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Posted: 10/11/2005 4:12:14 PM EDT
Hello Crew

I work at at US Dept of Energy Laboratory as an engineering technician. I have a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology from Virginia State University. I graduated with a 4.0GPA.

I like my job. I do a lot of electronics manufacturing. Reviewing BOM's, dealing with Printed Circuit Board manufacturers. I also lay out printed circuit boards, do some small design work, and write microchip PIC code. And I also design insturmentation chassis and motor control chassis, mostly stepper motors. I have worked with some servo's.

Now having a EET degree and not an EE degree in TN I am not eligeble to take the Engineer In Training Exam, like I was in VA. Also in VA some of the schools, would accept EET students into there EE grad programs.

Well here I am in TN, East TN and the only engineering graduate program around is at the University of Tennessee. And they are adamate about not accepting EET students into there EE program. They would require that I obtain a B.S in Electrical Engineering before I start. I refuse to do that.

So now I am looking to further my education and advance my career, it will take a college degree for me to advance. So I start looking for an Engineering Technology graduate program and the only one I find that is avaliable to me, which is online. The program in a Masters of Science in Electronics and Computer Technology, located here MSCET at ISU

Now my work will pay for approved programs, Computer Technology is listed. But not this program or this school. So I would have to convince my boss and my work to pay for it.

I did some research and found that this program was developed with help from the ISA "The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Sociotey", which is a reputable industry and academic association. They have been actively involved in the project I am working on, we use there specifications in our designs. So I think the program has to be solid. Here is the ISA article about the program. ISA artice on MSCET program at ISU

So what do you think?

Should I go for it?

Does it sound like a good program?

Any input?
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 4:31:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ffsparky26:
<SNIP>

Well here I am in TN, East TN and the only engineering graduate program around is at the University of Tennessee. And they are adamate about not accepting EET students into there EE program. They would require that I obtain a B.S in Electrical Engineering before I start. I refuse to do that.

So now I am looking to further my education and advance my career, it will take a college degree for me to advance. So I start looking for an Engineering Technology graduate program and the only one I find that is avaliable to me, which is online. The program in a Masters of Science in Electronics and Computer Technology, located here MSCET at ISU

<SNIP>

Well, you have two diametrically-opposed statements, there, back-to-back. It sounds as if you want to advance your career, but only if it's easy or convenient. I was in the exact same situation with my career before I sucked it up and went to KU for 5 semesters to get a BS in Civil Engineering.

Your problem is actually one that did not exist 10 years ago, more recently in some areas. Anymore, graduate programs AND state licensure boards pretty much require, at the minimum, a BS degree from an ABET-accredited school. ABET is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Since the ISU MSECT program does not have ABET BS as a prerequisite, I would doubt that thegraduate program itself is ABET-accredited either.

If you want to advance your career within the DoE, take the ISU course if they (meaning me, the taxpayer) will fund it.

If, however, you are seeking licensure, you need to meet the requirements for the license you seek. Now, here's a little nugget for you to ponder: You said that VA did not require the EE degree to sit for the EIT Exam, but TN does. Such vagueries are not uncommon. You should take the EIT Exam in VA, then. You could even physically be in TN when you take it; it will be the exam for VA proctored by TN. This happens all the time. Then, you will be an EIT, although not in TN. But, then again, if DoE is your employer, who gives a shit? All they're looking for is the certificate, generally; they don't care what state your licensure is in.

Once you have your EIT, see if you're going to be able to sit for the PE in VA. Eventually, you will have the Technology degree, plus sufficient years of experience, (usually 8), to sit for the PE. You may be eligible sit sit for the PE in VA some years before you're eligible in TN. Big deal - you get your PE in VA, and keep working until TN grants you licensure by comity. If you get "right-sized" by the DoE before you have the TN PE, you may have to consider going to work in VA until you can get licensure by comity in other states, or keep working under the direct supervision of a PE in another state.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 4:37:31 PM EDT
Further:

Talk to a graduate advisor at the UT graduate school. Find out what coursework you'd have to do to get the BS-EE. You might be able to take some BS and MS classes concurrently.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 4:57:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:

Originally Posted By ffsparky26:
<SNIP>

Well here I am in TN, East TN and the only engineering graduate program around is at the University of Tennessee. And they are adamate about not accepting EET students into there EE program. They would require that I obtain a B.S in Electrical Engineering before I start. I refuse to do that.

So now I am looking to further my education and advance my career, it will take a college degree for me to advance. So I start looking for an Engineering Technology graduate program and the only one I find that is avaliable to me, which is online. The program in a Masters of Science in Electronics and Computer Technology, located here MSCET at ISU

<SNIP>

Well, you have two diametrically-opposed statements, there, back-to-back. It sounds as if you want to advance your career, but only if it's easy or convenient. I was in the exact same situation with my career before I sucked it up and went to KU for 5 semesters to get a BS in Civil Engineering.

Your problem is actually one that did not exist 10 years ago, more recently in some areas. Anymore, graduate programs AND state licensure boards pretty much require, at the minimum, a BS degree from an ABET-accredited school. ABET is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Since the ISU MSECT program does not have ABET BS as a prerequisite, I would doubt that thegraduate program itself is ABET-accredited either.

If you want to advance your career within the DoE, take the ISU course if they (meaning me, the taxpayer) will fund it.

If, however, you are seeking licensure, you need to meet the requirements for the license you seek. Now, here's a little nugget for you to ponder: You said that VA did not require the EE degree to sit for the EIT Exam, but TN does. Such vagueries are not uncommon. You should take the EIT Exam in VA, then. You could even physically be in TN when you take it; it will be the exam for VA proctored by TN. This happens all the time. Then, you will be an EIT, although not in TN. But, then again, if DoE is your employer, who gives a shit? All they're looking for is the certificate, generally; they don't care what state your licensure is in.

Once you have your EIT, see if you're going to be able to sit for the PE in VA. Eventually, you will have the Technology degree, plus sufficient years of experience, (usually 8), to sit for the PE. You may be eligible sit sit for the PE in VA some years before you're eligible in TN. Big deal - you get your PE in VA, and keep working until TN grants you licensure by comity. If you get "right-sized" by the DoE before you have the TN PE, you may have to consider going to work in VA until you can get licensure by comity in other states, or keep working under the direct supervision of a PE in another state.



The EIT comment in my orginal post was annecdotal, I am just looking to further my career I have no need in a PE in my line of work. This just shows the attitude of the state towards ET degree holders in TN.

Spending another 4 years before I go to graduate school is not an option. I refuse to do it. I went to an ABET acredited EET program, I graduated with a 4.0 across all of my classes, I did it in 3 years. I took the EET program because I was dual enrolled in High School and all of my classes transfered.I didn't even attend HS my senior year.

I have talked to the UT grad program and they will not allow me to take the undergrad and grad courses at the same time. I wish I had the email I would post it up here, I deleted it. The courses must be taken in order.

Virginia Commonwealth University would have taken me in no questions asked, but University of Tennessee will not. This is just bias on the part of UT nothing more.

The Indiana State Program has the support of the ISA. It is not an Engineering nor an Engineering Technology program and does not fall under the scope of ABET. And ABET does not acredit graduate programs anyways.

Link Posted: 10/11/2005 5:09:09 PM EDT
Well, then, I'd say you should take whatever courses you can get your department to pay for. You'll never be an engineer, but you'll have a wall full of certificates from industry-recognized coursework. I misunderstood your intention; I thought you were seeking an engineering graduate degree in order to open career opportunities outside the constraints of your Technology degree.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 5:22:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
Well, then, I'd say you should take whatever courses you can get your department to pay for. You'll never be an engineer, but you'll have a wall full of certificates from industry-recognized coursework. I misunderstood your intention; I thought you were seeking an engineering graduate degree in order to open career opportunities outside the constraints of your Technology degree.



I always wanted an EE grad degree but I am not dealing with UT's bull shit. And that is all it is, pure bull shit and professional bias.

You have a bunch of folks who are trying to keep people who don't have a traditional "engineering" degrees out of engineering practice. I wonder how many of these folks go to Nurse Practiconers and Physicians Assistants when they need medical care?

I am sure NP's and PA's had the same fight as folks with ET degrees.

Link Posted: 10/11/2005 5:43:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2005 5:44:25 PM EDT by DzlBenz]

Originally Posted By ffsparky26:
I always wanted an EE grad degree but I am not dealing with UT's bull shit. And that is all it is, pure bull shit and professional bias.

You have a bunch of folks who are trying to keep people who don't have a traditional "engineering" degrees out of engineering practice. I wonder how many of these folks go to Nurse Practiconers and Physicians Assistants when they need medical care?

I am sure NP's and PA's had the same fight as folks with ET degrees.


Well, you're sort of right, and your analogy pretty much works, too. An NP will always work under the supervision of an RN, a PA will always work under the supervision of an MD/DO, and an ET will always work under the supervision of a PE. Well, except in the government, where the title "Engineer" is handed out like candy.

We in private engineering practice DO actively seek to exclude those who have not met the minimum standards for engineering education. If you're not willing to demonstrate the fortitude and commitment to the discipline that the state sets forth by law, you don't get to be an engineer in that state. I'm not saying it's not cronyism, but it's not like we're singling out ET-degree-holders, either.

I did something very similar to what you did. I got an ET degree right out of high school and went to work. However, after 10 years as a technician, I had pretty much maxed-out. I wanted more out of my career, and I wanted to learn more. I started taking classes, on my own dime, at a community college until I had everything that would transfer to KU. After 7 years of doing that, I entered KU as a 30-something Sophomore-and-a-half. Eventually, I finished there, and subsequently passed the PE exam. Now, I'm adjunct faculty at KU in addition to a full-time job as an engineer.

If you want to be an engineer, take the coursework. If you're satisfied with industry-recognized coursework, it's out there. You will find, though, that regardless of your post-ET education, your engineering career opportunities will be limited in the private sector.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 7:04:52 PM EDT


I always wanted an EE grad degree but I am not dealing with UT's bull shit. And that is all it is, pure bull shit and professional bias.

You have a bunch of folks who are trying to keep people who don't have a traditional "engineering" degrees out of engineering practice.



Every profession has its standards. These laws exist to protect the public.


I wonder how many of these folks go to Nurse Practiconers and Physicians Assistants when they need medical care?

I am sure NP's and PA's had the same fight as folks with ET degrees.



Decent point, but I wouldn't go to a NP or PA for heart surgery. When you think about it, when a doctor screws up, one person dies. You get a bunch of yahoo engineers out there, hundreds or thousands can die.

If your goal is to get a graduate degree, there are a lot of schools out there offering distance learning programs. I'm sure there are a few of them that offer EE degrees. If advancement is your primary goal, have you considered an MBA? This won't increase your technical knowledge, but may give you an opprotunity to move into a management position. There are probably a few good MBA programs that you would be able to get into.

I hear UT has one hell of a program hat
Good luck with your decision.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:12:40 PM EDT
Thomas Edison State College

I am 10 credits from completing my Bachelor's in Nuclear Engineering Technology.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:25:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
Further:

Talk to a graduate advisor at the UT graduate school. Find out what coursework you'd have to do to get the BS-EE. You might be able to take some BS and MS classes concurrently.



Big +1 here - figure out which classes you would have to take to get your MS EE degree - and let the taxpayer fund them for you. Get the degree, stay as driven as you seem, and you will be able to do what ever it is that suits your fancy - whether that is what you are doing right now or designing circuitry.

Good advice also on the FE/PE exams. Take the VA one asap if you are eligible -don't wait a couple years to take it like I did. Then get a VA PE cert.
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