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Topic Title: Dilemma?
Topic Summary: Degree or Experience?
Created On: 04 June 2013 09:55 PM
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 04 June 2013 09:55 PM
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drmiddleton1

Posts: 8
Joined: 15 March 2013

I'm looking for some advice or recommendations.

I'm a fully qualified spark, just completed my HNC in college with distinctions.

I've been accepted into Lancaster University to do the degree, but its 3 years full time.

I applied for a few jobs and landed one at Sellafield, as an electrical crafts person. Good money, going through security clearance now. So it could be the perfect stepping stone into the nuclear industry.

However, the role from what I gleaned in the interview was going to be a lot of inspection and testing. So glorified sparkying, really.

In the long term I'd like to be on the design side, solving problems and drafting the drawings.

The decision.
1. Start the job and try to work my way up. Try and study distant learning or part time hopefully get into the design side?

2. Struggle 3 years, financially. But can get by. Complete the degree in 3 years and apply for graduate design jobs.

Please bear in mind, I'm nearly 29 with 2 kids and bills to pay.

All sensible advice, recommendations or info greatly appreciated.

Cheers Dave
 04 June 2013 10:05 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Look at what design jobs are available and what your competition will be for those jobs with regards to qualifications and experience and see how you would stack up with the degree, i.e., do a gap analysis. If the gap is big take the job route and distance learning and if the gap is small then take the degree route. Remember that even if you take the suggested job route you can move to another job at a later date, so it is not neccesarily a job for life. Also if you go into design as a relative novice you will likely go in at the lower salary end and so will also have to take that into account.

Regards.
 04 June 2013 10:15 PM
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drmiddleton1

Posts: 8
Joined: 15 March 2013

Thank you, lots of the design jobs want degree or equivalent.

So not helping, lol.
 10 June 2013 10:29 PM
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kengreen

Posts: 400
Joined: 15 April 2013

There are two types of "engineer"; one has good academic qualifications and the other offers mainly experience. It has been my experience that the first have little to offer until they have gained the practical experience that enables them to stand alone while the second has a good but dead-end job unless he can improve his academic record. Briefly, in the lower ranks you need both; as(if) you move up the ladder so you are likely to become ever less involved in practical engineering and more ensnared in administration.

Hence try to spread yourself between the two worlds, accept the lower pay for the chance of later rewards. When young and, hopefully with plenty of time, prepare for your future.

However it is a matter of confidence in your own abilities.

Ken Green
 10 June 2013 11:06 PM
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drmiddleton1

Posts: 8
Joined: 15 March 2013

Thank you kindly for your thoughts and for taking the time to respond.

I'm waiting for security clearance then I can start the job.

I've applied to Teesside to do the distant learning HND.

Hopefully in a year or two, I would of been able to make a good enough impression to ask for a day off a week to do the electrical degree at Blackburn or even mechatronics at Blackpool. You never know, if I impress enough maybe they'll foot the bill.

Only time will tell, but nothing is set in stone.

Thanks again,

Dave.

The best laid plans of mice and men...........
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