Tag Archives: Maker

We’ve had a few posts recently about jobs recently. Chris’s Weekend Journal said that degrees shouldn’t be necessary¬†to obtain jobs (though they can help)¬†and Sam followed up with a question about ways to establish your pedigree outside of a university degree. I agree with the opinion that it is harder for a non-degreed engineer to get a job as an engineer. The way I have often seen this structured is that the non-degreed engineer gets the job called “technician” where s/he builds for the engineer with the degree. There is a general perception around technical positions, validated by lower salaries and position, that working with one’s hands is less valuable than working with one’s head. People who build the prototypes are valued less than those that design the prototypes/ first articles. Never mind that the technician often needs to re-engineer around the engineer who may be great theoretically, but less…

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Though I’m an engineer, I don’t necessarily consider myself a natural tinkerer. Sure, I started out that way, as most kids do. My childhood inspirations included Legos, Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets and lots of toys that are precursors to engineering. But as I got older, I didn’t step into many of the other stereotypical “future engineer” activities. I never learned how to change a car’s oil or do regular maintenance. I never framed a house or similar structures. I never built a computer from components at the store (though this is obviously more relevant around the time I grew up vs 20 years prior). I never got a ham license or had a 200 in 1 electronics kit, two things that almost guarantee a future as an electrical engineer. So what gives? My parents were both very supporting and continue to be to this day. And I regularly worked on…

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