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 Post subject: Any hardware engineers here?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:36 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 9:58 am
Posts: 67
Location: Pittsburgh
In reading this forum, it seems that a majority of the people here are more into computer science and software. I'm wondering if there any people here that have careers or are schooling to get into hardware design fields.

I'm about to graduate with an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering and I'm thinking about going for grad school. I'd really like to pursue a career in digital hardware design. I'd love to design microprocessors, chipsets, or specialized embedded systems. However, I'm discovering that I really need a masters degree to learn everything I need for this field. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for going into this field.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:36 am 
Willamette
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:06 am
Posts: 1153
Quote:
PETER
You're a software engineer?!

SAMIR
Working must be, must be very hard for you.

STEVE
I made more money selling magazine subscriptions than I ever did
working at Initrode.

MICHAEL
Huh? You worked at Initrode?

PETER
You can't tell anybody about any of this stuff I told you. I mean, we
know a lot of the same people.

STEVE
Actually, that all depends.

He holds up his clipboard.

Cut to later. Peter closes the door.

PETER
What am I going to do with forty subscriptions to Vibe



couldn't help it sorry. :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Any hardware engineers here?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:55 am 
Team Member
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:10 am
Posts: 1167
Location: Virginia
JeffV wrote:
In reading this forum, it seems that a majority of the people here are more into computer science and software. I'm wondering if there any people here that have careers or are schooling to get into hardware design fields.

I'm about to graduate with an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering and I'm thinking about going for grad school. I'd really like to pursue a career in digital hardware design. I'd love to design microprocessors, chipsets, or specialized embedded systems. However, I'm discovering that I really need a masters degree to learn everything I need for this field. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for going into this field.


Jeff,
I have a CE & EE degree from UF many years ago.
You are correct many companies want someone with an MS. However there are still many positions available for undergrads.
However, you would most likely be a test engineer and then work your way up to design. Several of my friends work at Dallas Semi. and they all started out that way. Within 2-3yrs they moved up. With a masters you would start at a higher level, but you would mentor under someone.

As for design hardware in general do you have skills in Cadence or any other type of design software (Im not sure which packages are used nowadays)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:15 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 9:58 am
Posts: 67
Location: Pittsburgh
Well, it's nice to hear you say there are still options even without an MS. I'm going to start applying to grad schools this fall, so hopefully something will work out.

With my undergrad classes, most of the harware design I've been exposed to was using Mentor Graphics HDL designer and various synthesis tools they bundled with it. I used this in both a digital design class and a graduate level hardware design class that I got permission to take as an undergrad. I also took an embedded systems class where I got to use Altera's Quartus software to implement their NIOS II processor and some custom designs on an FPGA.

I also got permission to take a graduate course this fall for System-on-a-Chip design. So I'm trying to get a jump start on things by taking these grad classes. I'm sure they will help me get admitted to a grad program too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:58 am 
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Location: Virginia
Yes I’m familiar with Mentor and Quartus. I have a feeling your program was similar to mine. http://www.ece.ufl.edu/academics/underg ... ee2001.htm

A few factors that come into play: if you had a co-op during undergrad, your GPA and willingness to relocate. UF grads have a big advantage because the engineering department has one of the best annual career fairs in the nation. I cant really say the undergrad education was all that great (I had over 60 people in my senior design class.) but the department was very tight with so many recruiters across the nation that it was a joke finding a job. The only people that had problems landing a job were the ones not willing to relocate.

Does the university you attend offer career fairs?
Off the top of my head here are a few companies that actively recruit undergrads for hardware design:
Lockheed in Maryland
www.framatome.com ---- I was a design engineer there; and later became a college recruiter

Here is a link to the UF career fair:
http://www.crc.ufl.edu/CareerFairs/Even ... ending.htm

Select Engineer-Electrical and it will pull up companies recruiting undergrads, along with links to their websites.

But your best bet is a career fair locally. NOTHING beats out face time with a recruiter. There were many times I bumped an application up to HR because the person I spoke to at a career fair was knowledgeable about our company and very enthusiastic about what we did. My biggest pet peeve was the applicants that showed up at the fairs and didn’t know a single thing about our company. Those applications, no matter what their qualifications were, were not filed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:12 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 9:58 am
Posts: 67
Location: Pittsburgh
Great! The things you're saying are making me feel very optimistic about things. I'm in fact hoping to relocate somewhere since I'm tired of living here (Pittsburgh). Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad place to live and grew up here, but I'm bored and want to experience a new place. Also, I've had a couple of good internships, so I have some experience there.

Yes, we have career fairs here from time to time and I usually check them out. Unfortunately, I think a majority of companies I would be interested in are located in other areas and wouldn't be as likely to visit our career fairs. I go to Univ of Pittsburgh by the way.

As for grad school, I have my eye on Univ of Texas in Austin. I was reading about their program and it looks amazing. They're also ranked 8th among graduate computer engineering programs in the US. Plus, Austin has TONS of technology companies, so there should be lots of good job opportunities.


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