www.robowars.org

RoboWars Australia Forum Index -> General Chatter

Studying Engineering
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next

Post new topic   Reply to topic
  Author    Thread
Timothy Forde
Experienced Roboteer


Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 247
Location: Vic ,Belgrave South


 Reply with quote  
Studying Engineering

Wondering if any one is/did Study Engineering as i'm to working out what i'm doing next year and thinking it might be good as i'm already intersted in it. If you do it how do you find it and where you think it's going to lead to?
Thanks
_________________
Team KO

Post Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:43 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Philip
Experienced Roboteer


Joined: 18 Jun 2004
Posts: 3842
Location: Queensland near Brisbane


 Reply with quote  

You should do it if you enjoy it. Four years of study is very short when you are older and looking back to when you were 17.

Post Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:52 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message
mytqik



Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Posts: 127


 Reply with quote  

Tim, what displine are you interested in. I can only speak from a mechanical engineering point of veiw.

I can't recomend it high enough. I did an engineering technology degree (same as one of the Kkeerroo brothers) major in Mechanical. It is a 3 year degree which means that you are a really well qualified draftsman, and is required if you want to be a design draftsman.

It also entitles you to be a technician, which is basically an engineers right hand man. You do all the design/calculations & your supervising engineer will double check it.

The reall main difference in the degrees is the level of maths required. I literally have not much more than grade 12 maths, however a full engineering degree is at a much higher level of maths. In terms of other subjects, the practical ones are the same & so are most of the design ones, only the full engineering course has a few subjects that go a bit deeper into the theory.

The long & the short of it, it that the full engineering degree has more theory & the technology degree is more practical based.

In terms of employment, you almost guarenteed a job from graduation (& most likely before if you try). This country has a massive shortage of skilled people, & the same applies overseas. A draftsman should be on mid 30's first year out, an engineer low to mid 40's. From there the sky is the limit. There are draftsman I know that charge over $60/hr, & engineers easily over $100/hr.

If you go down the technology degree path, really brush up on your Autocad (& solid odelling) skills during your time at uni, they will be invaluable once you are in the workplace. You can always fall back on it, as a second career change.

As for me personally, I did an apprenticeship fitter & turner out of school & did a advanced diploma at night. After 1yr of employment my boss pulled me off the shop floor & I become the draftsman cadet. (I sometimes wished I had finished the apprenticeship). Unfortunately later that year I got struck down with Ross River & was on my back for 6months. Once I recovered, I went back to uni & did my degree. While there I contracted to local engineering shops drafting.

Out of uni, I worked on the Cairns tilt train, Skelta Sports Cars, Marine Masts & Argicultural/Bulldozer implemnts. I then went to head draftsman designing materials handling equipment for a year & then was head hunted to China. Now I am the Engineering Manager for a multinational company, in charge of 14 people in three offices around the world. All in 4yrs.

I hope that doesn't sound too up my self, just trying to highlight what can be done & in what time frame. The opportunities really are endless. Go for it. Very Happy

Post Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:56 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
DavidM



Joined: 07 Jul 2004
Posts: 41
Location: Victoria, Australia, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy


 Reply with quote  

Interesting question Tim.

I personally like exit points in courses, I have seen too many people get so far in a course and drop out with no qualification, its really a waste. I have done this myself with one of my degrees and its frustrating, hardly looks good having "Degree Almost {2 out of 3 ain't bad}" on your resume.

Perhaps enrolling in a Certificate level would be a good start and TAFEs allow you to continue to Associate Diploma level, Diploma and articulation to Uni degree (2nd Year) if you wanted. I personally can't say I enjoyed four straight years, in retrospect it would have been better to have a composite of study and working, my flat mate at the time did this at Swinburne (I think 6 - 12 months of work between 2nd and 3rd year).

It doesn't look bad on the resume having all these qualifications along the way, and if you like it and jump to a higher level, if you don't like it, you bail out and at least you have a qualification.

I personally think the work place is where you do your best learning, and the job interviews that I have had really didn't give a toss about education level, it was about project experience. Sure if you have no qualifications your experience better be good, and if you have no experience well you better have a qualification and be reallly really keen.

And of course deciding where you go to do a course, well that another story. But I don't believe the hype, every place has tossers that graduate that don't have a clue, and stars who know more than the instructors.

And of course the clincher, it depends on your marks.
_________________
"Limitation shows the Master."

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 12:52 am 
 View user's profile Send private message
kkeerroo
Experienced Roboteer


Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 1459
Location: Brisbane


 Reply with quote  

Its a shame they never explain any of this a school. When I put my name down for a Bachalor of Technology (Mechanical) and my brother put his down for a Bachalor of Engineering (Electrical) we had no idea what we were getting into. I don't think I had really talked to any engineers before then.
Basically I really enjoyed my Technology degree. It's a lot more hands on the the engineering corse. They didn't do any 3D modeling and spend any time in the work shop. We also did few defferent subjects which were rather helpful. It was also interesting when we were all entered into a design compitition and all 12 technology students beat the 120 engineering students. Also most of the guys in my corse had been out in the real world were also teaching me a few things.
Now I work as a drafter. I'm only earning about $24K a year, but I havn't gradurated yet even though I've completed my corse requirements. I'm hoping for a bit more cash when QUT finally give me my bit of paper, but I've been waiting almost 4 months already.
However my brother is a drop out. According to him there is too much maths in the engineering corses, mainly with the electical side. After 3 years he only got to pick a soldering iron once. So that was no fun. Now he makes medical thingy's (I tune out when he trys to tell me) and has to explain whats going wrong to the engineers when things arn't working.

They only problem with Technology corses is they are becoming rare. In my corse they only aloud 20 students in per semester compared 120 students for the engineering subjects. Also when I signed up Mechanical Technology was the only tech corse still offered by QUT compared to 5 different engineering corses. So we were out numbered 30 to 1. But in the engineering classes I was there were between 100 to 200 students and 1 lecturer, but in the tech classes there were between 10 to 20 of us and 1 lecturer. But my group were the 3rd last to go though. Qut no longer offer any tech corse and neither do UQ, Griffith or and other Queensland Uni. You can only do it though TAFE, which might be better as TAFE's seem to have more money then Uni's. I mean the metal shop at QUT didn't even have enough money to buy a new blade for the drop saw and I literally hanging on the handle while to blade was rubbing againts the metal. I think one of the student brought in a blade from home to put on it.
_________________
Get Some!!!

Secretary of the Queensland Robotics Sports Club inc.

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:46 am 
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
3Faze



Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Posts: 99
Location: Lincolnshire, UK


 Reply with quote  

Damn, based on what mytqik's said, I should emigrate.

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:55 am 
 View user's profile Send private message
original_carnage
Experienced Roboteer


Joined: 12 Jul 2004
Posts: 326
Location: Toowoomba(ish), travel to Brisbane


 Reply with quote  

To anyone leaving school and trying to decide what to do... if you have an interest in something then that is good - but check into the actual study requirements and practical side as well (as kkeerroo and mytqik have mentioned) since the course may not be exactly what you are after. However if you have a passion for a particular field then you will do well reguardless of the prac or study requirements.

The main thing I can't stress enough is don't go to TAFE or Uni because that is the normal thing for people to do - only go if you are certain that what you are doing is right for YOU and only you. Study costs way too much money and puts you through a lot of stress - so check it out throughly first. I would recommend that everyone still sit the T.E. exam in school (or whatever it is called these days) just to keep your options open....

What I recommend is take 12 months off and get a job. It is a lot more fun to discover your adult life with a wage in your pocket instead of stressing out about exams in some Uni. You can always go to Uni at any stage of your life, you may even find that what you thought (in school) you wanted to do doesn't appeal to you after having a break from education for a short while (1 year). Saves alot of time, stress, effort and money....
Hope its been some help !
_________________
There is no such thing as excessive carnage.

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 10:34 am 
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Timothy Forde
Experienced Roboteer


Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 247
Location: Vic ,Belgrave South


 Reply with quote  

Wow Thanks for all the responces
I'm actully thinking of doing a tafe diploma/advanced diploma and maybe moveing onto uni from there. This is the one i'm actully looking at now
Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology (Mechanical/Manufacturing/CAD)
If you intersted this is what it is

Year 1 (Diploma)
Select 15 modules from:
AM006 CAD A
EA001 Calculus
EA002 Engineering Mathematics A
EA003 Engineering Mathematics B
EA010 Materials Science
EA027 Presenting Reports
EA033 Writing Workplace Documents
EA040 Occupational Health and safety
EA050 Engineering Computing
EA061 Engineering Graphics
EA065 CAD B
EA701 Engineering Drawing (Detail)
EA711 Mechanical Drive Components
EA740 Workshop Practices (Fabrication)
EA741 Workshop processes (Machining)
EA772 Introductory Dynamics
EA790 Manufacturing Processes
EA804 Introduction to Strength of Materials
EA859 Statics
EB030 Advanced Quality Concepts

Year 2 (Advanced Diploma)

Mechanical Stream
EA706 Fluid Mechanics 1
EA714 Thermodynamics 1
EA727 Drafting Mechanical - Drive Systems
EB650 Materials for Engineering
EB701 Advanced Machine Design
EB702 Dynamics of industrial Machines
EB703 Machine Design
EB704 Mechanical Design
EB711 Thermodynamics 2
EB720 Fluid Mechanics 2
EB771 Advanced Dynamics
EB840 Advanced Strength of Materials

Manufacturing Stream
NM09 CNC Machining
EA160 Advanced PLC
EA501 Production Planning and Control (Main Functions)
EA502 Jig and Tool Drafting
EB050 Engineering Project
EB507 Production Planning and Control (Charting Techniques)
EB508 Production Planning and Control (Estimating and Planning Techniques)
EB509 Production Planning and Control (Forecasting)
EB511 Injection Mould Processing and Tooling
EB512 Injection Mould Tool Construction and (Design Practice)
EB523 Design for Economic Manufacture
EB722 Computer based Modelling Design and Drafting
EB770 Robotics

CAD
EA066 CAD C
EA067 CAD D
EA068 CAD 3D
EA074 CAD Modelling Concepts
EA772 Introductory Dynamics
EA804 Introductory Strength of Materials
EB050 Engineering Project
EB061 Managing CAD Utilities
EB523 Design for Economic Manufacture
EB703 Machine Design
EB704 Mechanical Design
EB722 Computer based Modelling, Design and Drafting
EB840 Advanced Strength of Materials

Any way it all sounds intersting to me I just can't pick the one I want to do second year if I even do it
It's a 2 year course full time or a 4 year part time and i'm thinking part time just so I can get a job and do other things.
My main thing is I just want to know I can get a job after doing it.
But any way thanks for all the responces it's way better to hear it from people who have done it.
_________________
Team KO

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:27 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
mytqik



Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Posts: 127


 Reply with quote  

Tim,

That is exactly the same thing as I did. Just like David said, you can easily do the course & then go and work, or work & study at the same time. The two years will really fly. The TAFE is really good as it gives you alot more preactical experiance. There is nothing worse than an engineer that has no practical experiance. EG my last engineer calculated that a joint required 6 x 21mm bolts, and specified this on the drawings.

You will also find that the first year of that degree is also the equivilant to the first year block realease for a fitter & turner. Therefore if you feel that you would rather be a fitter than an engineer you have already done the first year of training, thereby making yourself more employable than a kid straight out from school.

I still use alot of the textbooks from that course over my uni books, as the TAFE books cut to the bone & give the formula you need without all the theory that goes with it.

Original Carnage also has a good suggestion about working for a year. You will find the break will either put the spark in your belly for further study (and therefore a greater chance of a higher salary) or you will find something else that fires your imagination. Just dont let the one year become 2 which becomes 5. Good luck with which ever way you go.

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:39 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rob Team Rotwang



Joined: 19 Jun 2004
Posts: 292
Location: Victoria


 Reply with quote  

Tim are you year 12 at school? I was thinking about engineering career also maybe a Robotic engineer when I leave school, does anyone know much about Robotic engineering? Confused

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 6:47 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
kkeerroo
Experienced Roboteer


Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 1459
Location: Brisbane


 Reply with quote  

Q.U.T calls it Infomechatronics Engineering. It a combination of I.T, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. I guess it'll be called the same at every uni.
_________________
Get Some!!!

Secretary of the Queensland Robotics Sports Club inc.

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:35 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
colin



Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 102


 Reply with quote  

Well, i guess i should say something.

I'm 2.5yrs through my Mechatronics degree at Swinburne . it is alot of maths, but that's what you need to figure stuff out. there's not really a way around it. and yeah, you learn lots of theory....that's so you know how to make stuff. Once you have your degree you'll probably never use most of it, but knowing it lets you choose what area you want to work in.

I know that to 'outsiders' the knowledge doesn't seem so useful, but when you desgning a CCT board for the automotive industry you start to use it. (thermal cycle -40 -> +125, ESD protection, need to take into account the 0.5nH inductance on the end of the SMT etc. etc.)

As David mentioned above about his friend, I'm doing IBL, that is working for a year, I'm about 2 months in to my 12 months. I'm doing it at bosch and work in the division that does this , specifically #3. Our division does a few other things to, but i can't find links to them online :/

I have to say, you learn alot about how stuff is made when your actually working in the industry. And the truth is, it's not stuff you can really learn in the class room.

Any way to answer your question...what was it again...oh, where will it lead... I don't really know I really want to be working in a design capacity. (That's one other thing they don't really talk about, there are 100+ engineers at bosch, they work everthing from sales, to quality, maunfacturing, application, design etc.......engineers don't just make stuff)

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:19 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message
kkeerroo
Experienced Roboteer


Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 1459
Location: Brisbane


 Reply with quote  

For starters, I am the kkeerroo who started studying a Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, joined the Army Reserve as a Operator Specialist Communications, Droped out of uni, Studied Programable Logic Controllers at TAFE, Employed as a electronics assembler working on the design and development of endoscope inserts and now studying for Certificate III electrical proccess engineering. (Other people where name droping so I thought I would have a go).
My views of higher education is as follows:

University - High level stuff but cold and clynical. Despite the ads, not much "Real World" stuff but a must for a high paying career. You need to stick it out for the money.

TAFE - Only teach useful stuff. Recomended for all as this is "Real World" stuff.

On job training - Only teach you what you need to know. Pays well tho.

Army training - Best training around. Once on a course where there was 5 students and 13 instructors. Most of the training is not too useful for civvie street but did pick many usefull skills (like how to clean a toilet
Confused ).

For school leavers I would recomend uni, but don't get too cocky about being and enginner and concentrate on your studies. Study first, money later. Also recomend the Army reserve for all students as it gives you something to do on weekends and the money is not bad either.
_________________
Get Some!!!

Secretary of the Queensland Robotics Sports Club inc.

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:20 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Timothy Forde
Experienced Roboteer


Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 247
Location: Vic ,Belgrave South


 Reply with quote  

Actully I'v been planning on joining the army reserve for a while now (was thinking about joining the army full time and maybe still but don't know)
Can you give any more info on that like the type of training you can do and the amount of time you can work and the pay and stuff?
_________________
Team KO

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:27 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Spockie-Tech
Site Admin


Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 3160
Location: Melbourne, Australia


 Reply with quote  

*warning, mega ramble post ahead - read only if you like listening to old-farts give advice Laughing
---

I'd like to weigh in on this thread too since I have some thoughts that might help people considering technical/engineering futures..

First off. you should think about the type of environment you want to work in. Soho (small office, home office), Enterprise, Corporate, Government (including army), Academic or whatever..

I've been involved in the electronics industry for around 20 years now and I've worked in small (<5), medium (5-100) and large (5000+) people companies as well as working for myself. I havent tried government or the academic worlds, but I believe each person will find they will fit best into one of those models, regardless of the particular industry.

The independantly minded individualists (like myself) are better off working in the soho/self-employed area where you are your own boss or close to it. Its the most self-reliant and unpredictable area in terms of reliable cash flow and future "job security", but you are your own boss, and skills count for more than qualifications do. If this sounds like you, then TAFE's and practical colleges that teach you how to actually *DO* things are probably your best bet, since your customers probbaly wont be interested in reading your resume. your reputation for getting things done well and reccomendations from existing clients are your best asset.

If you want to work in the medium-sized industry, then having a few bits of paper under your belt will help get you in the door initially when you have to beat out all the other applicants for an interview, but once you've got as far as the interview its more your personal "can do" attitude that gets you most jobs IMO. They will want to see that you have completed some relevant skills, , but whether its a TAFE certificate or a University degree probably isnt as important unless you are trying to get straight into their R&D area or something.

For the Corporate/Academic worlds, the more University/Theoretical papers you have, the better your chances. Large Companies have "Human Resources (HR) managers" who tend to emply people based on official corporate guidelines rather than gut-feelings of "this person feels competent". They prefer to play safe and "by the book" and rarely get into trouble for employing someone with a fistul of degrees, even if that person does turn out to be a dud in the workplace. If the corporate suit-wearing land with lots of fringe-benefits, future job-security and a clearly defined career-path is for you, then study hard, and dont worry too much about practical skills, since chances are you'll spend more time writing up the minutes of the daily meeting than getting your tie (and hands) dirty.. Laughing

Conformity is important in corporate land as well, and you need to be a "team player" and not go rocking the bot with any silly original ideas that dont follow the heirarchy.. nothing that doesnt make your supervisor look good is likely to get the nod, whether its a good idea or not. Following orders and being a good little cog in the system is more important than individual skills. In return for your allegiance, a smart corporation will tend to look after you and not expect too much of you while keeping you warm and fed witha solid dependable income, but be prepared to dance to their tune rather than your own. I suspect government and milatary is probably very similair as well, although I dont know from personal experience

Once you have decided what world you want to live in at work (the majority of your waking hours are spent there), then the next thing to do is talk to someone who is already where you want to be, and ask them how they got there ! it always seemed like such an obvious step to me, but it amazes me how few people bother to do it. They go to school, study hard, walk out with their degree, *then* start wondering where the path to their goal starts from. you might have just caught the bus to the burbs when you wanted to be in the big smoke. Having a clear idea of the route you need to follow before you go to school greatly increases your chance of getting there.. although I was lucky and what I liked doing for fun (computers) turned into a career without any obvious fore-thought on my part.

I dont know many people who are reluctant to tell you about themselves and their life. Wink, so finding one of them and offering to buy them a beer in return for the story of their life could well reveal a few valuablle secret short-cuts ("well, the company always advertises these positions to be legal, but actually, most of them are filled from the in-house staff from the "x" department before they even hit the papers" is an oft-heard comment).

Sometimes the road to the your desired place doesnt start at the front-door and if you dont want to take a chance on ending up somewhere you arent happy, thinking about your preferred environment first is probably a good idea.

-- "This is Bretts life" starts here.. Wink --

With all that generalised advise, if anyone wants the unpredictable but highly paid somtimes computer-consulant & sometimes "fix-it" dogs body type of work that I do, from fixing a broken wire, to designing an almost invisible in the real-world linux-based VPN (in the days when most network engineers hadnt even heard of them) remember that skill-aside, customer-service is #1 above all technical skills in the person-to-person world, and not one of my existing clients has ever even seen my resume.. its all been word of mouth reccomendations from other satisfied clients. I got my first few jobs from people whos computer I used to fix for free when I was working full time.., but as far as my qualification path goes..

I started tinkering with computers when I was about 12, back in the TRS-80 Model 1 - (16K of Ram and Tape-drive WooHoo ! Laughing) - left high school at form 4 (or year 10 as its known now) and got into Box Hill Tafe (THE place to go for practical electronics in Victoria IMO, or at least iw was, maybe its changed nowdays) a year early because of my obvious passion for computers and electronics, where I did a "Vocational Electronics Program) - (an electronics focussed year 11), then did my first year of basic Electronics certificate (BEC), followed up by "Digital Electronics Technician Certificate" (or stage 1 of the Certificate of Technology), followed by "Associate Diploma in Electronic Engineering" for 2 years (I think thats what they renamed C.O.T. to).

While I was at School full time I had part time jobs working for Tandy-Electronics Box Hill (since I knew more about their computers than they did), Matthews International (repairing and calibrating Inkjet printers), and Future-Tech as an electronics-assembly drone (good for soldering practice !)

Then I finsihed my Assoc Dip. and got my first full-time job as lowly alarm-repair technician for I.E.I. (Integrated Electronic Industries) while I did another year or two of school part time doing courses like "Microprocessor Applications" and "Communication Engineering" in the evening for the next year or two. I found that I was very good at listening to people describe faults over the phone and "visualising" their situation and coming up with solutions as well as spending time (sometimes too much) figuring out "why" things worked the way they did (or didnt), unlike the other techies who were content to just get the system working again without really figuring out why it went wrong in the first place.

That made me in hot demmand on the phone (so much so that my boss stopped letting me talk to customers on the phone if I was behind with my repairs). This lead to the customers complaining that they couldnt talk to anyone who could help them, so the national products manager pirated me from the service department (much to the service managers annoyance) and made me "national technical support manager" where I basically spent most of the time on the phone, and occasionally got flown around to the various state offices to try and teach the sales staff a bit of techie product skill so they could help their customers (and improve their sales) instead of bugging me so often.

I also got given the job of evaluating competitors products and getting involved in writing the manuals, specs and design of new products for the company from its outside contracting eningeers (after discovering that our internal R&D department was useless for anything you wanted done sometimes this century). All that took up about 8 years, when the company got bought out by a bigger company that just wanted its fire-detection division (the company ran multiple semi-sperate divisions, fire, security and batteries), so they retrenched all the security and battery staff. Before the day of the official announcement was out, I had about 5 companies on the phone wanting to employ me (which gave me no end of a big head Laughing) -

I chose a design job with one of the outside contractors (Fra-tech owned by Doug Fraser) and spent the next year in near-solitary confinement (!) (a 3 person company where each of us worked in a seperate section of the building) writing microprocessor code for the well-known (in the security industry) "Concept 2000 and 3000" series of alarm systems that he designed. Wow did that stretch my micro-code programming skills. The guy I worked with is nothing short of a genius when it comes to micro programming and if you looked behind the label you would probably find his fingers in at least 50% of the austrlian security systems out there, and he taught me a lot.

However, the lack of social contact (the boss was quite happy being the hermit type) nearly drove me nuts, so I left after about a year and deliberately did nothing for a few months until a friend rang me up and told me that he thought Honeywell's building controls and security services team (that he worked for) needed someone with my micro and computer skills, so I went in for an interview with them. About the same time, the company that bought the old company I used to work for heard about me through some of the fire-division staff they had retained an offered me a job.

Once again I got a head swell Laughing as Honeywell and Vision Systems kept out-bidding each other to try and get me, and in the end I went with Honeywell even although Vision was offering a bit more money, because I thought there would be more room for advancement in the bigger company. The company car didnt hurt either, since mine was often off the road from me tinkering with it.

Then I found out the hard way all that stuff I said above conformity being very important in big-corporate land and being something of a rebellious free-thinker immediately started making waves with my boss, who was the typical corporate weenie, butt-licker type with very little actual skill of his own, other than taking credit for others work, and passing the buck and dodging the blame for his own screw ups (which were quite common). I wouldnt wear the blame for him - the people I worked with thought I was great, since I didnt cover-up mistakes and looked after them, and I wouldnt kiss his ass to get the good jobs he got to assign, so after a while, he starting making sure I got all the crap jobs, which lead to me resigning after about 9 months of his bull..

One of the guys who had worked there for *25* (!) years said that it was typical of big companies.. the place tended to go in cycles. the good middle level managers got promoted to upper management after a while, then they would get a new crop of middle managers up from the bottom ranks, and it would take a few years for the idiots to get weeded out by the slow upper managers. He said I just happened to join at a bad time where the upper management hadnt figured out which of the relatively new middle managers were just apple-polishers (like my supervisor) and if I has been willing to toe the line for a year or two, my boss probably would have got the flick eventually.. but I couldnt bend over and take it for that long Laughing so I left. hence my somehwat jaded view of big business-land Smile

Fortunately, all along during my full-time career, I had made a sideline of fixing peoples computers and especially networks in my spare time, so when I once again left full time employment, I had enough small jobs to tide me over (especially considering I still lived at home with Mum then Wink so I could survive on little money) while news of my availability for part-time work spread. I think I started on about $20/hr (which doesnt sound too bad until you remember that you dont get paid holidays, sick leave or superannuation when you work for yourself, so holiday times are always tight for me) with just a few hours a week work on average.

Gradually more and more people heard about me - mostly from the people I already worked for who told their friends and business associated about this cheap-but-good computer tech who they had been using and work picked up. I spoke with another consultant doing similair work who gave me one of the best pieces of advice I've had which I'll share.

"Work" is a free-market driven by supply-and-demmand. If you have a product or skill that people want, they will pay for it. If its a good product, demmand will grow as market-awareness does. Eventually, if the quality of the product is good and the price is right, demmand will exceed the available supply (your time). At that point you have a choice..

You can employ other people to work for you (increasing the supply), but you will then have to spend more of your time managing those people, making sure they have work (and are doing it), that their work quality meets your standards (supervising), and doing all the paperwork for payroll's, super, taxes etc. Eventually as your business grows, you will find yourself slowly becoming a manager and spending more time running your business than actually doing the "Work" that your employees will now be doing for you. you still have to "work", but now the nature of your work has become more managerial than hands-on.

Or, you can do what any free market does when the demmand exceeds the supply and you can put your price up to match. Some of your lower-end clients will drop away and find a new (cheaper) source of the skills you offer, but provided you keep the quality high and your reputation is good, you will find there are always people willing to pay top-dollar for your services, and you will end up making the same amount of money for less hours of work. It takes quite some time for those with $ to become aware of your services, since they mostly work on "who you knoew - ie personal reccomendations" rather than "what you know - ie. qualifications", so you have to slowly work your way up the ladder just like in corporate land. but once they consider you a trustworth reliable worker, they will tell their (rich) friends and associates about you, and you're in like flynn. Cool

I'm glad I followed the second route, since I like fixing things, and hate paperwork.. and it means I spend msot of my time doing the sort of things I like doing rather than becoming "management"

Anyway, once again my typing speed has made this into a mega-post, I hope I havent bored you all. but as I said, few people dont like to tell the story of their life (and it didnt even cost you a beer Laughing), and I hope it shows people that in todays corporate-land, there is still room for the one-man band to make a good living if you dont mind tightening the belt through the occasional hard times when all your clients are on holidays.. (or you can be more fincancially sensisble than I am and actually save money to tide you through those times. Laughing)

I wish Tim and anyone else reading this the best in finding their path and comfort zone between their work-world, study and play and hope all this rambling helps you think about it..
_________________
Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people

Post Sun Aug 29, 2004 11:04 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
  Display posts from previous:      

Forum Jump:
Jump to:  

Post new topic   Reply to topic
Page 1 of 3

Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next

Forum Rules:
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 

Last Thread | Next Thread  >
Powered by phpBB: © 2001 phpBB Group
millenniumFalcon Template By Vereor.