career in electronics

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Dean Huster
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Re: career in electronics

Post by Dean Huster » Mon Mar 11, 2002 8:56 am

Terry, the reduction in electronics courses and the "auto repair shop out back for the dummies" opinion of vo-tech are rampant. I've been teaching electronics at the vo-tech level for 20 years now and the changes are sweeping. <p>Regarding one of your points, vo-techs across the nation are getting rid of their electronics courses in favor of computer repair, A+ computer certification and networking -- and even within those courses, they're wanting any electronics killed completely. No electronics at all in a course that deals with one of the most electronics-intensive products ever made. Go figure. But even the A+ certification doesn't want to see much electronics. What most of the A+ books gloss over is either pointless or downright incorrect. One book plainly states that the resistor is in an ESD wrist strap to discharge the static from the circuit boards. Another uses a red-brown-violet-gold resistor as a prime example of how the color code works. All they do is prove to me that most computer nerds are complete idiots when it comes to electronics.<p>Another point you made is that vo-techs are considered to be a poor choice for an education. They've always had the image of being the dirty auto shop out back where you send the dummies and troublemakers. With that kind of student input, there's no way to pull out of that mire. At least in Oklahoma, they provide excellent funding for area vo-techs. The schools aren't part of an individual district where they get the dregs left over from the high school budget after they've satisfied the football, basketball and band programs. They're a big slice of the state education pie where common education (grade, junior high and high schools), higher ed (colleges) and vocational education have near-equal shares. In addition to that, the vo-techs get a chunk of ad valorum tax money from the local tax base. Those vo-techs in prime big-city locations can afford to have really nice (sometimes fabulous) programs in modern buildings with state-of-the-art equipment. Vo-techs in other states (Missouri is a good example) aren't as well off and do suffer from funding problems. My budget for consumable supplies at the school where I taught in Oklahoma City for 15 years was more than my total budget for EVERYTHING at the school in southeast Missouri. And the salary is about half of what they were paying in OKC.<p>The school counsellors will deny it, but you know that they're putting promising students on the "college track", claiming that they can't get the college-prep courses they need and take vo-tech at the same time. Baloney. I have a history of a lot of students who are vo-tech graduates who have completed college and are engineers. If 80% of the jobs out there do not require a college education, then why do high schools try to put 80% of their graduates into college? A large percentage of those college-bound students won't even make it through the freshman year. All told, an alarming percentage will never graduate from college and will have wasted their time, their parents' money and al kinds of resources.<p>The idea that a student who's engineering-bound doesn't need vo-tech is silly. An EE who can't solder or recognize components is a disgrace. And in this day and age, a lot of EEs graduate with no actual electronics experience -- just simulations.<p>Danged shame.
Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).

R.I.P.

PaulHansen
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Re: career in electronics

Post by PaulHansen » Thu Mar 14, 2002 12:54 am

Hi <p>I just wanted to add my 5 cents worth to the conversation. There sounds like there are a lot of very intelligent older people respoding to your question.<p>Here in New zealand its the same BS education system that at the end of the day teaches absolutely bloody nothing of any real world relevance.
This style of teaching has been ion existence for 25 years now . Its designed to dumb you down to a Zombie.<p>My friend my advise is this - sure find someone in the field to give you a job even its its at the lowest rank possible.
After a time and some commitment from you theyll pay the night school classes for you.
In the meantime all the thousands you would have spent can be saved and some can go towards books on subjects that interest you. At the end of the day , if your interested youll learn - but for gods sake think very carefully about sacrificing yourself to the public sector education system so as to become a technician for some casino.<p>SHIT it just aint worth it<p>
In summary plead for a job in a field that your interested in before committing thousands.

unknown_entity
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Re: career in electronics

Post by unknown_entity » Thu Mar 14, 2002 8:20 am

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Dean Huster:
An EE who can't solder or recognize components is a disgrace. And in this day and age, a lot of EEs graduate with no actual electronics experience -- just simulations.<p><hr></blockquote><p>Hmm... Engineers that never got their hands dirty and they give people like that a degree?
But as for becoming a casino tech i seriously doubt it. There was one good thing about the electronics program closing down, i got to help myself to all the books, test equipment and supplies i wanted compliments of Admiral King High School.<p>[ March 14, 2002: Message edited by: unknown_entity ]</p>

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