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Another DeVry post!

  1. Aug 24, 2014 #1
    Hey folks! I'm new here, and am currently attending DeVry University. (Bear with me here!)

    I have read through tons of posts around here which looks to be a DeVry rep posing as an interested user making claims about how great the school is, and quickly following are people exposing them for what they are. Sorry if this is a repeat post, I haven't seen anything that seems to address my questions.

    I'm really sorry for the long-winded post, but I feel that I need to give some background information on myself to impart my situation. Please don't think that I turned to DeVry as the easy way out...

    I generally didn't care much about high school, although I scored mainly A's and B's, with a few mixed C's. I just wanted to be out and to start making money.

    My Junior year in high school, I learned of a bunch of guys working in the oilfield making 80-100k a year as an e-tech on well sites. It really piqued my interest, and my Senior year I started in at my local technology center's cooperative program for Electronics Technology with my high school so I could get the skills needed to do the job. (Go half a day for 2 years while attending high school, and earn your little certificate)

    As I had to continue the 2nd part of the program for a year after I graduated, I began working for a Fortune-500 oil company assembling, testing, and calibrating the electronics for oilfield applications. The job was great, and I got use to going home every night - all of the sudden the hours and hassle of the oil field didn't sound so great. So I stayed where I was at.

    Fast forward four years, I still work in the same job; but I came to realize that I wanted more. I knew that the job was far below what I was capable of. About that time, an engineering tech job opened up at work - which I applied for, but got passed over for someone with an Associates degree. It really put things into perspective. I figured out that if I wanted to better myself, I was going to have to get a degree. So, I started to talk to some of the engineers in the engineering department to get a first-hand look into engineering. It really sounded like my cup of tea, so I started researching degrees; and what it would take to get them... I quickly realized that it would be a lot of work, which I was prepared to deal with; except there were no schools in my area that offered any kind electrical or electronics engineering program.

    Moving off for school really wasn't an option, and I needed to keep a steady income; so I was kind of stuck where I was. So, I gave up locally and started researching full online programs. To my disappointment, I couldn't find any schools that were fully online - tests and all; other than DeVry. I had heard so much crap about DeVry, and was really reluctant to attend; but one of the counselors told me what I wanted to hear, and answered all of my questions.

    Before making it official, I took a trip to my company's engineering department and spoke with the manager of R&D. He told me that he personally had no reservations against hiring someone from DeVry, or an online graduate; but that I would start out as a Technologist (seeing as how it's an EET degree, not EE;) and that I would be able to move to a full blown engineer position after I had a few projects under my belt. He also imparted that ABET accreditation really wasn't that big of a deal to him either.

    That was all it took. Since I initially wanted to move up within the company, I called the counselor back; and took all the tests and got enrolled. Now, I am a year and a half in; a week shy from entering my Junior year of college (I had previous transfer credits gained from a cooperative alliance with WOSC at my technology center program,) and I'm kind of wondering what to expect on graduation.

    I've found the program to be pretty interesting, and very challenging at times. I've recently completed Applied Calculus 2, which ended on LaPlace Transforms. There are 2 additional math courses left in my degree, which are "Advanced Engineering Mathematics" 1, and 2. These are electives, and will give me a head start on the MSEE bridge program.

    The current program, Electonics Engineering Technology isn't ABET accredited; which gave me some worry, but that went away when I learned that their MSEE (Yes, MSEE, not MSEET) IS ABET accredited, and is supposedly a full blown Electrical Engineering program. DeVry

    What I'm wondering from you guys, is how this type of degree will be viewed. I understand that any other graduate from another college will be taken over someone from DeVry, but I want to know if this is going to give me any clout. The ABET accreditation tells me that the master's has to be a valid program, as that is the requirement for a PE license in Oklahoma Ok.gov

    Does this degree open doors for me that any other engineering graduate would have access to? Not right out of the gate, per se; but after a few years of experience?

    Worst case scenario, my 87k degree (no TELLING how much for the masters..) gives me a 10k raise from my current job; and I get to work as a engineering tech. Poor rate of return compared to another degree, but it's still something... Especially as my only option to break into the field of engineering.

    What do you guys think about the BSEET? What about the MSEE degree?

    Thanks for any input!

    Andy

    *EDIT*: I can't seem to find any notation of ABET accreditation on the school website, but I have seen it before; and have been told specifically that the master's program does have it. Will research it further. If they have lost it, does this change anything?
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2014 #2

    I don't think you researched very well before diving into the degree program. There are multiple schools I know of that offer an online electrical engineering program. Arizona State University offers electrical engineering online (100% online) is abet accredited and you can even specialize in different areas if you wanted to. Why not Excelsior? They have a completely online ABET accredited Electrical Engineering technology program with different specialities you can choose from and is $30,000 cheaper than your program and it's abet accredited. Actually since you're not even a junior yet I would see about transferring since Excelsior accepts a lot of transfer credits. Accreditation makes it easier to get into better graduate programs but if accreditation isn't a big deal then American Public University has an electrical engineering program that they just started and expect to be accredited in a few years. The degree is only $30,000 and it is electrical engineering not technology so you could start as an engineer maybe. I would not spend the money for another degree from Devry. There are plenty of online electrical engineering graduate programs from good schools and I bet they will be a lot cheaper too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  4. Aug 24, 2014 #3
    Apparently I didn't research very well after all! I guess that's what I get for being gung-ho about the prospect of going back to school and jumping the gun.

    I took several days to scour the internet at the time, and was only able to find one program from a reputable school that was online. I believe it was from a university in Colorado, and they made you take the last few semesters on campus. Digging even further, some of them wanted you to actually come to the school to take finals.

    Kinda wish that I had found those others first! Are they recent? (Within March of 2013) I browsed through a ton of other schools, and even some sites that listed the top online engineering degree programs. DeVry was the only one that I could find that offered from start to finish in a totally online setting. Admittedly, they ranked in the median; but that was because of the turnover rate. I had heard that engineering was a really tough field, and figured that most just couldn't cut it.

    As I had said, I'm completely satisfied with DeVry as far as the content and school itself goes. I am being challenged, and I've come to hold a pretty solid grasp of electronics - at least I think so. Speaking with some of the engineers at work, and being around them as they work; I feel like I understand what they are doing - which is what it's all about, right?

    I was just wondering where this was going to take me. Was hoping to get some opinions from career professionals as to whether this current degree will get me where I want.

    If it can get me where I need to be, even after a time; then I would really rather not transfer. But I guess if this will all be for naught, then there's no reason not to. Cut my losses and run.

    The manager of R&D at my current company, had said that it didn't really matter where you went to school; but what you had done since then that really mattered - which eased my tensions of going to a school with a muddy name like DeVry. And I have always heard that in a field like engineering, you learn very little in school that applies to the job; and that experience always trumps academics.

    So, I'm currently at the mindset that if I can get my foot in the door, and hold my own weight for a few years; I should have the clout to be an equal with someone from a traditional university - even if it's at a slower pace. Is that flawed thinking?
     
  5. Aug 25, 2014 #4

    analogdesign

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    That could very well be true at your current company. The problem with broad statements like that is they are true in some situations but not true in general. There are plenty of highly technical EE specializations where your academic training is important because it is difficult to building up the kind of technical base you need to be effective on your own. In other fields it is less important and often technicians can transition into a productive engineering role.

    If you can get your foot in the door at the right place and hold your own, you could do quite well. A degree from a place like DeVry will close some doors for you, but they may be doors you weren't interesting in entering anyway.
     
  6. Aug 25, 2014 #5
    I see. Well that tells me a lot, thank you!

    I currently don't plan on working in any highly specialized field, such as with NASA or Lockheed; and really wouldn't expect to make it big with something like that. I had accepted that my degree isn't on par with an Ivy League school, and that's fine. At the time of my enrollment it was that or nothing (or so it seemed.)

    As long as it will get me somewhere, I am content for the time being. The further, the better; but I quickly learned that the pay and (at times) grueling hours of a blue collared working man isn't the place that I want to be.

    I just needed to know that this hasn't been and won't be a complete waste of time and money from opinions abroad, rather than only by the standards of my current company.

    Not bad mouthing my company, by any means. It's an excellent place to work, and I hope to stay for the long run. There are plenty of employee improvement programs that are sponsored by the company. (Management fast track programs, along with plenty of other opportunities.) They are actually paying for a portion of my school as it stands, so I'm hoping that they will try to put their money to good use at the first available opportunity. The more I can immerse myself in the engineering side of things, the better I will be at knowing what concepts I really need to hold on to.
     
  7. Aug 25, 2014 #6
    Those programs I mentioned have all been around for awhile except the one at American Public University

    Yeah you certainly have an advantage being that you are already working and have someone willing to give you a chance. Work experience matters more than where you went to school. In fact nobody will care after your first job
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  8. Aug 25, 2014 #7

    analogdesign

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    This actually sounds like a more enlightened-than-average company, in my opinion. Companies supporting the continued development of their employees is getting rarer and rarer. Sounds like you could have some good opportunities there.

    You'll find the pay better than blue-collar work, but engineering hours can sometimes be quite brutal and at times you'll realize that technicians make more per hour than you do. Overall, though, I think it's a career that can't be beat.
     
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