What is the real benefit of a engineering degree?

| February 22, 2012 | 0 Comments

Nowadays, with the crisis present in all of the European market, many companies are changing their strategies when it comes to employing new staff.
One of the things we see happening in Spain, is that the degree is moved to the background when it comes to evaluating an applicant for a job position. This is particularly the case for the more technical side in the software development sector. And it is a theme that is alw

There are many articles that talk about in the past years:

How Does Having a Degree Vs. No Degree Effect Employment Opportunities?

Degree or No Degree, that is the Question?

Is Getting A College Degree Worth It These Days?

– Degree Discrimination – Degree vs. Experience

This is a very controversial topic because many of us know people with degrees, who aren’t good at their job and people who don’t have studies but are very good. So, is a degree really a strong measurement to gauge the quality of a programmer, analyst, …?

Human Resources

 

I don’t know anything about the decisions that human resources make in these cases because that isn’t my job. But I can understand that if you have to choose one person from hundreds of curriculums, you need to define criteria to make this election in the most efficient manner.

Personally, I think that experience should be the first criterion, and if several candidates have similar years of experience in a specific technology, the next should be the education.

It’s only my opinion, I repeat that I don´t work in human resources or the department responsible for selection of new staff.

I’m a Telecommunication Engineer and I work as a Software Engineer, so all the concepts, methodology and other techniques that I am using in my work, have been acquired through experience and additional courses, seminars, etc…

But the most important knowledge that I have earned with my degree, is the faculty to think about a problem and find the BETTER solution to solve it.

Example

Let me explain that with a simple example.

Situation.

Imagine, your car is making a weird noise when you try to start it, so you bring it to your car garage. Imagine that in this garage, a very expensive one, they have two kinds of workers: mechanics and engineers. How do they solve the problem?

Two solutions from two experience people

MECHANIC:  tests your car, checks the noise but hasn’t seen it in other situations. So he takes  the car manual and looks for the solution. But in the manual it doesn’t say anything, so he starts to test little reparations using a test-failure method.

In the end, he solved the problem but if he has to deal with the same problem in the future, he will have to repeat the same.

ENGINEER: tests your car, checks the noise but hasn’t seen it in other situations. So he takes  the car manual and looks for the solution. But in the manual it doesn’t say anything. Before he continues, he thinks about the origin of the problem and discovers an error in the model of the car.

He solved the problem and sends this solution to the manufacturer company of the car, so the next car that they build won’t have this error anymore.

Conclusions

The conclusion is that the engineer adds an extra value to service, and improves the future products of the company (the next cars won’t have this problem). But the big difference is that an engineer thinks about how to fix the problem, seeking it’s source, and draws conclusions to apply this in the future or in other related problems.

 

 

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Category: Software Engineering

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