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  • Aspiring engineer has a WIA college grant and has questions.

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by contra83, Apr 15, 2013.

    1. contra83

      contra83 New Member

      Apr 2013
      Likes Received:
      The WIA grant will only pay for specific college courses at specific colleges. Id like to be an engineer working in green energy wind/solar/geothermal.
      However there aren't any straight up engineering degrees that WIA pays for. But there are two degrees for "Mechanical engineering technology"
      and "Electronic engineering technology". It is my understanding that neither of these transfer well into regular engineering bachelors degrees.
      is that accurate?

      I need to fully understand the difference between Electronic engineer, Electronic engineering technologist, Electronic engineering technician.
      And also Mechanical engineer, Mechanical engineering technologist, Mechanical engineering technician.
      It seems like a good analogy might be Doctor , Nurse, certified nurse technician. Would that be accurate to say?
      Im kind of getting the gist that Mechanical engineering technologist = factory maintenance man.
      And Electronic engineering technologist = kind of an electronic engineer but not really and you cant find work. How accurate is that?

      Also this is the curriculum, does it seem worthwhile and legit? I don't know anyone who knows anything about engineering, I'm 29, dead broke and
      on food stamps so I cant hire a counselor or anything. Going to mcdonalds and using their wifi to go on engineering forums and ask questions is the best I can do. So please help a guy out.
      AAS – Electronic Engineering Technology
      68-71 credit hours
      First Semester
      CETT1425Digital Fundamentals
      ENGL1301Composition I
      ENGR1201Introduction to Engineering
      MATH1314College Algebra[SUP]1[/SUP]
      RBTC1305Robotic Fundamentals
      Second Semester
      CETT1403DC Circuits
      CPMT2302Digital Home Technology Integration
      DFTG1309Basic Computer-Aided Drafting
      MATH1316Plane Trigonometry
      ECON1301Introduction to Economics (See other Social / Behavioral Science Core Options)
      SPCH1311Fundamentals of Speech Communication ( See other Speech Core Options)

      First Semester
      CETT1405AC Circuits
      HUMA1301Introduction to the Humanities (See other Humanities Core Options)
      PHYS1401College Physics I
      SMFT1471Fundamentals of Solar Cell Engineering
      Second Semester
      CETT1457Linear Integrated Circuits
      EECT1448Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
      HART2472Alternative Energy Perspectives, Energy Sources, Energy Storage, and Energy Distribution (Capstone)
      PHED/DANCAny activity course ( See PHED/DANC Core Options)
      PHYS1402College Physics II[SUP]2[/SUP] -OR- Electronic Course*


      Mechanical Engineering Technology
      Associate of Applied Science Degree
      Total Credits: 72
      First SemesterCredits
      TECH^1100Tech Success
      CTEX^10XXTech Success Seminars (3 as assigned)1
      INMT1319Manufacturing Processes[SUP]2[/SUP]3
      MCHN1201Beginning Machine Shop2
      MCHN1320Precision Tools and Measurement3
      MCHN1338Basic Machine Shop I3
      ENGL1301Composition I3
      Semester Total 14
      ^Institutional credit only
      Second SemesterCredits
      ENTC1371Engineering Computer Graphics I3
      MCHN1354Intermediate Machining II3
      MCHN2303Fundamentals of Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Machine Controls3
      WLDG1307Introduction to Welding Using Multiple Processes3
      MATH1314College Algebra3
      Semester Total 15
      Third SemesterCredits
      IEIR1371Electrical Principles & Applications3
      MCHN2335Advanced CNC Machining3
      MCHN2471Specialized Equipment and Processes4
      MATH1316Plane Trigonometry3
      Semester Total 13
      Fourth SemesterCredits
      INMT1343Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM)3
      XXXXX3XXProgram Approved Elective3
      ACGMX3XXGen Ed Humanities/Fine Arts Course3
      ACGMX3XXGen Ed Social Science Course3
      Semester Total 16
      Fifth SemesterCredits
      ENTC1410Fluid Mechanics with Applications4
      ENTC[​IMG]1423Strength of Materials4
      MCHN2338Advanced Computer-Aided Manufacturing3
      ENTC2310Machine Design3
      Semester Total 14
    3. thebestjake

      thebestjake Member

      Apr 2013
      Likes Received:
      RE: Aspiring engineer...

      I would not recommend becoming overly specific with your degree. Don't go for a degree in Solar Energy or Green Energy or anything like that. At 29 and broke you need degree that will allow broad job search. I would stick with Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering. You could also look at a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology or BS in Electrical Engineering Technology. The terms Technologist Technology, Scientist, and even Engineer get twisted a lot. but if you want to work as a real engineer you need a BSME, BSMET, BSEE, or BSMEET. The technology in those degrees means it is a little more focused on hands on rather than theory but will still allow you to have an engineering job.

      Where ever you go must be ABET Accredited. If it isn't then your degree doesn't mean anything. Ask that question are you ABET Accredited in what ever degree program you want to take. If no the it is a waste of your time.

      You said you don't have money for a counselor but you should be able to set up an appointment with someone in the engineering department of a local university. Just call the main number listed on the university website and tell them you are interested in an engineering degree but want more information and who could you speak to.

      While you are at the university set up an appointment to speak to someone in financial aid. If you qualify for the WIA grant you might qualify for other scholarships and grants. That way you could go directly for what you want rather than trying to figure out how to get the WIA grant to line up with what you want. Most people make the mistake of trying to go for one big full ride but you can pay for school with several small scholarships and grants. Also student loans would help. They aren't a bad idea as long as you keep your total reasonable. If you go the student loan route I would suggest figuring out what you expect to make when you graduate (you should be able to look this up based on your area), see what kind of living expenses you will need and find out what kind of payment you believe you can afford. Then only borrow that much over the course of your education.

      Hope this helps.
    4. contra83

      contra83 New Member

      Apr 2013
      Likes Received:
      Yes it does Jake. Thank you.
    5. Dana

      Dana Well-Known Member

      Sep 2010
      Likes Received:
      "Engineer" generally means a 4 year program leading to a BS in a particular area of engineering (mechanical, electrical, aerospace, etc.). When they add the word "technology" it generally is a 2 year program leading to an AS (associate of science) degree. While it might be a good introduction to engineering, there are few if any jobs that require an AS degree... you might get a job as a designer/drafter. Some people pick up an AS degree on their way to a full BS degree. Looking at the curriculum you posted, it looks a little thin on the basic stuff (calculus, physics, etc.) that typically makes up the first two years of a BS engineering program... but if you have a grant that pays for it it might be worthwhile, especially if you can tailor the classes you take to lead to a full engineering degree.

      Also as Jake said above, don't overspecialize, though you can (and should) take engineering electives in areas that interest you. An engineering education should give you the basics you need to pick up the details of any particular field when you start working in it... and the majority of engineers end up working in a completely different field than they first planned on while in school.
    6. Michael Ross

      Michael Ross Well-Known Member

      Mar 2012
      Likes Received:
      It is very hard to decide ahead of time, "I want to get a job in solar, green renewable, clean energy, etc. Almost none has that much control over their destiny. A good options is a BS ME, or EE, or Chem E, or you get the idea. As mentioned you ill want interesting and remunerative work, narrowing your scope can lead to disappointment.

      At 30yo I began relearning algebra while driving a truck for a living. After mastering the quadratic equations for the second time, I entered a community college that had tailored its AS Engineering 2 year degree to transfer well to 4 year engineering programs. I worked about 30 hours a week and complete that AS in 3 years with very good grades.

      This was not expected. I had doubts about my level of success going in - I was a slack high school student and worried that I was not going to measure up well. But I decided I really needed to make the more difficult choice. I was willing to work very hard and get C's, if necessary. I found that I was well prepared to manage my life and school. I knew my limitations and I worked within them.

      I transferred to a good public engineering school and found that I was well prepared and did very well there as well.

      I had envisioned doing product design of medical equipment, prosthetics or something like that. I subscribed to journals and tried to make contacts in those areas. When I graduated the job market was not good at all. I never was able to get a job doing what I had planned. I was able to get good work to do in the location that I wanted, and I still live in the home I bought 20 years ago. Even given the fickleness of manufacturing in the US I have been able to work and be well paid. I get to solve problems all the time, I have some influence of er the outcomes at the places where I work, I am financially secure.

      I am very happy with my decisions. I think I made the right choice not getting an AS only, and not going on to graduate degrees. The BSME was more broadly applicable and served my desire to stay put in a part of the country I prefer.

      I would add that my smartest decision, made every semester, was never to take one class too many. I was not living a dorm, I still had to mow, and wash and paint and fix the cars. So I had to balance that with really wanting to understand the course work. If you take one class to many they all suffer, you suffer, your family suffers. Be patient. Enjoy life while you do it.

      Sounds like you have to incur some debt. There are a lot of avenues to get financial help. The BSxE will pay you more, more quickly. An MS even more, and so on. but as an older student you have less time to get payback. I graduated at 38yo and it was time to make some money not go to school.

      GO to a community college , but make sure you really can transfer the courses, and that you will be well prepared. You might try to get some phone time with an admissions person at the 4 year school you are shooting for and ask them what they know about students transferring in from the CC you want to use. Ask them what schools do they get good transfer students from. Admission departments usually do some regression analysis to learn how to view the students form various 2 year schools.

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