"Artsy" Replies

Canadian Universities Forum (discussion group)

Subject: "Artsy" Replies
Hey tool, I won´t disagree about engineers salaries and being considered a techie or not depends on what type of engineer you are but I´ve worked with engineers and techies at Bell, Rogers, Telus and Bell again. Maybe my experience doesn´t sum up life for BSc/Pengs but I gota better handle on reality than the stupid kids in those threads.

And to the loser who thinks the only businesses are trades/professionals/stores - you are exactly the type of person who needs a BSc/Eng degree. You need to work for someone else because your imagination is so stunted you have no fucking idea how an economy works. Hint: look for demand, provide services. Moron.

Exceptions aside, BSc/Eng degrees prepare you for lives of servitude. Until you get replaced by Asians.

What? You didn´t notice that happening? LOL

(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
i´m not the guy who started this whole thing, but saying that engineers could be techies(i´m assuming you´re talking about technicians) shows your utter ignorance of the profession. I wouldn´t be surprised if you completely lied out of your ass about your "jobs" at Rogers or Bell. You´re full of shit buddy.
and btw, i don´t agree with the original poster either, BA´s aren´t worthless and like some ppl said before, many arts students do go on to professional schools.

(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
If I was lying I wouldn´t be awake and getting ready for work right now. Engineers are not respected at the telcos, trust me. I´m technically only a high school grad since I;m in university right now but I work right alongside engineers and they get paid well but have the same working conditions I do. I´m working with one this morning too. Telcos want Pengs, hire them, and then they are just another tech-side employee. There isn´t a single job at any of the companies I named that they couldn´t just train any resonably bright person to do, no formal background required. I ain´t dissing engineer degrees in general because I know other engineers who earn six figures and always have cool jobs. My point to the OP is that most 99% of BA/BSc don´t do jobs that have their university program in the job title.
(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
So then the question is whether these people are actually practising as engineers, and aren´t just people who work with you who happen to have their license and degree. Engineers who work at engineering firms such as SNC-Lavalin, Pratt & Whitney, Microsoft, Bombardier, Electronic-Arts most definitely will not be be doing jobs that any person can be trained to do. The projects that they deal with require a high level of expertise and responsibility. A normal person off the street cannot be trained to design bridges or engines or robots. I´m not an engineer but many people who are close to me are, so I know a little bit about the profession.

"My point to the OP is that most 99% of BA/BSc don?t do jobs that have their university program in the job title."

you know that is sorta true. Many engineers actually graduate and never go into engineering, or change occupations midway. Maybe these are the engineers you see at your workplace?

(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
The engineer I worked with today was a mech w/ his designation. The work we do requires a Peng to sign it off, similar to how some companies keep lawyers around to notarize stuff (I guess, IANAL). Only at Rogers wireless of the telcos I´ve worked have I seen engineers do high-level work like signal towers and cellular networks. All the other engineering departments are composed of about 33% Pengs and the rest ITers/drafters/or anyone who happened to grow into the job.

Whether anyone can be trained to do something depends on the nature of work. In vast majority of cases, I say yes. The US army takes guys who couldn´t make it into a US college and makes them nuclear technicians. Very few of IBMs early products were designed or developed by college grads. I´m not suggesting lowering standards for anything or to say that anyone could be a surgeon or physicist. Someone with a 4yr eng degree is obv more skilled and better trained than a company could train on its own.

BUT : companies, esp corporations, are cost driven. They balance what skills they want someone to bring to the job vs their price tag, both entry level and career. Like you said, an engineer earns a lot over their life. Companies realize they only need a couple of profs on staff for legal reasons and occassional esoteric knowledge. The simple fact is only a few professionals at any given company is formally trained to do the job, most are industry trained, and they earn about the same as the rest (<- talking BSc holders more than engineers).

And to add insult to injury, very few companies, esp big ones, even IT and telcos, treat their tech-side very well. Believe me or not right now, go work at one of those places and soon you´ll wonder why the project managers and support specialists have such better working conditions. And watch the tech jobs go to FOBs.

(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
^^ sad but true. english skills and ability to learn are skill corps cant import.
(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
Many of you guys are completely in the dark.. Professional engineers are NOTHING like techies, dont even try to compare the 2 careers. Everyone liek to try and call themselves an engineer these days, lots of technicians and technologists calls themselves an engineer in regular day conversation because its shorter and easier to say than "engineering technologist". Plus they seem to have adopted a pinky ring similar to that of which a professional engineer wears, although ours is iron and the techie one is silver.

Engineering is a professional practice just like medicine, law, denistry, accounting, etc.. Comparing an engineer to a techie is liek comparing a nurse to a doctor.

(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
oh, and dont try to compare an professional engineer with a BSc holder, no comparison. Science is a subject. Engineering is a professional practice, and career.
(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
^yeah that´s true, I´m noticing it too, technicians and technologists seem to think that they deserve a "Professional Engineer" title when they have a fraction of the training and education of a real professional engineer. I believe technicians, in protest, brought this issue to court many years ago in Quebec (the court didn´t agree with them). Don´t forget Microsoft´s Certified Systems Engineer which can be earned in what, a couple of months? No wonder the OIQ sued them and won.
Technicians are not engineers. They don´t design and solve problems, they are more hands-on. Manual work can be trained, but design with the application of science i.e. engineering is trained in university. I don´t know much about telcos so i won´t comment, but take a look at the large engineering firms that i stated above and maybe it´ll change your perception of the profession.

to the other poster, nurses are actually professionals, at least they have their own professional order. Maybe a better comparison is audit clerk vs chartered accountant?

PS technologists have a pinky ring now? That´s just deceiving

(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
"I believe technicians, in protest, brought this issue to court many years ago in Quebec (the court didn?t agree with them). Don?t forget Microsoft?s Certified Systems Engineer which can be earned in what, a couple of months? No wonder the OIQ sued them and won."

Some university in NB or NFL decided to offer a program called Software Engineering. The PEC (or whatever) there tried to take them to court but the court ruled they couldn´t limit the use of "engineer". So the PEC threatened to stop recognizing their legit engineering programs and the university dropped the idea.

True that engineers aren´t technicians. You better get used to casually being called a techie if you enter the field, if you´re so thinskinned to correct everyone with the proper form of address you won´t make many friends.

I focused on engineers because that appeared to be whom was knocking BAs. The responses by future-engineers-or-people-who-think-they-have-the-profession-nailed-down is why I keep returning to it. Engineering is a professional degree. Yearly designation fees and the ability to sign passport applications makes that obvious. I´m trying to emphasis I speak from my own experience which is limited to telcos and IT companies.

If you focus on the semantics of "techie" vs engineer then you betray your ignorance of the tech culture. Tech stands for technology (duh) and to most people outside narrow fields means one who works with technology, not technologist or technician.

Whatever. My arguments work better when directed against BSc-hubris but so many of my coworkers are Pengs they make better anecdotes. Excluding my job, I have several eng school grad friends and only one, a civil, still does engineering work. The others, 2 chems and an EE, moved into finance, IT, and IT respectively. The civil earns 6 figures, the broker close, the IT workers as much as me. Only the civil enjoys his work. The other 3 hated their engineering jobs and left. The ppl I work with hate working for telcos and would go elsewhere, I assume, if there was something better for them. Make what you want of all that.

My original point, and hopefully the last time I´ll have to make it, is that a BSc guarantees you nothing and a Eng doesn´t give you the moon. If you denigrate a BA you´re showing you don´t know how the workplace works. Go ahead and go to an all-engineer shop somewhere, earn your 6 figures and correct people who offend your ego by using common vernacular. I have a sneaking suspicion that there aren´t enough jobs like that to satisfy the demand for them.

Or come to Bell. Soon I´ll graduate and maybe move to the managerial track, where I´ll be just another techie-cum-BA running a tech team. Yes, you heard me right - TECH team, as in a team from the technology side of the biz. Choke on it, mofo.

(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
Becoming a space engineer gives you the moon, and becoming any other type of engineer gives you a great job and gives you an excellent advantage for moving up in a company. In many companys an engineering education is required to move into a superintendant position.

A BA doesnt put anyone at a huge disadvantage in the job market or anything, but it doesnt give you much of an advantage either, it enables you to make 4 or 5 grand per year more than you would make if you just came out of highschool, rather than 20 or 25 grand more.

Belive me pal, if you were paying your whole post secondary education like many of us are(i bet daddy paid it), you would see how lame it is to spend 60 grand on an education and get lower pay. at 28-30 grand a year you can live fine, but you would be paying off your education forever.

(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
Oh and by the way... i noticed you said there arent alot of positions for professional engineers?

Then why is the starting pay for an EIT(engineer in training) averaging $50,000 per year?

(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
dude, you´re pathetic you know that. listen, i apologize for the original poster who insulted BA´s (and took a stab at your ego while your at it), but that doesn´t justify your ridiculously ignorant comments. YOU are the one who thinks you know something about the profession based on your little part-time job as a call-centre boy at Bell. Oh Please. And engineer = techie? I´ve obviously never heard of the equivalence, and i´ve done a bit of research on wikipedia. This is the definition of a techie: "a person that displays a great, quite possibly even obsessive, interest in technology, as well as high-tech devices, particularly computers." How does this mean "engineer"? If this were common vernacular, wouldn´t there be a mention in the article? Did you MAKE THIS UP yourself? Hilarious.
And you suspect that there aren´t enough engineering jobs with 6-figure salaries? Check the salary surveys that were posted. Most engineers will eventually earn this amount, especially when they move up to management.

Which brings me to my last point. Management at engineering firms (or tech companies if it makes you happy) are mostly comprised of engineers with an MBA (maybe a BA!). But they have the P.Eng to go with it. Take a look at the President of Pratt & Whitney, the CEO of SNC-Lavalin, they all had engineering degrees. OR, take a look at Bell, the company you wish to manage in the future with your BA, and check out the educational background of the CEO or the Chair of the Board. Yes, they have engineering degrees. Keep dreaming about managing a "tech-team" at Bell with your BA.

PS notice that i didn´t bash the BA degree, i have nothing against it but i do disagree with ignorant comments

(in reply to: "Artsy" Replies)
That is TOO funny. Call me an old fart if you want (since I´m closer to 30 than 20) but I haven´t had mommy or daddy pay for squat since I was 17. Don´t take this personally, but you yourself don´t know the value of money until you´re working full time, going to school full time, and supporting a S.O.

Nor do I work in Bell´s call centre. I work as a network engineer, ironically enough and no I don´t think it´s a justifiable title for a high school grad doing provisioning. I did work in a call centre for the first 2 years of my adult life, maybe you yourself are allergic to that kind of work but I see no reason to infanticize (ie "boy") people doing an honest job.

I was waiting for someone to bring up the miniscule gains a BA gives someone. No shit sherlock. I´ve worked through the dotcom seed, boom, and bust, and I´ve seen enough to know it´s a matter of getting one so doors aren´t closed, not to open them.

Say whatever the hell you want about the definition of techie, I don´t care enough to argue with a student who has to has to grasp for wikipedia.

Yes, there are positions for professional engineers. Like my 2 chem eng friends, one who worked waist deep in drek at a sewage plant and another who worked for a firm covering up environmental spills. My point is there seems to be a lot of Pengs not doing more than mid-level techNOLOGICAL work. I won´t add "make of that as you will" because you´ll make that to mean "there´s no work for engineers".

I will not argue that there aren´t engineers working as managers. Many or most of them will also have MBAs, depending on size of comp/corp. They are also outnumbered by non-engineers managing engineering departments. Note I said departments, not firms. Big difference, like the the difference between a legal department and a law firm. You are too idealistic if you think companies like telcos run their techNOLOGICAL sides as meritocracies.

Why should I argue the truth of my experiences if you don´t believe me capable of reporting my observations? Finish school, enter the working world and see for yourself. I admit to being limited to my own experiences, funny how you insist I´m wrong when you (I assume) are still in school.

As near as I can tell, you have two main problems with my arguments:

1 - that engineers don´t get lumped in with techies by the soft tissue of organizations. There is no argument here, you need experience to either prove or disprove me. Maybe it´s not even common outside Toronto. Sorry, but I can´t think of a more asinine thing to quibble about so I´m done on that.

2 - that engineers don´t have to reduce themselves to work that non-engineers can do. Or having an engineering degree means you don´t have the same working conditions as the rest of your team. Well, both those are false. If you think I was saying something else then I wasn´t being clear enough.

As far as the usefulness of an engineering degree, I´ve never denied it. A engineering degree is much more valuable in techNOLOGICAL fields than a BA. Perhaps since I didn´t spell this out you took me for some kid who doesn´t know the meaning of work and salary. On the contrary, I know so much about the meaning of work that I know I don´t want to be one of the sad sacks working strictly in techNOLOGY-ISH roles past a certain age. Yes, there is a big difference between a compsci degree and engineering degree after 20 years (in case no one else has noticed the expiry dates on compsci undergrads), but there is also a big difference between a softy and tech-, er, person-who-works-with-technology past a certain age.

And finally, the backgrounds of the Bell brass (and what are you trying to prove by referring to them? fits in nicely with my own argument):

Chairman Richard Currie: UNB ChemEng, Harvard MBA.

President and CEO Michael Sabia: UofT BA, Yale MA.


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