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Topic Title: Engineering Career Path
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Created On: 06 December 2013 04:39 PM
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 06 December 2013 04:39 PM
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Posts: 7
Joined: 06 December 2013

Hi All,

Im just posting to requests some advice with regards to an engineering career path. Im 24 years old and since leaving school started working as an electrician and completed my level 2 qualification but was laid off and unfortunately cannot progress to complete my training and become time served without being employed as an electrician. Over the last few years i have been working various jobs to maintain an income while i try to obtain this role but with no such luck.

Ive now come to the conclusion that this path is a dead end at the moment as it depends on others to allow me to gain this opportunity. Engineering has always been something i have been interested in and is an industry i would like to join but im not sure if i have missed the boat with becoming an electrical engineer or Multskilled engineer.

Speaking with training providers i can first obtain BTEC Level 3 in Engineering and then move onto a HNC or HND and have this completed within 4years time leaving me at 28. Do you think this is a viable route as it is not an apprenticeship but putting myself through the education paths to obtain the needed qualifications? And would employers look at me as fully qualified because i have not completed an apprenticeship?

Any help and advice regarding this would be much appreciated as all my research has come from the web as i dont know anyone currently working within these roles.


Edited: 06 December 2013 at 06:07 PM by Pcritchlow
 07 December 2013 11:14 PM
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Posts: 434
Joined: 15 April 2013

Dear P,

My greatest concern on reading the above is that you sound discouraged? The hardest step of all is to gain footing at the bottom of the ladder.

There are two things to remember:
(i) one of the biggest bars to being taken on is the admission that you are out of work: hence, no matter the purpose, try to get a job of some sort and then seek to build on that
(ii) I am convinced that the real bogeyman on the mathematics front is a result of poor teaching - a teacher who is not on top of the subject?

When I left school at 16 I had had a thorough grounding in basic maths from an excellent teacher but it mattered not because my interest lay in medicine. In the (then designated) senior day school I studied chemistry, physics, botany and zoology but towards the end of the second year I found that I was on the wrong path.

My sister was secretary to a senior engineer in the BBC and he had already offered me a job which, with my father's encouragement, I accepted. In those days the only active device was a triode valve about which I knew only that it was a sort of glass thing with sticky-out pins at one end and dismayingly the mathematics was inscrutable!

I began to devour Scroggie's priceless volume and enrolled with the Regent Street Polytechnic to study pure and applied maths first year on Monday and Wednesday evenings with second-year in a double session on Friday evenings. Unfortunately the gods were not on my side and the Royal Navy sent me call-up papers because they were in great need of radar mechanics. Following join up routines and the issue of uniforms I was jumped over all the red tape and sent straight to study electronics as a wireless mechanic. (Later, on the grounds that I had been issued with a tool-kit, I was sent to repair typewriters!??)

There is still more to this saga but I want to make a point that you cannot expect to map out your career by numbers - all manner of imponderables will combine to shape your future! Let it be said that from being demobbed I was lucky and acquired practical skills in everything including how to boil an egg with steam and how to fly and manage a barrage balloon.

If you bear in mind that mathematics is really no more than logic (not the IT type) you can pursue that as an evening "entertainment" while earning your living - wherever .

I'm afraid that few get much in the way of a helping hand - you have to bulldoze your way in. Take whatever you can get and endeavour to build on that.

Ken Green

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