thinking of a EE degree

Status
Not open for further replies.

Duner

Member
First post, want to say this is a great site and there is a huge amount of info here.

I'm Currently an electrician and have been for a few years now. I have done some residential, (enough to know I don't like it) and commercial construction. However l just got a job as a maintenance electrician at a large industrial plant. Love the job, they go way overboard with safety but they pay me to work safe, not fast like my old contractors. Anyway they have a tuition assistance program for keeping up to date with code classes and other thing. So I asked about getting a degree in EE. After asking the maintenance manager about it I got a long pause... and then was told to write him a business case.

So if things work out I might get a free education. I would have to take online classes as I would need to work full time. Was wondering if anyone would have suggestions about what to write in my business case. I would think my best angle to work is the practical knowledge and field experience that couldn't be taught in a school.

I was thinking of taking my classes online at SPU, although if had a good experience with another online school would like to hear about it. SPU is a abet school. Anyone go there?
http://www.spu.edu/depts/ee/academics/electrical.asp

Any input would be very helpful
 

BJ Conner

Senior Member
Location
97006
I have known people that did it. Depends on your work ethic.
Look at nearby community colleges. A lot of the basics can be completed there cheaper and probably closer.
My stock answer to this queston has always been: "If you start now in 4 (or 5) years it will be 2014 and you'll have a degree. IF you don't in 4 years it will be 2014."
 

ericsherman37

Senior Member
Location
Oregon Coast
I have known people that did it. Depends on your work ethic.
Look at nearby community colleges. A lot of the basics can be completed there cheaper and probably closer.
My stock answer to this queston has always been: "If you start now in 4 (or 5) years it will be 2014 and you'll have a degree. IF you don't in 4 years it will be 2014."
I've been slowly hacking away at pre-req courses for a couple years now at the community college level. I'm ready to transfer into a real EE program at OSU or PSU as a Junior but it's rather difficult to take the plunge and commit the time while I'm still gainfully employed.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
I hope you realize that you will not be able to complete the entire BSEE program on-line, especially the labs. At some point you will have to attend classes during the day, which will mean missing work. No way around that as far as I know.

Another alternative for you to check out up there is to start out at RTI (Renton Technical Institute) which used to have a tie-in BSEET (Electrical / Electronic Engineering Technology) program with Central Washington University in Ellensburg. You can get the majority of classes at RTI and take a few labs and upper division classes at CWU. I did that in 1988 / 89, don't know if it's still offered that way but I know that CWU still offers BSEETs.

The main difference is this; a BSEE is more in-depth and theoretical. If you want to go on and get a Masters in EE, or you want to pursue an EIT and then eventually a PE license so you can hang out your shingle as an EE on your own, or command the top salary at a CE firm as a PE, then go for the BSEE.

If on the other hand you want to continue getting your hands on things and making them work or creating things, pursue the BSEET as a way to make yourself more valuable to your existing company as a better technician. In my experience, a proposal to get them to pay for the BSEET is looked upon more favorably than to get a BSEE, because as they will see it, they pay for the BSEE and you move on; not a good ROI. Once you have years of experience, the differences become less meaningful anyway.
 

Open Neutral

Senior Member
In the latter half of my 20's I decided to go back and get a BEE degree. I was lucky I could afford to do so, and it was years of hard work. I worked at a co-op job for the money and health insurance. It took quite a while. but I was graduated.

I've never regretted it.

YMMV
 

72.5kv

Senior Member
As other poster mention you can only take so many classes online. At some point you have to be on site for group project. This true during junior and senior years as most programs require senior design project that involve input from not only from electrical engineer majors but computer and mechanical engineering. During those few weeks getting home at 4am was a norm.
 

mikeames

Senior Member
Location
Germantown MD
I hope you realize that you will not be able to complete the entire BSEE program on-line, especially the labs. At some point you will have to attend classes during the day, which will mean missing work. No way around that as far as I know.

Could not agree more. The education is the easy part. Its finding time and money. Most of us work during the day and if your not a full time student its very difficult to find class times that work with your schedule.
 

Open Neutral

Senior Member
I hope you realize that you will not be able to complete the entire BSEE program on-line
I can't see how you could learn without fellow student to learn with. I was the grandpa in my classes, and slower and stoopider; I never would have gotten halfway without studying with them.
 

Duner

Member
I live close enough to where I could drive down there once or every other week. So the entire course wouldn't be online but most of it would. I can take my pre-req at the local CC which offer most of what I need online or at night, so I'm good there. Yes its not going to be a walk in the park, but if it was easy it wouldn't be worth getting cause everyone would have one.

Jreaf
If on the other hand you want to continue getting your hands on things and making them work or creating things, pursue the BSEET as a way to make yourself more valuable to your existing company as a better technician. In my experience, a proposal to get them to pay for the BSEET is looked upon more favorably than to get a BSEE, because as they will see it, they pay for the BSEE and you move on; not a good ROI. Once you have years of experience, the differences become less meaningful anyway.

They have a stipulation if you were to quit before 3 years you have to pay them back. I was thinking of trying to peruse the BSEE and see what they say.
 

BJ Conner

Senior Member
Location
97006
If you going to do it forget the BSEET. To most people it means you wern't smart enough to handle the math required for a BSEE. You can get all the claculus and analytical geometry you need at a good community college.
Go to the best engineering school you can. reputation counts.
Take the EIT as soon as you can. You can do it before you graduate.
Working on campus in groups is important because that the way the world works
 
Working on campus in groups is important because that the way the world works
True, the downside being that 90% of the problems you do are either contrived to come out nice or extremely simplified and teach you nothing about how to actually do it, or it's theory courses that don't explain real world applications of said theory. You take it with a grain of salt.
 

BJ Conner

Senior Member
Location
97006
True, the downside being that 90% of the problems you do are either contrived to come out nice or extremely simplified and teach you nothing about how to actually do it, or it's theory courses that don't explain real world applications of said theory. You take it with a grain of salt.
That's the schools work.
Duner has the potential to do well. He'll have experiece with the tools and theory. The world works somewhere in between.
 
My word of advice is don't get into real world application argument with a professor that lives, eats, and breaths theory as they will have no grasp of real world and will just become annoyed with you. I was fortunate to have some teachers that had come from a long career in industry so they were able to explain the difference quite well.
 

BJ Conner

Senior Member
Location
97006
I had good professors. Four of them were PEs and made less than half their income ( so they said) from teaching. All had worked in industry. I think you'll find that is true in most good schools, if not find another.
 

TxEngr

Senior Member
Location
North Florida
You've gotten some great advice here but IMHO Jraef gave you some of the best. To get the full blown BSEE will at some point interfere with your work unless you move to a night shift, which will pretty much blow your business case. Despite what others have said, the BSEET is a respected degree and will definitely carry you further in your career. I've had the privilege of working with BSEET engineers and I didn't know the difference. The real world like your industrial plant is a great place for a practical degree like the BSEET. (I'm a BSEE fyi). You might be able to work it into your schedule easier as well.

Good luck with your education and have some fun along the way.

TxEngr
 

gar

Senior Member
101105-1529 EDT

Duner:

First, decide what interests you, and how does this relate to your capabilities.

You will find many schools that have professors with great technical and varying teaching capabilities. Different schools will have different areas of concentration.

I had professors or contact with ones from other schools that had been involved in some very basic work. One was the idea man and driving force behind the first operational digital computer. Another did the logical development of the first electronic digital computer. Another invented the cascode amplifier, a low noise configuration. Spike Tanner did fundamental research on human signal detectability in the vision and auditory areas. I was both a subject in experiments and built equipment for him.

There have been many different areas of real world development at the U of M. Faculty and students combined to develop the first effective timesharing software for an IBM 360. Sidelooking radar was developed here. Many space projects were and are being created here.

I have one patent that was a direct result of what I learned in M. B. Stout's instrumentation course.

Find a school that is doing work in which you are interested, and try to find a job in or around the school that is a match for those interests. Then do part time in both school and work. I personally believe that on campus education is the better approach. At the right school you have personal contact with the idea people.

.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top