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EE/CSE need to take FE.

  1. Feb 5, 2007 #1
    Im a computer and Electrical engineering student at the University at Buffalo, I was told by a few professors as well as a career adviser that people in my to-be field don't need the FE and then the PE,

    Is this true?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What's an FE? I think PE is Professional Engineer certification?
  4. Feb 5, 2007 #3


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    Gold Member

    FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) is the exam that you usually take before your PE.

    I did a search and found this
    The paragraph I've quoted sounds weird to me as I havent been encouraged to take the FE exam by my professors. And since you are unaware of the FE exam, berkeman, then you guys probably dont look for this sort of thing down at Echelon right?

  5. Feb 5, 2007 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Thanks for the info, ranger. Yeah, I don't know if my experience is typical or not, so please, nobody take what I'm about to say as gospel, okay? Your mileage may vary, and you need to do your research for your particular geographic region and specialty and job opportunities.

    No, a PE or FE means nothing that I know of for general Silicon Valley R&D employment. I think the PE cert is aimed more at independent consultants with particular avenues of employment (like government contracts?). But after working in industry for about 7-8 years, I consulted on my own in Silicon Valley for over 5 years, and a PE cert never once came up. The work I did was highly technical and startup oriented, for the most part, so that may be one component. But at least once my work was under part of the government umbrella, and I did have some conversations with LLNL about one of my patents, and a PE cert never came up in either case. (That potential contract/license did not go anywhere however.)

    I would think that the PE cert might be important if you were anticipating doing consulting work in the civil engineering or mechanical engineering fields, where physical structures might cause injury if they were not designed to existing standards. The EE and CE/ME fields are a bit different in this vein.... (in a number of ways)
  6. Feb 6, 2007 #5
    It really depends on the company.
    A lot of Post Graduate students do not have any practicle skills therefore companies who rely on people actually building stuff will often look at the more basic and practically orientated qualification.

    I took a more vocational training route prior to university due to being slightly dyslexic and also hating formal education. When I got to University I was amazed how how little practical knowledge was required to become a post grad engineer. Since then the situation in the UK has got worse with some physics graduates coming to me without even the fundamentals of building electrical circuits. We are now sending graduates off on a basic mechanical/electrical assembly course when they arrive.

    Of course I have no idea what FE entails so these comments may not be relevant.
  7. Feb 6, 2007 #6
    I'm taking the FE in April. I'm a senior EE and I've been told that it's good for jobs in consulting firms, etc. It is by no means necessary to land a job, but I don't see a good reason for not taking it. It will force you to review everything from your undergraduate career.
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