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Ryan Kovacic ENG 111 Mrs. Camargo Oct. 29, 2013 Becoming an Electronic Engineer Hello students. My name is Ryan Kovacic and I am an electronic engineering student at Rowan Cabarrus Community College. I know as I look out at you students, I am looking at doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, teachers and the like. Now is the chance for you and only you to decide what the next stage in your life will hold and whatever choice you make, know that it is the right one. Before you make that big decision, however, let me introduce you to something that you may not have considered: electronic engineering. It is probably not the job that you dreamed of as an imaginative kindergartener, but is one that is enjoyable as well as rewarding. Electronic engineering is a well-rounded and promising field for high school students to enter. It 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 where you could be diagnosing and repairing complex equipment. 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...” Whatever you find suits you the best, just know

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that these opportunities are there and businesses are dying to get their hands on new recruits. Electronic engineering truly is a gateway to many exciting fields. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has this to say: A Bachelor of Science degree in engineering with a specialty in electrical engineering may also serve as a starting point for careers in many other diverse fields, ranging from business to law, medicine, and politics, since the problemsolving 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 those jobs? Companies are generally not shy when it comes to starting pay for electronic engineers. With regards to just one field that a student fresh out of college may enter—biomedical equipment repair—Roger Bowles of Tech Directions Magazine has this to say: The shortage of entry-level technicians and increased competition from the fastspending computer industry appears to have pushed starting salaries to a point where a young tech out of school has the potential to make as much as a BMET with 10 years of experience. 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

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electronic engineering. Because some specific job fields have appeared to slow in recent years, these critics caution students 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. Simply look at what you have with you today. Your cell phone; a digital watch; both designed and constructed by electronic engineers. When you go to the hospital for an MRI, who keeps those machines running smooth? Electronic engineers. When you walk into your house and hit the light switch, do you know who it is who runs the machines to ensure that your light turns on? Electronic engineers. The majority of our world is already electronic and there is always another breakthrough waiting to happen that has the potential to expand even further the field of electronic engineering. Consider the integrated circuit. When these miniaturized pieces of equipment were made possible, there 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” (Morton Jr. and Gabriel). 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 again states regarding biomedical equipment repair that, ”This profession is for those who take pride in

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making a difference with their work and continually seek new opportunities for learning” (“Career”). This is not a white collar job and while few jobs are completely void of desk work, which you may even come to appreciate if for nothing more than a change of pace, the majority of your work will be in the lab or on sight as you diagnose, design, create, or 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 good starting pay to ensure that you hit the ground running, 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.