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Colleen Spiegel is "engineering girl". She has worked as a engineer, consultant, and independent business owner for 12 years. She is the author of "Designing and Building Fuel Cells" (McGraw-Hill, 2007) and “PEM Fuel Cell Modeling and Simulation Using MATLAB” (Elsevier Science, 2008).

4 Responses

  1. Angelina
    Angelina December 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm | | Reply

    The way to avoid getting stuck is to get a Masters. You may, like evryoene else, have to start at the bottom. But with a Masters your stay at that level should be short. Progression to team leader level would take about 3 years. Without a Masters it would be 5-6. People are leaving IT and computing in droves great opportunities exist for those willing to stick it out. The reason they are leaving is people basically want an easy life in computing you have to upgrade your skills all the time. Those that are willing to do that have a good future whether it is studying CE or CS. If I had to choose I would do software engineering but it wont make much difference really.My my a thumbs down already. I wonder how many years the person that gave it to me spent at the coal face? I suspect its a nice round number very round.I was speaking the other day to one of the programmers I worked with that I still keep in touch with. He was a DBA and is now retired like me. He saw someone from where we worked who was begging him to return they are desperate, really desperate. No one wants to do IT programming work any more. They offered him an immediate start. But like me he is sick of it 30 years is long enough. He is happier pursing a PhD in English. ThanksBill

  2. Mitch
    Mitch January 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm | | Reply

    I tend to be somewhat cynical but here goes…

    I am a big fan of busting out of the corporate world and starting your own biz. I did so as a consultant. After 30 years in the corporate world with the last 6 or so as a VP level engineering exec in a large corporation, I can say you are never too old or too young to start your own biz. If you can find it, read the column by Scott Adams (as in Dilbert) in the November 6, 2010 issue of the Wall Street Journal for a “many-a-true-word-is-said-in-jest” similar view.

    As it relates to advanced degrees… in a corporate world, the pursuit of the degree has actually much more value than the attainment. Why? Every large company has a performance appraisal process. Every one has a form for the appraisal to be used by the manager. On the form is always a box where the manager has to write something about how or if the employee is doing something to improve their capability. You make the manager’s job easy by pursuing the degree. This way, every year, your manager can write in your appraisal “blah-blah-blah and is pursuing a master’s degree in XXX in order to enhance their skills blah-blah-blah.” You pretty much can count on getting a higher raise every year you are in pursuit of the degree. Once you have the degree, you no longer get points for pursuing it. I suppose it can be leveraged in changing jobs where it helps with another checkbox on another form. I’ve been there and done that. The advanced degree thing helped me for years as I pursued an MSME and then an MBA. Of course, your overall performance has to be good as well. The graduate degree thing is good for a few bonus review points.9+

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