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Author Topic: Education in electronics - where to start?  (Read 3093 times)

Todd Novosad

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Education in electronics - where to start?
« on: August 08, 2011, 12:49:04 pm »

ok, here's my situation, I decided to go back to school and continue my education (graduate deg) but would like some advice as to what direction I should take.  I would really like to have a career in electronics.  Either designing and building audio related equipment or speaker drivers and cabinets.  I really enjoy building DIY guitar pedals and analog audio devices and I have some basic knowledge of how simple circuits work.  My current education is in broadcast production and a/v services.

What type of programs should I be looking to take in order to obtain the skills and resources to achieve a career in audio electronics?  I've been looking into electrical/computer/energy engineering programs, but not sure if that is the right way to go.  Should I be looking at another field? 

thanks
Todd
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Charlie Zureki

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Re: Education in electronics - where to start?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 05:15:36 pm »

ok, here's my situation, I decided to go back to school and continue my education (graduate deg) but would like some advice as to what direction I should take.  I would really like to have a career in electronics.  Either designing and building audio related equipment or speaker drivers and cabinets.  I really enjoy building DIY guitar pedals and analog audio devices and I have some basic knowledge of how simple circuits work.  My current education is in broadcast production and a/v services.

What type of programs should I be looking to take in order to obtain the skills and resources to achieve a career in audio electronics?  I've been looking into electrical/computer/energy engineering programs, but not sure if that is the right way to go.  Should I be looking at another field? 

thanks
Todd


  Hello Todd,

   Your statement "to achieve a career in Audio Electronics"  could mean a lot of things.  Do you mean you'd like to Design Electronic Audio products? (Electronic Engineering/ Computer Science)

  Or design Drivers, raw speakers, and/or speaker boxes? (Mechanical Engineering/Electrical/Electronic Engineering/Physics)

   Good Luck,
   Hammer


 
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Stu McDoniel

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Re: Education in electronics - where to start?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 05:30:43 pm »

ok, here's my situation, I decided to go back to school and continue my education (graduate deg) but would like some advice as to what direction I should take.  I would really like to have a career in electronics.  Either designing and building audio related equipment or speaker drivers and cabinets.  I really enjoy building DIY guitar pedals and analog audio devices and I have some basic knowledge of how simple circuits work.  My current education is in broadcast production and a/v services.

What type of programs should I be looking to take in order to obtain the skills and resources to achieve a career in audio electronics?  I've been looking into electrical/computer/energy engineering programs, but not sure if that is the right way to go.  Should I be looking at another field? 

thanks
Todd

Do you want to be an engineer?  Design?  Your talking a 4 year degree or more
You can get an electronics tech degree in a 2 year tech college like I did
You better like math and have the ability to do it.   Electronics is math.
However, I do remember kids that could ace every test but could not fix anything
if their life depended on it.   There is no degree for just audio electronics. 
You have to start with the basics,  AC and DC circuits, Digital circuits, Radio circuits
etc and last but not least you have to know Ohms law and how to apply it.
If you enjoy what you do as a hobby you probably will enjoy learning about it.
Best of luck!

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Todd Novosad

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Re: Education in electronics - where to start?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 07:02:58 pm »

Hammer,
I am more interested in the design of audio products than driver/speaker box design.  Although I am open to both, just mechanical engineering is pretty foreign to me.

Stu,
I am interested in design, but I also would like to get my hands dirty and not have to sit behind a computer using CAD all day.  I am looking into University graduate programs at the moment, but I will also look into tech degrees as you mentioned.  I do have interest in math and physics and do understand that it is the backbone to any engineering field.  I just want to try to narrow down a specific field of study that will lead me in the right direction.  Too bad there isn't a degree just for audio electronics, that would be very convenient.

For example, the gear you use everyday for work or hobby (mixers, compressors, microphones) I want to be one of the people designing it, testing it, putting it together.  As Hammer said, Electronic Engineering / Computer Science is probably my goal, but just wondering if there is something even more specific?  If not, then I'll need to speak to some advisers at the schools I'm interested in.

Thank you for the input.   

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Charlie Zureki

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Re: Education in electronics - where to start?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2011, 07:14:14 pm »

Hammer,
I am more interested in the design of audio products than driver/speaker box design.  Although I am open to both, just mechanical engineering is pretty foreign to me.

Stu,
I am interested in design, but I also would like to get my hands dirty and not have to sit behind a computer using CAD all day.  I am looking into University graduate programs at the moment, but I will also look into tech degrees as you mentioned.  I do have interest in math and physics and do understand that it is the backbone to any engineering field.  I just want to try to narrow down a specific field of study that will lead me in the right direction.  Too bad there isn't a degree just for audio electronics, that would be very convenient.

For example, the gear you use everyday for work or hobby (mixers, compressors, microphones) I want to be one of the people designing it, testing it, putting it together.  As Hammer said, Electronic Engineering / Computer Science is probably my goal, but just wondering if there is something even more specific?  If not, then I'll need to speak to some advisers at the schools I'm interested in.

Thank you for the input.

 Hello
  Advice....skip the school advisors...generally, they work with boxes...and you're looking for a career outside the box.   Talk to some engineers that work for some of the gear manufacturing Companies....   EV, Harman, Crown, QSC, etc...

  Where are you LOCATED?  Knowing this would help a lot.


  Hammer
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Todd Novosad

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Re: Education in electronics - where to start?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2011, 07:23:16 pm »

I'm in Denver, CO.   as far as I know, there aren't many, if any, manufacturing companies around here.
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Charlie Zureki

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Re: Education in electronics - where to start?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2011, 09:39:43 pm »

I'm in Denver, CO.   as far as I know, there aren't many, if any, manufacturing companies around here.

  Utah's over a couple of hills. ;)

  Hammer
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Joey Breaux

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Re: Education in electronics - where to start?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2011, 10:33:50 pm »

ok, here's my situation, I decided to go back to school and continue my education (graduate deg) but would like some advice as to what direction I should take.  I would really like to have a career in electronics.  Either designing and building audio related equipment or speaker drivers and cabinets.  I really enjoy building DIY guitar pedals and analog audio devices and I have some basic knowledge of how simple circuits work.  My current education is in broadcast production and a/v services.

What type of programs should I be looking to take in order to obtain the skills and resources to achieve a career in audio electronics?  I've been looking into electrical/computer/energy engineering programs, but not sure if that is the right way to go.  Should I be looking at another field? 

thanks
Todd
I got an associate degree in electronics back in 86. In some ways it was very helpful. In some ways it was lacking.

Back then they taught how to trouble shoot to discreet components. I doubt that is taught today. We were taught to design circuits using discreet components, microprocessors, and a variety of chips.

We were taught to program robots in Basic, program microprocessors and CNC machines using binary, oct, and hex...all useless today.

We were taught zero about vacuum tubes. How can one design a tube model if they dont understand tubes?

The stuff I found applicable to audio could have been taught in a weekend course (maybe).

Id definately talk to some people in the know before Id commit the time and money.  Are you married? Children? Is going back to school even a viable option?

On the other hand....an engineering degree is never a bad idea. It just may not lead you where you thought you wanted to go.

I wish you the best.

Joey
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Stu McDoniel

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Re: Education in electronics - where to start?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 08:00:38 am »

Hammer,
I am more interested in the design of audio products than driver/speaker box design.  Although I am open to both, just mechanical engineering is pretty foreign to me.

Stu,
I am interested in design, but I also would like to get my hands dirty and not have to sit behind a computer using CAD all day.  I am looking into University graduate programs at the moment, but I will also look into tech degrees as you mentioned.  I do have interest in math and physics and do understand that it is the backbone to any engineering field.  I just want to try to narrow down a specific field of study that will lead me in the right direction.  Too bad there isn't a degree just for audio electronics, that would be very convenient.

For example, the gear you use everyday for work or hobby (mixers, compressors, microphones) I want to be one of the people designing it, testing it, putting it together.  As Hammer said, Electronic Engineering / Computer Science is probably my goal, but just wondering if there is something even more specific?  If not, then I'll need to speak to some advisers at the schools I'm interested in.

Thank you for the input.
I understand your wanting to be in the audio part of the biz....I love it myself.  Here is the deal
You just need to learn the nuts and bolts of electronics... If you open the cover of an analog amp
your looking at AC and DC ciruitry.   With digital classes you learn how gates work.  And, Or, Nand etc
Basically these are conditions that are met with gates and ones and zeros.  Enough of that!
Learn the nuts and bolts of Electronics and the audio part will come easy. 
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Charlie Zureki

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Re: Education in electronics - where to start?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2011, 10:18:16 am »


I got an associate degree in electronics back in 86. In some ways it was very helpful. In some ways it was lacking.

Back then they taught how to trouble shoot to discreet components. I doubt that is taught today. We were taught to design circuits using discreet components, microprocessors, and a variety of chips.

We were taught to program robots in Basic, program microprocessors and CNC machines using binary, oct, and hex...all useless today.

We were taught zero about vacuum tubes. How can one design a tube model if they dont understand tubes?

The stuff I found applicable to audio could have been taught in a weekend course (maybe).

Id definately talk to some people in the know before Id commit the time and money.  Are you married? Children? Is going back to school even a viable option?

On the other hand....an engineering degree is never a bad idea. It just may not lead you where you thought you wanted to go.

I wish you the best.

Joey

   Hello,

  I HAVE an Electrical Engineering Degree, and a Degree in Chemistry... I consider myself "in the know".  The suggestions I made regarding the course of study for the different categories of Audio product development work were, I believe....spot on.

 I suggested that Todd contact some of the Engineers at Audio Equipment Manufacturers (or at least the HR Departments) to find what they'd consider in regards to qualifications for employment...were again, also ...spot on.

  All Engineering Colleges are different, some opportunities exist to assist in research projects (for a better, advanced understanding in theory and practice) at some, and in others, very little extra-curricular projects.

  In regards to advanced learning...it is one thing to be able to trouble shoot an existing circuit, it is another to develop a new circuit with new concepts and new components....the difference between a repair tech and a Design Engineer.

 Or, take a material that has not been used in commercial marketed products, and use it's properties or material advantages to produce a newer, advanced product.

  Learning what some may find to be useless, outdated information...gives an Engineer background as to where, when and how technology has evolved, and may offer inspiration in regards to new concepts or technology.

  There are some posters here in this forum, that work in product development, maybe they will add to the discussion...?

  Hammer
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Paul Dershem

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Re: Education in electronics - where to start?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2011, 06:15:16 pm »

Good advice!

The people who continually impress me as I watch them go shooting up their respective career ladders are those who have identified their passions first, and proceeded strategically in an effort to follow their passions in the most pragmatic and expedient manner possible. These are frequently individuals who are described by others as: "living their lives fully," "Grabbing life by the horns;" "being go-getters;" "Top performers;" "unstoppable."

Identify your passions; be smart about achieving your goals; assure your behavior is congruent with your stated values - practice integrity; give maximum emphasis to your values, self-management, and interpersonal skills; and let nothing stop you.

The rest - schools, mentors, job experience, specific skills, are all ingredients on a salad bar we call life. Select thoughtfully.

To survive in a rapidly progressing field, it's tough to avoid investing time and effort acquiring skills that have a short shelf-life. Predicting the future is the hardest part of the equation.

IMO, IME, YMMV...



   Hello,

  I HAVE an Electrical Engineering Degree, and a Degree in Chemistry... I consider myself "in the know".  The suggestions I made regarding the course of study for the different categories of Audio product development work were, I believe....spot on.

 I suggested that Todd contact some of the Engineers at Audio Equipment Manufacturers (or at least the HR Departments) to find what they'd consider in regards to qualifications for employment...were again, also ...spot on.

  All Engineering Colleges are different, some opportunities exist to assist in research projects (for a better, advanced understanding in theory and practice) at some, and in others, very little extra-curricular projects.

  In regards to advanced learning...it is one thing to be able to trouble shoot an existing circuit, it is another to develop a new circuit with new concepts and new components....the difference between a repair tech and a Design Engineer.

 Or, take a material that has not been used in commercial marketed products, and use it's properties or material advantages to produce a newer, advanced product.

  Learning what some may find to be useless, outdated information...gives an Engineer background as to where, when and how technology has evolved, and may offer inspiration in regards to new concepts or technology.

  There are some posters here in this forum, that work in product development, maybe they will add to the discussion...?

  Hammer
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Re: Education in electronics - where to start?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2011, 06:15:16 pm »


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