[SBE] defining broadcast engineering education
curt at spam-o-matic.net
Tue Mar 18 08:48:15 EDT 2008
On Monday 17 March 2008 08:15 pm, Jeff Carter wrote:
> The subject line "Defining Broadcast Engineer" has made me wonder
> about the details. Education level comes to mind. I have seen SBE
> handouts about granting college credit for SBE certification or maybe
> the other way around, so it's on the collective SBE mind at some
Education level gets to be a touchy subject, depending on who you
are talking to at the moment.
> It seems to me that most of the engineers I have worked with over the
> years did *not* have a Bachelor's.
At one time, though I hold no college degrees myself, ALL of my
apprentices held a Masters or PhD.
No one really cared then, and I've yet to find anyone who doesn't
themselves hold a degree that cares now.
> On a national level, though, I notice at least one of you has a PE,
I've found that even a PE is of little value, unless one is serving as
an expert witness, working a government contract ( where it's
of questionable value ) or certifying structural for a permit.
If *I* need a PE, I know a stamp collector who will, for a fee, get
us around that regulatory requirement.
Except, of course, in Illinois, where one must hold a PE to refer to
themselves as an engineer in any context at all.
> My perception is that we're all over the map in
> terms of training and I wonder how that affects us as we deal with
> management, or if it has hurt us in some way.
To me, it both helps, and hurts.
It has helped me, by clients having a perception that I, as a
"broadcast engineer" can handle absolutely anything they might
toss my way. For me, that happens to be true. For most it is not,
and hurts by getting some ( usually low-dollar ) way over their heads.
It hurts all of us, by creating the perception that the low-dollar guy
is every bit as qualified as myself, when he is not, or worse, is not
qualified at all.
Still, a response earlier in this thread *almost* said that there is
so much variation in what we do, that a definition is unnecessary.
Essentially, that means that absolutely anyone, with any experience
or none at all, can call themselves a "broadcast engineer" and we'll
all be just fine with that.
To me, that's a problem.
> Is it more common to have a Bachelor's or even a Master's in
> Engineering in other markets/regions than it is in my market?
In my travels ( 49 states anyway ) no.
A degree, license, or certification of any kind means nothing to the client.
A resume and references mean everything.
> Expressed as a percentage, how many SBE members have a BS or MS in
> *any* discipline? Are there any stories out there about how it would
> have helped to have had a Bachelor's?
In all my eons in this business, I can cite not a single instance when for me,
or anyone I've run into, a degree would have helped outside of the brief
period when *I* decided that my apprentices needed something.
Even then, it wasn't definitive.
Sometimes it seems the more letters a guy strings after his name, the less
he seems to be worth on the job. Sad. What that says, it that the certification
process ( by anyone, not just SBE ) isn't really worth much.
That if you ask Ron Rackley, Jack Mullaney, and others, they'll tell you that if
you've got Cowboy on the job, it won't be necessary for them to show up
personally *at all* means more to me than any letters or certificates one
might be able to obtain.
That one client obtained a permit, and had no idea where to go next, so
he asked the FCC Washington and got *my* name, I have very mixed feelings.
On one hand, it's incredibly flattering, but on the other they know who I am,
which can be a very scary thing !
Still, when I claim title "broadcast engineer" it says almost nothing to anyone.
No one has a clue what is a "broadcast engineer" or what he/she is not.
To me, this is one not insignificant thing the Society *can* fix, if they will.
Just one mans opinion...........
Marriage is low down, but you spend the rest of your life paying for it.
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