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Courses Finishing BS in physics, take EE courses?

  1. Sep 3, 2007 #1
    I am getting a BS in Physics in december, but due to financial constraints I cant be in school much longer. Need advice on what to do.

    I transfered to this university and left some electrical courses behind because of the transfer cap unfortunately. I wonder at the close of my academic physics career whether I should pack in some EE courses. Though I fear it wont be enough to constitute an actual minor. I actually have done quite a bit of electronics, namely digital electronics in the past on my own and am familiar with the principles of computer design etc. But never a job, just as a very developed hobby.

    Now, if I do take some electrical courses and still not get the minor, is it pointless? From an employment standpoint, will an employer not take me seriously because I didn't complete the minor? Would an employer not take me seriously listing my electrical knowledge without the sheepskin to back it up?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2007 #2
    If you apply for a company, you'll have to get through the HR department first. They'll see your BS in Physics, but won't see your EE courses unless you have an actual section of your resume entitled "Relevant Coursework" or "Major Coursework", whatever you want to call it. That should be your first concern, getting through the HR dept.

    You could usually bypass that by going to career fairs at your school and talking with the engineers directly. Most engineering companies send out the actual engineers, but some HR people as well, you can never tell. They might even have them both... this is where you go and talk about your skills, formal or informal (meaning, through coursework or hobbies). Be sure to have many copies of your resume.

    As far as taking the courses, go ahead and do so. Why shouldn't you? Just because you don't get that official title of the "minor", doesn't mean you're not skilled enough to work in those areas. If EE interests you the most and you have some extra spots for classes, you should go ahead and take that. When it comes down to applying for a job, the interview, etc.. you'll need to prove to them that you know what you're talking about. Perhaps convince the interviewer that you're just as suited as the EE, or pretty close to him/her. Since you're not actually receiving a degree in EE, you have more ground to cover. The interviewer will have some doubts, and it's your job during the interview to remove them from his/her head.

    Remember, you must include any electrical engineering experiences, whether it is designing a circuit to perform a function, or the courses you have taken. Surely, you'll be knowledgeable in areas such as E&M/Semiconductors/Basic circuits, so I guess they'll realize that. As far as hardware & circuit design, programming, etc... those are the topics you'll need to prove to your employer that you know how to do, or at least have some understanding in it.

    You're in the ballpark, don't sweat it. You're in a good position.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
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