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Ryan Kovacic ENG 111 Mrs. Camargo 20 Oct, 2009 Becoming an Electronic Engineer Hello students. My name is Ryan Kovacic and I am a student at Rowan Cabarrus Community College. My goal today is to introduce you to the field that I myself chose to pursue and one that has many benefits to offer each of you: electronic engineering. It is probably not the job that you dreamed of as an imaginative kindergartener and you may even be wondering what an electronic engineer does. Well let’s take a look at what you have with you today. Your cell phone; a digital watch; it is the job of an electronic engineer to design, create, and repair these and any other item in your house that runs on electricity. When you go to the hospital for an MRI, do you know who keeps those machines running smooth? How about when you walk into your house and hit the light switch; do you know who it is who runs the enormous and complex equipment to ensure that your light turns on? The answer is electronic engineers. Yes, electronic engineering is a well-rounded and promising field for high school students to enter and one that includes countless job opportunities, a good starting pay, and offers the individual the chance to do hands on work. You will find that a bachelor’s degree as well as an associate degree in electronic engineering will open to you endless doors into a multitude of career options. These range from running computer diagnostics in small businesses to big-time work in nuclear power plants

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where you could be diagnosing and repairing the machines responsible for powering millions of homes. Gene Cerner, a commander on the Apollo XVII quotes: “My engineering education challenged me to reach for the stars. And one day I found myself standing on the moon” (“Your Career in the Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Engineering Fields”). Electronic engineering truly is a gateway to many exciting fields where the sky is certainly not the limit. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers states that a bachelor degree in electronic engineering can lead to careers, “ranging from business to law, medicine, and politics, since the problem-solving skills acquired in an electrical engineering program provide an extraordinarily valuable asset (“Your Career ”). It’s easy to appreciate the range of options an electronic engineering student has, but what if that’s not what you’re concerned about? What if you are more concerned about what you are getting out of these jobs? Companies are generally not shy when it comes to starting pay for electronic engineers. In fact, due to the increased need in careers such as biomedical equipment repair, the starting salary for students entering the field directly from college can potentially be as high as that of a ten year veteran (Bowles 20). This is even more impressive when you consider that the median pay for electronics engineers as of May 2010 was $90,170 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics). These are not bad numbers for bachelor degree students. Of course, as with any good thing, there are those who have negative things to say of electronic engineering. Because some specific job fields have appeared to slow in recent years, these critics caution students not to enter the field of electronic engineering. I say there is no need to worry. With the wide range of career opportunities, one cannot say that electronic engineering is slowing down. The majority of our world is already electronic and there is always another breakthrough waiting to happen that has the potential to expand upon the field of

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electronic engineering. Consider the integrated circuit which is a miniature chip that contains a complex circuit. When these miniaturized pieces of equipment were made possible in the 1950s, their utilization—and in effect the jobs related to them—became unlimited. They were, “integrated […] into everything imaginable, up to and including the human body itself,” and are still in use in everything we use today (Morton Jr. and Gabriel 271). There was no limit to where electronic engineering could go then and there certainly is not now. What may be most appealing to you students, however, is not the expanding horizons of the field or even its more than sufficient pay grade. What you may be interested in, and what I was most excited about entering school is the opportunity to do enjoyable, hands on work. Electronic engineering does not keep you at a desk all day long filing paper-work, nor does it have you sit down at meeting after meeting talking with angry businessmen. Electronic engineering allows you to use your hands to get down and dirty. That’s not to say that you will slave for hours doing hard manual labor. On the contrary, you will be doing highly skilled jobs that when completed will leave you with a sense of satisfaction. Tech Directions Magazine states regarding biomedical equipment repair that, ”This profession is for those who take pride in making a difference with their work and continually seek new opportunities for learning” ("Career Directions: Biomedical Equipment Technician"). This is not a white collar job and while few jobs are completely void of desk work the majority of your work will be in the lab or on sight as you diagnose, design, create, and repair electronic equipment with the knowledge that you gained from school. Whatever it is about this field that appeals to you, really think on it and ask yourself: “Do I want to be an electronic engineer.” It is my hope that the answer to that question is yes and if it is, you will be rewarded with a variety of career options, a starting pay that will ensure that you

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hit the ground running right out of college, and fulfilling, hands-on work. I highly encourage all of you to consider electronic engineering as you finish your days in high school. Hopefully you will come to enjoy it as much as I have.

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Works Cited Bowles, Roger. "Wanted: Future Biomedical Equipment Technicians." Tech Directions 60.9 (2001): n.pag. NC Live. Web. 28 Oct 2013. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 201213 Edition, Electrical and Electronics Engineers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/electrical-and-electronicsengineers.htm (visited October 22, 2013). "Career Directions: Biomedical Equipment Technician." Tech Directions 60.9 (2001): n.pag. NC Live. Web. 22 Oct 2013. Morton Jr., David, and Joseph Gabriel. Electronics The Life Story of a Technology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., 2004. Print. "Your Career in the Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Engineering Fields." IEEEUSA. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., 10 Aug 2001. Web. 22 Oct 2013.