1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Career advice with no technical skills

  1. Jan 15, 2016 #1
    I recently got a bachelors degree from out of US, and now i live in NYC. Even though i was extremely interested in mechanical engineering, the collage that i attended was not that great, and didn't teach me any technical skills. So i lost interest in school and only Got passing grades (2.6 GPA). I would like to know if there are any non technical paths that i can take. and if anyone knows of any job agencies or companies i can apply to.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2016 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    No kidding.:wink:

    You might need to get a little more specific than simply saying "non-technical" in terms of what you're looking for. Do you still want to stay in the engineering field? What are your strengths and passions? What kind of experience do you have? What skills have you picked up along the way?
  4. Jan 15, 2016 #3
    I want to move towards marketing or finance side. I only have sales experience. and right now i am working as a administrative assistant. Would you recommend geting a MBA
  5. Jan 16, 2016 #4
    Educational institutions are not usually good places to learn skills. They teach theory. If you wanted technical skills, you should have gone to a trade school. They'll teach skills with very little technical theory there.

    Over the years I met many Electrical Engineers who barely knew which end of a soldering iron to pick up. They didn't know how to trigger an oscilloscope, nor did they have any understanding of the losses incurred by impedance mismatches.

    Like I said, you don't learn these things in school. So you're going in as a raw newbie. Don't worry. Most workplaces know this. Only the HR people have any delusions that you know something that you don't. I'd strongly advise you not to dispel those delusions. Just point out that you graduated. That's really all they care about.
  6. Jan 16, 2016 #5
    What do you think would be good place to start?
  7. Jan 16, 2016 #6
    It depends upon what you'd like to do. Personally, I'm biased because I have built a very nice career at a large water utility. I found it to be surprisingly fun, interesting, meaningful work. I really enjoy working on that virtually invisible critical infrastructure that makes city life possible.

    There are often positions open for brand new engineers like you. Don't worry, they know they'll have to train you because frankly there are no schools where you learn to work on scales that large, except on the job.

    There are also trade organizations where you can learn about such things. Examples include the International Society for Automation (ISA), The American Water-Works Association, and others. They have Young Professional networks in these organizations for bringing new engineers in to the fold.

    But that's just my bias. As anyone else, and I'm sure you'll get a different answer.
  8. Jan 16, 2016 #7
    That was helpful, thank you. Is a FE or a EIT required to work in the US?
  9. Jan 16, 2016 #8
    My engineering program does not teach hands on skills. For example I learned all I know about designing, installing (wiring), testing, and finally turning on controllers from my current employer.

    Engineering Technology degrees teach more hands on skills and less theory, real Engineering degrees teach theory. I didn't get an EET degree because I am already qualified to do the job of a technologist...
  10. Jan 16, 2016 #9
    No, it is not required. However, if you are eager to take a position of leadership, or if you're looking for a bit more credibility to match your real experience, a PE certificate is a big plus.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook