Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Career Opportunities & Requirements in Communications?  (Read 5532 times)
KC2NLT
Member

Posts: 92




Ignore
« on: October 17, 2017, 04:53:07 PM »

I have always been fascinated by communications, that's why I'm on here too, after all.

Back in college I excelled in physics and math, I took advanced physics and advanced calculus and got straight As.

I had forgotten some of that by now, but I'm sure a few refresher courses would get me back on track.

My questions is, what does one need to study, as far as a specific major or courses to become an RF engineer and get into the field of communications R&D? Are we looking at a Master's or Eng.D?

Lastly, how is the market doing these days? Is there actually high demand for such skills? What do projections for market growth look like?
Logged
WB8VLC
Member

Posts: 420




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2017, 07:29:30 PM »

After 33years in RF DESIGN from various avionics transceivers, rf transistor design at Motorola (remember when Moto made semiconductors?) , just about everything RF take my recommendation, don't do it don't do it don't do it.

Stay away, find another career path, cleaning latrines, digging ditches, working in a chicken slaughter house, anything but RF DESIGN in this day and age.

Pick Anything but RF design, these days you will spend 99% of your career dealing with suppliers going through mergers and acquisitions which means by the time you introduce a product to market the components will become obsolete/NLA because assets have been dumped.

2017 has been the worst year for suppliers either closing fabs, consolidating and obsoleting parts or selling their assets to a Company in mainland China called JAC Capitol all the time with the US and Eu regulators looking the other way.

Every major component mfg has merged together with name changes bi-yearly and the result being long lead times, parts going away without notice, fabs closing and the result is lost revenues and layoffs by the companies that used to make make end products.

You have been warned walk away immediately, don't look back.
Logged
W1JKA
Member

Posts: 2086




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 03:58:19 AM »

You might consider "communicating" your gifted knowledge of math/physics to the younger folks, God knows this country is hurting for qualified teachers in math/sciences. Most states will issue a conditional teaching permit for people like you without any formal teaching experience. You won't get rich unless you start your own on line math/physics courses to the home schoolers such as the Kaplan University model.
Logged
KC8Y
Member

Posts: 469




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 05:23:09 AM »

I spent 15-years in control design work; have an EE degree & masters in industrial technology degree.  Had to retire on disability.

The math and physics areas did help me in my studies, BUT never wanted to enter the communications field.  There are a-lot-of areas to go into; stay away from RF.

I do like having radio as a great hobby-though Smiley

Ken KC8Y



Logged
N0YXB
Member

Posts: 1122




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2017, 07:08:23 AM »

You might consider "communicating" your gifted knowledge of math/physics to the younger folks, God knows this country is hurting for qualified teachers in math/sciences.

Great advice, there is a real need for those who can teach math.
Logged
K8AXW
Member

Posts: 6317




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2017, 07:54:35 AM »

Quote
there is a real need for those who can teach math.

There is a great need for those who want to LEARN anything!
Logged
N0YXB
Member

Posts: 1122




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2017, 08:11:32 AM »

Quote
there is a real need for those who can teach math.

There is a great need for those who want to LEARN anything!

I agree!
Logged
WZ7U
Member

Posts: 576




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2017, 11:08:22 AM »

Quote
there is a real need for those who can teach math.

There is a great need for those who want to LEARN anything!

I'm in.
Logged

================================================
WZ7U ~ originating from CN86jc +/-

Yet another imperfect being created by THE perfect God. Thank you Jesus!
KG4NEL
Member

Posts: 506




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2017, 11:59:35 AM »

I prefer to keep my hobbies and what pays the bills separately.

I'm going back to school, but it's for healthcare, nothing RF related.
Logged
W3TTT
Member

Posts: 267




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2017, 01:19:39 PM »

You might consider Broadcast Station transmitter support.  That is, the radio or television station engineer.  I know of a few EE's that made that the career. 
73
Logged
KD1I
Member

Posts: 396




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2017, 03:10:20 PM »

RF is used in other applications such as medical (think CT machines) and industrial so don't limit yourself to broadcast engineering. I had a 46 year career in medical x-ray and enjoyed it very much. The fact that it pays well didn't hurt either.

When I retired in 2015, I thought I could work for a small station but quickly found out that you no longer need a license to work on a broadcast station as an engineer.....    I got the GROL anyway just for grins.

73, Jim
Logged
K9MHZ
Member

Posts: 1443




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2017, 03:20:04 PM »

I prefer to keep my hobbies and what pays the bills separately.

I'm going back to school, but it's for healthcare, nothing RF related.

Whatever works for you.  It doesn’t sound profound, and sort of an adaptation of the wisdom of not buying investments at your place of employment.  But, health care is a fine career field.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 03:22:59 PM by K9MHZ » Logged
N1CZ
Member

Posts: 24




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2017, 03:23:40 PM »

I have always been fascinated by communications, that's why I'm on here too, after all.

Back in college I excelled in physics and math, I took advanced physics and advanced calculus and got straight As.

I had forgotten some of that by now, but I'm sure a few refresher courses would get me back on track.

My questions is, what does one need to study, as far as a specific major or courses to become an RF engineer and get into the field of communications R&D? Are we looking at a Master's or Eng.D?

Lastly, how is the market doing these days? Is there actually high demand for such skills? What do projections for market growth look like?
What was your major? If you got those good grades, I am confused why you do not know that RF engineering & communications are not necessarily the same thing unless you were a math major. Are you expecting to design RF circuits? Or, are you expecting to design large area communication systems?

I am an electrical engineer. I worked for Motorola C&E in the day fresh out of school. We designed all sorts of 2-way radios.  During a company business down turn, I volunteered for "distribution" aka no longer inside a lab and off to 2-way (w/ microwave backbone as needed) communication system design. Large areas such as state wide to federal penitentiary sub basement communications. What I did not have emphasis in was power transmission involving overhead transmission lines or motive.

Is this any help?
Logged
KC2NLT
Member

Posts: 92




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2017, 11:33:36 PM »

To answer some questions, I took both physics and math as electives even though my major was in the humanities field. I know; “why would anyone want to endure that?” Not to brag, but math in high school wasn’t challenging enough, so I managed to get into an evening math class at a local university. Later on in college, I took Advanced Calculus 2, if memory serves.

Why didn’t I get into those fields? I was adamant to become an attorney, and math and physics were subjects I was just good at, so why not take those courses, I thought.

Later on, I realized that being an attorney wasn’t for me, although, again, I did very well in my elective criminal justice classes and enjoyed the various subjects in that field. College was more of an exploratory experience to see what’s out there. But I digress.

Life led me down a different career path, so here I am, curious about antennas, receivers and how  radio waves behave, in general. That’s why I’m considering studying to get into that field.

Perhaps it’s a hobby that I wishfully want to nurture, but my thought process is, why not earn a living while actually enjoying what you’re doing.

Broadcast engineering sounds like a good idea. I do know some of the basics of broadcasting, so that gives me an idea what to expect. But, does that get mundane? No offense.

I’m the kind of person who  likes to work on different stuff every day, something challenging that requires creativity and problem solving.

N1CZ, yes it gives me some idea of the options available. That’s certainly a good suggestion. But I’m more curious about things on the PCB level. In other words, taking an idea or a function that needs to be filled and designing it from scratch.

Not to romanticize this, but think of all those movies where a team of NASA astronauts have a malfunctioning piece of equipment and everyone on the ground is in a mad dash to solve that problem. That’s the kind of environment I would like to be in, as an example; something that’s mentally stimulating.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 11:43:17 PM by KC2NLT » Logged
K6BRN
Member

Posts: 461




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2017, 12:12:40 AM »

Adam:

Curious that your license has expired.  And when did you graduate and with what degrees?  Engineering is not for the faint of heart or persons who prefer 8 hour days.  But criminey, you can certainly have some fun and earn a good living.

Regarding professional communications careers... digital communications is pretty hot right now, with Systems Engineers, algorithm designers, ASIC and FPGA designers in great demand.  Salaries are high, but so are expectations and work commitments.

What degree to get, if you were to go further in school?  Electrical Engineering is always a good choice and is THE recognized professional degree in electronics, with CPE exams available in most US states for professional certification.  If you are mobile, you'll always be able to find a job - particularly if you've established a good base of references.  "Electronic Engineering" and similar degrees have to be shopped carefully, as many are from unaccredited schools, some are "technicians" degrees and are not preferred by firms - you could be binned with assemblers rather than designers. But some schools have great programs with that major.  Systems Engineering is a relatively rare degree, but in technology houses that design large systems, they are often considered the elite, negotiating requirements with customers, sub-allocating them to the design teams and overseeing first article test and delivery.  Many later go into management, where yearly incentive bonuses can easily exceed base salary.

You will probably need to do a 4-year program to develop the skills you need - a solid Bachelor's degree will get you "in the door".  A Bachelor's and Master's degree together will often provide a six figure income right out of school if you go to a really good school and have very good grades.  Trying to put an EE Masters degree on top of a Physics or Math liberal arts degree is difficult - you'll have some of the background, but be missing critical parts.  But I've seen it done, by very bright and hard working individuals.

Sometimes, accomplished Physics and Math majors are taken in on speculation of what they could do, and find very good positions in materials analysis and algorithm design. And that can lead to other opportunities, regardless of underlying degree.   If you ever get a chance to do this, take it.  Then work your butt off to figure out where you can best contribute, be open to learning from everybody, be ready to do anything and prove yourself through your work rather than personal claims. 

Professional engineers LOVE others that are open to learning, easy to work with and compete cooperatively - i.e. to see who can help make the project a success, rather than focussing exclusively on themselves.  Because with project success comes personal success, for the whole team, and friends and allies in your local engineering group means you can do and learn more and find even better opportunities.

The biggest engineering "ditch" to fall into is to decide to do one thing and one thing only, to hide in your office and work as a "lone power", and complain that communications - writing, presentation prep and public speaking at reviews and other venues is not for you.  This will pretty much guarantee you a dead end job.  Without the ability to work in a team, and a very strong ability to publicly present your ideas and your teams progress, you will never be noticed, except by accident.  Many engineers make this mistake and many of them end up with unsatisfying careers.

Engineering treated me very well, and still does.  I retired early, simply because I could, and find myself back consulting part time, when I choose because the demand for technologists and mentors in my field is overwhelming.  Not a month goes by when an old friend, collegue, customer, rival or simply a firm in need does not call, asking for support.  There is no shortage of work.  And I will always love the technology and the incredibly bright people and development teams I get to work with, young and old, who have the same passions I do.

So... that is what is possible.  The rest is up to you.

Brian - K6BRN
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!