Hi all, Hi Kirk
I'm a recent graduate from
the University of Waterloo's EE program. I've spent
a great deal of time in upper year deciding whether
to go into RF or Software. Though I have a great
deal of passion for both fields, after much deliberation
(not wanting to give up on EE), I've decided that
RF is the right
career path for me
my co-op experiences (6 terms in total, 2 years
worth) are largely in software. This is partially
because serious RF courses didn't start until fourth
year (when you've got all the basics). and I felt
cheated out of my degree because just as I was starting
to learn something interesting they gave me a piece
of paper. I worked at QUALCOMM as an applications
engineer for my last workterm. It was still software,
and though they offered me a job I declined because
i knew if i took it I'll be stuck in software/app
eng forever. QUALCOMM was a great company, and my
dream job would be QUALCOMM's RFIC designer
As a result I've decided to go for masters and
I'm applying for them right now, giving me a year
of free time to do something about my career
I know how difficult to it is to get that first
job in the RF design, and without practical experience
even with a master it'd be VERY difficult. I dont
want to be stuck in the same place, without relevent
experience, after my master.
So I propose
the following 3 possible things I can do during
my year of free time.
1. Go back to taiwan
(where I immigrated from), and try to get a design
job (still unlikely) in RF, OR try to get a testing
job in RF (very likely given my foreign degree).
I know the hours will be very bad because they always
work you like a horse. Work/Life balance is non-existent
there. Therefore if I have a testing job I will
not have any chance to read up on RF textbook, do
problems, or play around with ADS/Momemtum, Cadence,
or any design tool. However I'll have something
to show on my resume, and learn about RF testing
(IP3, 1-db compression, s parameters measurement
and the likes, which i imagine would get boring
quickly, please tell me if this helps future career
path as designer)
2. Use the year to familiarize
myself with the design tools. Read up a lot of RF
(do problems in Pozar, and other RF books), tutorials
etc. and review digital/analog
circuit theory, etc etc. Basically try to teach
myself design. I'd put personal projects on resume.
I dont know how much this will count since I'm not
really working for anyone and just playing around.
I imagine I'd learn a lot this way. But is it advisable?
Is it better to start in testing?
to contact a prof@waterloo and work for them if
possible. This could be a mix of design/testing.
But this also is uncertain and may not be possible.
However I'd have someone to mentor me and answer
my questions. Unlike option 2 where I might get
stuck or go off in a tangent
me on what you would do, looking back at your career.
I'm 22 right now and I know RF is not an easy field.
I love it for the challenge, the engineering, the
math, the thrill of understanding. I love how it
has communication, control, circuits, software,
Thank you and I greatly appreciate
you time and advice.