggling when student loans start to hit in a few months.

 

On the positive, the manager seems like a very nice guy and wants to do what he can to make his workers succeed. They also had me do a soldering test, and some of the other technicians came up and offered me some advise. Everyone seemed nice and laid back and they didn't have that corporate atmosphere feeling.

 

At this point I'm unsure what to do. I'd hate to accept a offer just to resign a short time later.

 

Pros:
1. Good way to get foot in door.

2. May lead to engineering position.

3. Co-workers seem friendly.

4. Pays more than I make right now.

5. NO CUSTOMERS!

 

Cons:
1. Pay seems low.

2. Not really the type of positon I was looking for.

3. Worried about getting stuck in technician positions.

4. Will this ultimately hurt my chances of getting a engineer position?

What's the financial health of the company like. Are they in better financial shape then your current company. Also, is the increase in pay going to make a difference in your financial situation?

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