Let’s consider some of the biggest mistakes that a person can make: In many cases it involves committing a crime. Or it might be investing too much in the wrong stock. Or hurriedly marrying someone only to find out that they’re abusive. Or buying a house in a crime-riddled neighborhood.
Those are some big mistakes, but here’s a whopper: majoring in Electronics Engineering Technology (EET).
If you’re planning on becoming an EET major, here’s an idea of what you can look forward to:
As you get into it, you might have the idea that you’re joining “the winning side”. It’s not like majoring in English or some other elective, you might tell yourself. This is STEM we’re talking about, which all the science people speak of as guaranteeing a bright future. Once they have you believing that, they have you indoctrinated, to the point that you’ll have internalized the deception to the point of being self-reinforcing. Making it more effective is that these recruiters are great at convincing you that it was your own idea.
For example, if you’re considering an EET degree, you might see someone attempting to warn you against it and you might dismiss them as being someone who made some bad choices.
Once you begin the program, it’s probably going to be the fight of your life. Most college programs flood their students with assignments, but your EET coursework will easily eclipse your rudie-poo electives in terms of difficulty and perhaps even volume. You’ll really be in for it if you have a professor who likes the idea of “weed-out courses” which are filled with arbitrarily advanced material early on in an effort to process out the less-serious students.
In a 25-student class, you’ll likely see a couple students drop in the first week. By the end of the first semester, the class is likely to have been reduced to nearly half, and usually only around eight or nine students make it to second year. Most of the ones left usually graduate.
In case you’re curious, the students that carry on typically make fun of the ones that don’t make it, in some cases as far as a year after they drop.
Considering the challenge involved, and how few students who attempt it actually graduate, one might imagine that there’d be a bright and sunny future awaiting the student that overcomes the hurdles. If that’s what you think, consider the following number:
That’s how much money that you could expect to make, in dollars per hour, putting an EET degree to use.
Are you in disbelief? I’ve held three jobs since graduation that paid about the same rate, and I’ve seen another student from my class in the same position, so it seems like that particular rate isn’t extraordinary for EET grads. For comparison, I met an auto mechanic in the 90’s who made more than that even before accounting for inflation. To make the matter hurt more, a grocery store near one of the places I worked at had advertised a non-managerial position that started at about $15/hr.
With that kind of money, you can pick between a car or a one-bedroom apartment. You might even be able to squeak by with both if the apartment is a slum and the car is used. But you’d probably find yourself doing as I’ve done: using the company’s free coffee as an appetite-suppressant so you’ll feel less tempted to spend more money on food.
While this is going on, your dad might wonder why you’re not buying a house, your mom might wonder when she’s getting grandkids out of you, you might feel tempted to convince your friends that everything’s fine, everything’s just fine, and you yourself might be struggling to make sense of what’s going on.
At that point, you’ll realize that you weren’t on the winning side. STEM majors don’t guarantee success, hard work doesn’t always lead to a desirable outcome, and it is possible to work yourself raw for years and have little to show for it. Kind of like with most degrees.
If you’re considering majoring in EET, don’t do it. If you love your children, don’t sign them up for it. As for me, I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I know that I thought EET was a great idea in the past, but sometimes a person’s opinion changes over time and when presented with more information. Obviously, my opinion is different, now.
“What society does to its children, so will its children do to society.” -Marcus Tullius Cicero