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Graduated No job yet. How can I stay current/relevant?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

First post in the forums. Looking forward to some great conversations.

I took my ultimate exam for an A.A.S. in Instrumentation Technology, Electronics, and Bio-medical Equipment Repair Technology. I have an internship at a hospital SUPPOSEDLY scheduled to start in a month.
I have plans to pursue a B.S. in Mechatronics Engineering in the near future.
In the mean time between now and being hired, what are some things I can do to stay relevant, buff up my credentials, and do some realistic networking?
I've joined several related professional organizations and am doing my best to be active while on a budget.
All the certifications I have found require several years of experience, so I will have to wait on those.
Any suggestions/advice from those that have been there and done that?
Thanks for your time!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
11,485
5,014
Welcome to PF!

You could beef up on MATLAB or one of its clones like FreeMat (http://freemat.sourceforge.net/) or Octave (https://www.gnu.org/software/octave/).

MATLAB is used in a lot ME classes and its good to have it under your belt before you need to use it in a class. Alternatively, there Pyzo (pyzo.org) for doing scientific python .

You can read journals that are related to your specialty and IEEE proceedings to see what people are working on as an example:

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?reload=true&punumber=3516

Some trends:

http://www.plantengineering.com/single-article/staying-ahead-of-the-curve-five-trends-in-mechatronics/7e4f7e83b2d893fb3ded97348fdf80b4.html

To keep your inventive spirit going, you can check out Maker DIY projects, play with an Arduino or Raspberry PI and interfacing it with hardware. Sometimes these kinds of fun projects look good on resumes and show that you have a passion for your work that extends beyond working.
 
  • #3
834
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Consider joining ISA or IEEE. They have many courses and professional contacts for someone in your position.
 
  • #4
Thanks Jake, I'm already a member of both organizations. They have a lot of great info indeed. I just wish the certifications and courses weren't so expensive, lol.
On that note, ISA DOES have an affordable symposium within driving distance. I'm considering going, but have never been to anything like that before. I hope it will be money well spent.
 
  • #5
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You will find that the local chapters of the ISA may have some interesting meetings. Don't just treat it like a class room. Introduce yourself to some of the people there. If you show up regularly, they'll notice. Patience pays off. These are the people who will know where the jobs will be before they show up on the HR lists.

Regardless of what the silly regulations in HR say, a lot of job hunting is done this way --with advance notice of a new position opening. If they know who you are, they'll drop hints on what key words will get you through HR. The ultimate hiring will usually be done by others, but at least you'll get interviews where few others will. Keep at it.
 
  • #6
Thanks! I'm excited to attend any meetings possible. It would be nice just to meet more experienced people in my general field. Thanks again for the good information. The professional organizations are a new world for me.
 
  • #7
ISO-9001. I was just thinking. Would it be worth pursuing a Six Sigma certification at this point in my career? The highest I can go is a Yellow Belt since I do not have a project to work on. I have heard that Lean and ISO-9001 will probably replace Six Sigma in the near future. Anyone have thoughts on this?
 
  • #8
ISA and LinkedIn are proving to be great resources.
 
  • #9
symbolipoint
Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
5,829
1,033
Nietzsche_Keen asked about keeping up skills and all about technology and mechanical ability, but the same question can happen for things which are less mechanical and less about instruments for electrical and mechanical things. Are there good options if someone is no longer in school and who had experience long ago in the past, who dealt in wetter kinds of science work, and not so electrical/mechanical?
 
  • #10
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0
I'm aware that some post grad degrees in science and engineering are still fully grant funded, such as the Pipeline Eng MSc in Newcastle Uni or Cranfield Uni, normally because their economy needed. You should maybe have a look into finding one of these, no additional student debt and a good job to boot when you finish.
 
  • #11
analogdesign
Science Advisor
1,139
354
If you're still looking for things to bone up on, if you're in Instrumentation and don't know Python yet you should learn it.
 

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