Author Topic: Trade school to Technology Management?  (Read 2277 times)

TheRealm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Trade school to Technology Management?
« on: November 05, 2015, 10:04:52 AM »
Hey, Mustachians!

I'm 18 and soon to graduate from a community college with an Associate's in Industrial Electricity. A program from my college would allow me to transfer 2+2 to get a BA in Technology Management. My question is how could I go about getting an engineering job with just a Technology Management BA. I will graduate without any debt due to KEES and FAFSA money. I have AutoCAD skills and experience in PLC programming. My work experience is short as I've only turned 18 this year. I've held an internship as a Maintenance Tech for ~4-5 months; this has involved FANUC robot preventive maintenance, Mitsubishi programming(light), and basic preventive maintenance on conveyor belts, etc.

I really enjoy PLC programming and feel like being in the design process of Industrial Machinery would be great.

AZDude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1298
Re: Trade school to Technology Management?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2015, 10:23:02 AM »
Sounds like you are on the right track already. Keep looking for/applying to internships. Some big companies have new grad programs, so look into those, and be flexible about your post-grad location.

TheRealm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Trade school to Technology Management?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2015, 10:40:59 AM »
Sounds like you are on the right track already. Keep looking for/applying to internships. Some big companies have new grad programs, so look into those, and be flexible about your post-grad location.

I'm still in the internship/co-op as a Maintenance Tech. After I'm enrolled in Technology Management I will look around for Engineering Tech internships and the like. I was kind of stuck on the idea of staying where I'm from, but I'm definitely more open to moving now that I've matured a LITTLE more.

Kroaler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 778
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Re: Trade school to Technology Management?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2015, 07:11:01 AM »
This may or may not help.   Ive been a automation technician (maintenance guy) at a car manufacturer for the last 5 years. I also have my 2 year associates.

Lots of schools around here have programs where I can take my 2 year and do 2 more to get a BS as an engineering "technologist" or some kinda maintenance management program.   

Unfortunately none of these programs qualify me as an actual engineer because my 2 year program classes were not ABET certified. If you find a way around that, let me know. In my situation I would have to start over and enroll in actual Electrical engineering classes.

Let me ask you this, what is it you want.
1.) Do you want more money?
2.) Do you want more creative freedom?
3.) Do you want more challenge?
4.) Do you want to be an actual engineer able to take the state test?


The skilled labor market is hot right now for skilled "multi craft" technicians.  But if You want to be a real engineer capable of taking the state exam, you will need a real engineering degree that is ABET certified. Also something to think about,  if you take a technology management role, your skilled labor skills could become weak if not actively used. I see lots of Job postings all over for technician, but I don't see any postings for supervisor / management roles. 
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 07:15:25 AM by Kroaler »

TheRealm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Trade school to Technology Management?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2015, 01:48:43 PM »
Let me ask you this, what is it you want.
1.) Do you want more money?
2.) Do you want more creative freedom?
3.) Do you want more challenge?
4.) Do you want to be an actual engineer able to take the state test?

I'm so young that I honestly can't answer any of these other than the 4th one. I don't want to be an actual engineer able to take the state test. Instead of maintenance work I would rather work more closely with automation. Whether that be automation specialist, system integrator, or any other job title that relates to those. The only problem I'm finding is that it is USUALLY a requirement to have a BA to apply for these positions.

Kroaler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 778
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Re: Trade school to Technology Management?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2015, 06:52:27 AM »
There are some companies that require their maintenance staff to have a bachelors (Intel).  But for the most part they do not.

Siemens wanted me to be a field service engineer, so I called them back and explained that I only had a 2 year degree and not an engineering degree. They said thats fine, that I didn't need an actual engineering degree.  ( I didn't take that job)

Heres going to be your hardest problem, everyone is going to want you to have 3 years experience and at least a 2 year degree. Until you have that its harder to find a job.  However once you have 5 years experience you can go just about anywhere you want, and make anything you want.

1.) Wanna build Tesla Cars? They need maintenance guys
2.) Wanna service Siemens wind turbines? They need people.
3.) Wanna build stuff in a warehouse, troubleshoot it, then go install it and commission it at a factory? They need people.

The options really are endless, robotics programming / commissioning. PLC setup. Go work on an oil rig or the north slope in alaska? (Its not for me.. lol) 

Don't fall for this trap: everyone wants to be a "programmer", sit behind a desk and never get dirty or go in the field. Those jobs are like unicorns, employers are gonna skip over you  if you make it seem like thats what you want to do.

You can still be a programmer, but good programmers are camped out in the field with a lap top in front of the equipment that they are working on.



In closing, if I was in your shoes I would be looking for smaller integrator firms. Truly skilled labor is hard to find, if you have any social skills thats a big +. ( lots of these companies sell "training packages", and guess who's going to teach it? YOU) If you go to a large company (car manufacturing, or other Mega companies) you may have to start at the bottom as maintenance. Your best bet is smaller firms if you want to do a lot of programming / troubleshooting.  But you will probably need to be willing to travel. If thats a deal breaker, being at a smaller firm is going to be tough.

Its just so hard to give advice since your not sure exactly what you want lol.   





TheRealm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Trade school to Technology Management?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2015, 08:11:55 AM »
Kroaler, part of the reason I'm having such a hard time deciding where to go with my career is because the options ARE endless.

Quote
1.) Wanna build Tesla Cars? They need maintenance guys
2.) Wanna service Siemens wind turbines? They need people.
3.) Wanna build stuff in a warehouse, troubleshoot it, then go install it and commission it at a factory? They need people.

I'd love to do #2 and #3. My social skills are on par with my peers, except I can't seem to be as quick and witty as my co-workers! I'm sure you know how maintenance guys are haha. I know a factory nearby where if you stay long enough you can work your way up to Automation Specialist and Controls Tech, stuff like that. After I graduate I'll go ahead and drop and application there so I can build up the experience I need.

Kroaler, did you get your degree in something like Industrial Electricty/Maintenance?

Kroaler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 778
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Re: Trade school to Technology Management?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2015, 04:03:09 PM »
Mines in "Mechatronics"    But its just a fancy name for Industrial Maintenance.

I had Classes in:
1.) PLC
2.) Robotics
3.) Hydraulics / pneumatics
4.) Electronics
5.) AC / DC theory
6.) Troubleshooting
7.) Mechanical theory
8.) AC / DC drives /  Electric Motor theory
9.) Control Technology
10.) Sensors

Jack of all trades, master of none kinda deal, but that seems to be what everyone is looking for, " Multi Craft" technicians.  I went to Greenville Tech, In Greenville SC if you want to look at the actual course descriptions and see if we got basically the same thing.  Actually scratch that, I Included the catalogue as an attachment.

Also as a side note, are there any car manufacturers in your area? The "Body Shop" of a car manufacturer is VERY automation heavy.  Even the least technologically advanced area in a Body shop has more complex automation then you can imagine.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 04:06:19 PM by Kroaler »

TheRealm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Trade school to Technology Management?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2015, 05:39:06 PM »
Ah, I'll graduate with Industrial Electricity.

There is actually. Ford is very close to me. Unfortunately, Ford is unionized and you are more likely to work as production and get into Maintenance/Electrical Maintenance. I know of multiple people who worked at factories near me for a year or two and then got jobs at Toyota and Nissan, which is 50-100 miles away.