Archive for 'November 2011'
Should engineering degrees be expanded to a five-year curriculum instead of four? The knowledge, skills and techniques our new hires must master is extensive and exploding, and itÃ¢ÂÂs hard to imagine how it can all be covered in just four years.
But in truth, the extra year wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt likely make much of a difference for those we hire here at Keithley. Our engineering projects are difficult; weÃ¢ÂÂre creating measurement solutions that range from picoamps to 50A. Engineers must understand not only measurement science, but the ways various subsystems must interact (power supplies, software, mechanical packaging, manufacturability, etc.). ItÃ¢ÂÂs not practical to expect graduates to leaves college with the hands-on experience to design solutions at that level. Much of what we do here, and in most companies, is learned in on-the-job experience.
In truth, we find as much value in the non-technical aspects of the college engineering experience as in mastering the basic science and math. If you graduate with an engineering degree today, you bring to your job a toughness, a perseverance, a tenacity that will be just as important to your job performance as in the elegance of your designs.
Actually, most engineering degrees include a co-op component in the workplace, which effectively functions as a fifth year. And in truth that additional year in the field is really critical, since no EE program can adequately prepare for the transition from theoretical engineering to practical application. WeÃ¢ÂÂve enjoyed strong partnerships with many leading universities in the region to create these educational experiences and certainly have found many of our best engineers over the years through our co-op relationships.