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Old 20th July 2012, 08:45 AM   #1
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Default Formal training

Hi all,

This may be a long shot, but as a hobbyist looking for a career change I would like to think that I could move into a fields that interests me. I'm thinking here of Audio technology, in particular loudspeaker design and construction.

I feel that a good starting point for me would be some sort of formal training leading to a qualification, MSc or whatever (I have a BSc in Electronics).
I'd welcome some genuine opinions and advice here. Is formal training a possibility, is it worthwhile? What courses are out there? the only one I have found so far (in th UK) is the Audio Acoustics MSc as Salford. It looks really interesting, but would I be wasting time and money at the age of 46 going down this route?
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Old 20th July 2012, 09:30 AM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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The question is, where would you intend to work after finishing the formal training? There are a lot of terrific loudspeaker engineers who are unemployed since most of the business has moved elsewhere.

Start your own company, perhaps? Business school would be more appropriate than engineering.
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Old 20th July 2012, 10:14 AM   #3
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Thanks SY, that's pretty much the sort of advice I was hoping for. I could spend so much time and money just to get a piece of paper, when I could be just enjoying myself instead
It's a sad fact that so much engineering and technical type work has disappeared, at least I know from experience that's the case in the UK
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Old 20th July 2012, 11:19 AM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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I wanted a career change, at about the same age as you. Like you I decided to turn a hobby into a second career. I went off to university again, and got an MSc in telecommunications. Then enjoyed it so much stayed for another 3 years and got a PhD. Two years postdoc research, then no funding and no job. People won't even interview you for a technical post once you are past 50. Now enjoying unplanned retirement.

Self-employment may be your best bet. A university course may be disappointing, as standards have dropped so much in the UK. My MSc (in a Russell Group institution) was about the level of 2nd-year physics of 30 years ago. The only benefit I got from it was admission to the PhD. There are people on this forum who know more about audio electronics than many university staff.

Last edited by DF96; 20th July 2012 at 11:19 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 26th July 2012, 03:11 PM   #5
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
I wanted a career change, at about the same age as you. Like you I decided to turn a hobby into a second career. I went off to university again, and got an MSc in telecommunications. Then enjoyed it so much stayed for another 3 years and got a PhD. Two years postdoc research, then no funding and no job. People won't even interview you for a technical post once you are past 50. Now enjoying unplanned retirement.
Never a truer word spoken...

I have first hand experience...the job that I do I get arround a bit..

I have spoken to Top people in HR in companies and have been told..there are two piles of paper work one over 50 the other under.."Yes it should not happen"...because that would be er out of order...however when the people that employ the HR say DO IT how can they argue. I have been involved with selection as well..and I can tell you..here is the tip of the iceburg the reasoning.

If we take on a 25 year old whats the chance of lost time due to serious illness compared to a 50+ worker in the next 5 years.

Over 50..

Can they do manual work on a regular basis with out injury.. you would think this is just a manual worker<<it applies to teachers moving reams of paper work and shifting things like projectors and laptops as well..just the act of bending down etc.

Can they take stress<< a real big one in todays workplace.

What is the recovery time after injury..

Can they adapt to new technology..

Do they need the job...<<<ie do they have a mortgage.

Will they cover absence with over time..

How long will they stay at the company without contacting a union if there is one.

Would they take action against the company.. under pressure. ie can we load them without problems.

Can we retrain them easily.

Well there is 50 and there is 50..however its to difficult to split who falls either side of the fence. (so don't bother trying)
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There is an awful lot more than just these reasons..but it gives a clue.
I should add I don't agree with the reasons, however sometimes a company would rather take on a younger person and train them than take on 50+ with the experience.

Regards
M. Gregg
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Last edited by M Gregg; 26th July 2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 26th July 2012, 05:55 PM   #6
macboy is offline macboy  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simmonite View Post
Thanks SY, that's pretty much the sort of advice I was hoping for. I could spend so much time and money just to get a piece of paper, when I could be just enjoying myself instead
It's a sad fact that so much engineering and technical type work has disappeared, at least I know from experience that's the case in the UK
Don't kid yourself, those engineering jobs haven't disappeared at all. There are probably more today than ever before, just not in the 'west'.
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Old 29th July 2012, 12:43 PM   #7
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Yes, 80% of the worlds electronics is produced in the east. In the UK it is quite dismal with firms shutting down every week, and we are loosing skills in all fields of engineering and electronics, that dont have a route through formal education. PCB design being one skill set that will soon disapear, as the majority of designers are getting old and well into their 50's, both in the UK and USA:
Printed Circuit Design & Fab Magazine Online
Other skills are production related, with so little UK PCB production and assembly, we are quickly loosing people with experience and limited manufacturing facilities to train the next generation.
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