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Old 02-10-2016, 07:37 PM   #1
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Default Coupling a Degree With Electrical License

I have four years of free education coming to me and was wondering how I could couple this with my electrical license. I don't want to major in chemistry or something that would be completely inapplicable. I was thinking more along the lines of Information Technology - possibly could help in getting into IT at a power plant or something. Electronics degree of some kind maybe?!?!?

Just wondering if anyone has ever been in this position of finding new ways to use your electrical license.

I suppose I could just abandon my license altogether. I could always come back to it if I got tired of making more money and working around women all day.

Just seems like a waste to not use a journeyman license as a stepping stone to something else. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:55 PM   #2
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Business management
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:51 PM   #3
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I've been looking into Electrical Drafting but it not much of an upgrade as far as pay goes. Electrical Designing is a close second. If Sanders gets elected then I'll for sure go for Designing XD.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:11 AM   #4
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Get a degree in something you like to do. If it ties in with electrical then great if not who cares.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:11 AM   #5
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I don't view my electrical license (that I am working towards) as a stepping stone towards my degree. Both of them pay well, together they will pay even better. What's better for a controls or electrical engineer than to have real world experience wiring up control systems?

Isn't a MAJOR complaint of electricians that many engineers don't have real world experience? I believe real world experience should be a precursor to any degree that deals with a trade, like many forms of engineering.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:09 AM   #6
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Like NC said above me, my suggestion would be something engineering-related. Even if you don't go full-blown engineering, there's engineering technology degrees (which I have), and your existing field experience would put give you a big head start. Something geared toward management would be my next choice.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:12 AM   #7
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Well you could take modern shrinkology , get a biz card that sez 'we check shorts, yank yer wire & light up yer life' and do some serious gigolo biz pluggin' outlets Lance....


~CS~
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:44 AM   #8
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When I was younger I might have told you that all education is valuable and follow your interest and aptitudes and blah blah blah. Now that I'm an old fool I'm a lot more practical about things. Even with someone picking up the tab, I wouldn't waste my time, effort, and opportunities.

It used to be that any four year college degree would open up a lot of doors. The education had little to do with your work in most cases. It was pretty much a hurdle to get from the labor class to the managing class. It really never was learning things you needed to do your job. Now, there are an awful lot of waiters with four year degrees, because four year degrees are a dime a dozen.

Your experience as an electrician will be very valuable in jobs that you regularly work with electricians. Obviously electrical engineering jobs in construction, automation, or power distribution. It could be a big advantage if you want to work in sales / marketing or product development for a manufacturer of electrical products. (Don't assume the degree will guarantee more money than working as an electrician though...)

As for IT, it might help you working in any data center / NOC - knowing your way around communications cabling, generators and transfer switches, UPS systems, and HVAC. You'd just need to find a nerd in charge that understands the value, it's not likely to be in the job requirements.

Me, I wouldn't rule out things that don't have anything to do with electrical work. If you want to be a CPA or an MD or any other set of letters that pays better, and you have the ability, and you're prepared to do the work, then go do it.
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:20 AM   #9
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Business degree - Good if you want to go into contracting.
Engineering degree - Good blend of field experience and design.
Psychology degree - Good way of explaining to us why we keep doing this.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:43 AM   #10
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Isn't a MAJOR complaint of electricians that many engineers don't have real world experience? I believe real world experience should be a precursor to any degree that deals with a trade, like many forms of engineering.
We bought a machine once from a company that made the engineers build it after they designed it. It was amazing how many changes were made!!!
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:05 AM   #11
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We bought a machine once from a company that made the engineers build it after they designed it. It was amazing how many changes were made!!!
Yea, a problem that they don't cover in college is that just because it looks good on paper does not mean it's possible in real life.
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:58 PM   #12
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We bought a machine once from a company that made the engineers build it after they designed it. It was amazing how many changes were made!!!
This should be an absolute requirement for EVERY machine ever built.

Further, every engineer should spend 4 years as a journeyman.

Back to the OP, I'm my mind, college is one of the most useless things society has to offer. Even if it's free, it's pretty much a waste of time and when you get out in the real world, you'll need to be de-programmed and re-educated in actual reality.

I agree with some of the others, years ago, college would usually result in a pretty decent job, but I think a lot of people who really matter are beginning to see that a college degree doesn't mean much.

You'd be way better off working your way up rather than buying your way up and bypassing all that icky lowly work.
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:08 PM   #13
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Good luck getting an IT job at a power plant with some education. Education is poo-pooed by a lot of guys. Starting over from scratch without one (unless you're still very young) seems like a tough go. Find a tech school that doesn't waste your time on unnecessary classes, and they will likely have a good placement program with companies that have hired from them in the past.
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:16 PM   #14
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:42 PM   #15
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When I was younger I might have told you that all education is valuable and follow your interest and aptitudes and blah blah blah. Now that I'm an old fool I'm a lot more practical about things. Even with someone picking up the tab, I wouldn't waste my time, effort, and opportunities.

It used to be that any four year college degree would open up a lot of doors. The education had little to do with your work in most cases. It was pretty much a hurdle to get from the labor class to the managing class. It really never was learning things you needed to do your job. Now, there are an awful lot of waiters with four year degrees, because four year degrees are a dime a dozen.

Your experience as an electrician will be very valuable in jobs that you regularly work with electricians. Obviously electrical engineering jobs in construction, automation, or power distribution. It could be a big advantage if you want to work in sales / marketing or product development for a manufacturer of electrical products. (Don't assume the degree will guarantee more money than working as an electrician though...)

As for IT, it might help you working in any data center / NOC - knowing your way around communications cabling, generators and transfer switches, UPS systems, and HVAC. You'd just need to find a nerd in charge that understands the value, it's not likely to be in the job requirements.

Me, I wouldn't rule out things that don't have anything to do with electrical work. If you want to be a CPA or an MD or any other set of letters that pays better, and you have the ability, and you're prepared to do the work, then go do it.
I agree. In and off itself I don't think a degree proves very much. The very well-off people I know, they certainly would've been programming, or crunching numbers, or succeeding at some other aspect in life whether they had the degree or not. The very successful people LOVE what they do and were doing it long before they were in college. They just see college as part of the game, breeze through it, and then hit the real world running.

I'm just saying, since it's free I fee like I might as well use it. I don't think it would be used against me in any hiring process if I had an electrical license as well. If I was looking at a resume I'd be impressed if I saw a trade license and a degree.

I may be in the minority here, but I don't know and haven't met many people with technical degrees that also have trades licenses.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:22 PM   #16
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If I had 2 applicants for a job in the trades, one with a college degree the other not, and they were equally qualified otherwise, I'd most likely pick the one without the degree.

I don't know what it is about college, but they seem to want to remove any sort of common sense from the student and replace it with the largest ego possible.

The guy with no degree knows that he needs to make it on his knowledge and work ethic. The guy with the degree may feel that he can buy his way in.

Of course there are tons of exceptions but how am I to know?
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Old 02-12-2016, 05:17 AM   #17
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A few months ago I was driving north on I35 in Oklahoma not too far north of the Red River and where the interstate was cut through the rock there was a van from SMU parked just off the shoulder. There was at least a half dozen scantily clad young women either putting on climbing gear etc. or already starting up the shear face of the rock wall. Based on that scene, I recommend you get a degree in geology from SMU.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:16 AM   #18
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I'm just saying, since it's free I fee like I might as well use it. I don't think it would be used against me in any hiring process if I had an electrical license as well.
Having a degree isn't necessarily an advantage when hiring in the trades. The person potentially hiring you as a journeyman certainly isn't hoping you'll make it a stepping stone to something better. They may think that a person with a degree isn't going to stick around for long. The person hiring you may think a person with a degree will be a pain in the ass because you think you're special and know more than everyone else. The person hiring you may think you'll sooner or later be a threat to their job.

You make it sound like getting a degree is like cashing in a coupon for a free Big Mac. You have a break on the money, that's huge, of course. You don't have a break on the time and effort.

A four year degree is what, about 135 credits? Each credit will take about 30 hours of your time between the classroom and the homework. That comes out to about 4000 hours of work, about 2 years of working full time.

(This is why being a full time college student is so popular, it's two years of work spread out over four years, with your parents and a bank paying the bill, with proximity to college age girls and beer.)

If you take some BS pay-your-fee-get-your-C program you'll spend less time but you'll also learn less and have a degree that's worth less and employers know that. If you take electrical engineering those estimates are low and that's if you have what it takes to learn the calculus and beyond.

That's time and effort you could have put into something else. If you waste it you'll never get it back. If you're just a whelp that's OK, most people don't set the world on fire between the ages of 18 and 22, still drying out behind the ears. If you're older, I'd get busy living.
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:57 PM   #19
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I agree. In and off itself I don't think a degree proves very much. The very well-off people I know, they certainly would've been programming, or crunching numbers, or succeeding at some other aspect in life whether they had the degree or not. The very successful people LOVE what they do and were doing it long before they were in college. They just see college as part of the game, breeze through it, and then hit the real world running.

I'm just saying, since it's free I fee like I might as well use it. I don't think it would be used against me in any hiring process if I had an electrical license as well. If I was looking at a resume I'd be impressed if I saw a trade license and a degree.

I may be in the minority here, but I don't know and haven't met many people with technical degrees that also have trades licenses.
I have a technical degree and am a Journeyman Electrician, state and city. Got a maintenance job at a hospital. I do all electrical from 12-480 volts, plus work on all types of hospital equipment. And I wouldn't have it without the degree and experience combined.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:27 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by splatz View Post
Having a degree isn't necessarily an advantage when hiring in the trades. The person potentially hiring you as a journeyman certainly isn't hoping you'll make it a stepping stone to something better. They may think that a person with a degree isn't going to stick around for long. The person hiring you may think a person with a degree will be a pain in the ass because you think you're special and know more than everyone else. The person hiring you may think you'll sooner or later be a threat to their job.

You make it sound like getting a degree is like cashing in a coupon for a free Big Mac. You have a break on the money, that's huge, of course. You don't have a break on the time and effort.

A four year degree is what, about 135 credits? Each credit will take about 30 hours of your time between the classroom and the homework. That comes out to about 4000 hours of work, about 2 years of working full time.

(This is why being a full time college student is so popular, it's two years of work spread out over four years, with your parents and a bank paying the bill, with proximity to college age girls and beer.)

If you take some BS pay-your-fee-get-your-C program you'll spend less time but you'll also learn less and have a degree that's worth less and employers know that. If you take electrical engineering those estimates are low and that's if you have what it takes to learn the calculus and beyond.

That's time and effort you could have put into something else. If you waste it you'll never get it back. If you're just a whelp that's OK, most people don't set the world on fire between the ages of 18 and 22, still drying out behind the ears. If you're older, I'd get busy living.
You could not be more right for the engineering degree. The 75th percentile student will spend 4 hours for every credit in engineering. If you can't or won't be a 75th percentile student don't waste your time trying engineering.
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