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[Electrical] Engineers on the brink of extinction threaten entire tech ecosystems

raif71

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I graduated in mid 90s with a degree in EE. Got a job in a research company doing VLSI for a good 10 years (more or less) designing vlsi and SOC based design. However there was a restructuring in the company and I got moved to do system based level design using FPGA and a bit of firmware and software. Less than 5 years of doing that, there was needed manpower in the company to do higher level tasks involving Big Data and linux system administration and I fit the bill due to my Linux background. So that's how I left my EE based work and now doing infra stuff using on-premises cloud and perhaps looking towards public based clouds such as AWS, Google etc. in the future.
 

Suffolkhifinut

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When I was in University 30 years ago (and I can not imagine it has changed), it was already well known that certain courses attracted a certain demographic. Engineering courses were full of males. Nursing courses were full of women. In my own course (medicine), there was an equal mix of men and women, and more than half my course were non-white which was quite impressive in Australia in the 1990's. People who studied Humanities were all of the same political persuasion and were more likely to have a distinctive appearance with the exception of religious studies where they had the opposite political persuasion and looked normal. I can imagine that the "diversity" counsellor, if there is one employed at my former University, would not be complaining about the lack of diversity in nursing courses (nearly all women) or in the Humanities (all of the same political persuasion) but only target courses like Engineering, Medicine, and Law.

On another note, I recently visited my former University and walked around, marvelling at the new buildings that had been built and remembering the countless hours I spent in the library. It has changed. There is now a Maker's Lab where there are 3D printers, casting equipment, lathes, mills, and all sorts of cutting and welding equipment. There were even courses where they would teach you to use the equipment and learn CAD. The best part was that any enrolled student could join for free! You had to pay for the material and the courses though. I was thinking I would have had an awesome time in there if such a thing existed when I was back in University.
A few years ago a school in Suffolk did badly in its OFSTED inspection having previously been rated as outstanding. It was marked down due to its lack of diversity, in the catchment area at the time the kids were all English and white.
 

fpitas

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Perhaps as an endangered species I could apply for some kind of government grant :D
 

AnalogSteph

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This thread reminds me of the video where Louis Rossmann was talking about what kind of applications he gets for electronics repair technicians... like 99.9% guys, many white. He basically said he can just work with what he's given. There is not much you can do at this stage.

YouTube STEM channels (e.g. Physics Girl or ever enthusiastic astrophysiscist Dr. Becky) and female mad scientists, a species apparently native to California (e.g. Xyla Foxlin) are likely doing more for inclusivity than lots of well-meaning politics. Without basic interest and fundamental education, things are not going anywhere.

I wish someone had told me back in the day that "engineer" and "disabled" just do not go together very well, instead of having to find out the hard way after finishing university. It turned out that typical starter positions would often require being able to drive a car (I can't - the perks of having the eyesight of a proverbial bat), and recruitment agencies - a very common place to start a career - generally would not touch someone with a disability status with the proverbial 10 foot pole, presumably due to fear of the extra regulations involved. The economic crisis at the time wasn't helping matters. Maybe I should have gone for a PhD instead, but I didn't exactly feel like I was a prime candidate for that path either.
 

Suffolkhifinut

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This thread reminds me of the video where Louis Rossmann was talking about what kind of applications he gets for electronics repair technicians... like 99.9% guys, many white. He basically said he can just work with what he's given. There is not much you can do at this stage.

YouTube STEM channels (e.g. Physics Girl or ever enthusiastic astrophysiscist Dr. Becky) and female mad scientists, a species apparently native to California (e.g. Xyla Foxlin) are likely doing more for inclusivity than lots of well-meaning politics. Without basic interest and fundamental education, things are not going anywhere.

I wish someone had told me back in the day that "engineer" and "disabled" just do not go together very well, instead of having to find out the hard way after finishing university. It turned out that typical starter positions would often require being able to drive a car (I can't - the perks of having the eyesight of a proverbial bat), and recruitment agencies - a very common place to start a career - generally would not touch someone with a disability status with the proverbial 10 foot pole, presumably due to fear of the extra regulations involved. The economic crisis at the time wasn't helping matters. Maybe I should have gone for a PhD instead, but I didn't exactly feel like I was a prime candidate for that path either.
Dealt with the recruitment and training of Electrical Engineers and apart from one with a disability no employer would take them on. He was employed because the head of safety had the same disability. Over in the UK to employ someone with a disability means carrying out and recording a risk assessment, then putting control measures into place. In his case getting access to high places on site was a necessary part of his job. He was epileptic and in the event of him having a seizure he couldn’t drive or climb for 12 months, meaning without assistance he couldn’t do his job. A few months after this the head of safety who had made it clear the employer would be guilty of disability discrimination, had a seizure driving into the office car park was seriously injured and wrote of his car and an office wall. Another problem in the UK is schools classing kids as having special needs, once registered its with them for life. Small firms especially won’t go near them they don’t have the time and infrastructure to deal with the extra health and safety requirements plus their employer’s liability insurance will go up.
The safeguarding legislation in the UK has in effect made disability discrimination a widespread fact of life.
 

Palladium

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My limited understanding about the EE industry now is besides bleeding edge chip design everything else is mostly a solved problem.
 

DonR

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My limited understanding about the EE industry now is besides bleeding edge chip design everything else is mostly a solved problem.
There remains a lot of innovation in power electronics, RF (admittedly more and more chip-based) and materials engineering (which can be applied by EEs). I think good, old-fashioned analog circuit design is pretty much dead though.
 

MaxwellsEq

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Beside the fact that nobody here seem to understand that without math, high performance circuits are just a wet dream, I am surprised that @AdamG247 and @BDWoody tolerate the highly political content of the posts.
The mathematics is essential, but is often now abstracted away because simulation software does a lot of the legwork. In the same way no/low-code allows non computer people to build software without needing to know lower level languages.
 

boXem

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The mathematics is essential, but is often now abstracted away because simulation software does a lot of the legwork. In the same way no/low-code allows non computer people to build software without needing to know lower level languages.
Fully agree for IC design or simulation software like spice. Today, besides ICs, most of the non HF EE are (at least in EU) employed in electrical power conversion. Designing a 800V inverter without entering a few equations in mathlab seems ambitious.
 

Thorsten Loesch

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I don't even try to explain my job to people. I may as well be speaking a dead language. Other engineers feel the same way, I'm sure.

#me2

Thor
 

MaxwellsEq

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When I did my Electronics degree, computer simulation might have been possible for some, but pretty much any design work I and my peers did required that I knew the electronics formulae and could do the mathematics with a "scientific" calculator (it could do Cosines etc.). I remember being very impressed when I saw Spice for the first time!
 

Suffolkhifinut

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I have an electrical engineering degree from the university of michigan.

It's all math. Most dept have no real connection to the real world. Professors are just specialists in their very limited fields funded by gov agencies with an agenda. @anmpr1 is right about the push for mediocrity. universities have gone full marxist even in engineering. After graduation I got the fuck out and went into something with promise - software development. Never looked back.
Same in the UK and it’s not just electrical engineers, it’s permeated every aspect of engineers and construction. Our local government now employ people straight from Uni based on equality and diversity, running departments with large budgets. The roads over here are in a terrible state and when they are repaired the repairs last no time at all. Where we used to have qualified people with experience we now have people who have never left the office. Our local council now gives out 5 year contracts for road repairs and never look at how well the repairs are carried out. Until recently the contract stipulated only holes over a certain size would be repaired. The contractor would close the road and leave most of the holes unfilled. The smaller holes generally would get bigger and would have a yellow line sprayed around them. By this time the crew would have moved elsewhere and the holes would be left as the council had fulfilled its remit.
 
OP
Multicore

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There are now attempts to increase the number of practical Engineering courses, but there's still a stigma against Engineers that don't actually have the magic bit of paper with a University degree.
Thomas Frank has written scathingly about the social class of credentialed experts. Others call it the PMC for professional/managerial class. It acts as a class for its interests. The academy and the credentials it selectively grants is central in how this class pursues is interests. Jeff Schmidt wrote a wonderful book about that aspect called Disciplined Minds.
 

AdamG

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I am surprised that @AdamG247 and @BDWoody tolerate the highly political content of the posts.
Simple answer. No one has complained yet by Reporting offensive posts. We don’t go looking for this stuff. ;)
 

AdamG

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I didn't mean to imply that mathematics isn't necessary. Really bad wording on my part and drank too many red wines. The ee field wouldn't exist without math, nor would your favorite amplifier.

More to the point, your complaint about "highly political content" is my complaint against STEM programs at universities. They aren't based exclusively on science and engineering anymore. They've gone "woke", which requires political observations, otherwise, you can't fully discuss the problem.

They are de-incentivizing hardcore science and engineering. A few years ago I used to live with a doctoral student in physics at UC Berkeley. Brilliant kid, but he could barely perform due to "white guilt". It's completely ridiculous and out of control. In addition to the general university attempt to "decolonize" education, specific program content is also warped to suit ideology. It makes for a serious mind fuck.

The easier money is in software development. Why waste time studying an incredibly difficult field where they are punishing merit and rewarding superficial qualities like gender and skin color? You can make more money now in software, without a degree, than you ever will in ee. And it's easier (although the 10x developer is a real thing and being one is as hard as any ee specialty, but it's not necessary to survive in the industry).

But even then, the epicenter of software development is Silicon Valley spearheaded by San Francisco. Virtually every company is woke. Spent the last 20 years there in start-ups. It permeates everything they do. The recent Twitter drama illustrates that very well. Drives away developers... but the money is so good many toe-the-woke-line for that fat check.

RIP STEM (but not too late to fix..)
Your new here. So you’re still learning about our culture and rules. We do not permit Political or Religious content here. You can get your fill of this stuff Everywhere else on the internet. Go elsewhere if this is a subject you want to discuss and debate. Here we want to escape this madness and rubbish and concentrate on Audio Science and Music reproduction. No one is arguing your points. Pro or Con. It’s just not the conversation we want to partake or be exposed to. Avoiding these subjects here is kindly requested.

We appreciate your understanding and support in this regard. Have a nice Sunday. ;)
 

PierreV

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My grandmother, a much brighter person than I ever was, started predicting the end of civilization in the late sixties. I think it was the images of Woodstock, mud and nipples maybe, that convinced her that my parent's generation was headed for a steep decline. The world was changing and change was obviously bad.

She told me that, because I did not comb my hair, I would end up being bald.

She had to concede my perfect Latin scores gave her some hope, even if the standards of my days were so much lower than hers.

Fast forward 50 years, I have lost 99.5% of my Latin, I've had a better life than she ever had by any measurable standard.

And, last but not least, I am definitely not bald.
 

BDWoody

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...what they mean when they say "we don't want to hear any talk about politics"...

What WE mean, is that we don't want to talk about politics.

The rest of your post was deleted, and you now have been disinvited from participating in this thread.

Not sure why this is so hard for that small handful...
 
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