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FE and PE Benefits for a EE

10s4life10s4life Forum Champion UCLA 2509 replies53 threads Forum Champion
edited July 2019 in Engineering Majors
So I’m a rising EE senior and the thought of the FE just crossed my mind. I am interning at a major defense firm and my intention is to accept a conversion to full time offer if I get one at summers end. I’m doing something called systems engineering and that’s the field I want to be in for the foreseeable future. I talked to multiple people but wanted to see opinions here. How useful is the FE and later on the PE for a career in defense? I would personally rather invest the time in entering a MS in Systems Engr a few years down the road and eventually an MBA. Design work in EE doesn’t particularly interest me hence the desire to remain in systems. I also do not want to work in an industry that deals in public works where the PE is essentially mandatory. Thanks! Maybe @boneh3ad @eyemgh and @xraymancs have some thoughts on this.
edited July 2019
9 replies
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Replies to: FE and PE Benefits for a EE

  • momocarlymomocarly 1033 replies12 threads Senior Member
    Where I work, large NASA contractor, I know of maybe two people with a PE and no one cares. I have one other friend in the defense industry in VA and he said that no one there has one either. I think the MS is a better option. I have an MBA and don't think that really made much difference either except maybe at first getting into management (today they don't even seem to care that much). It is more about how you are doing your work. Other industries will be different.
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  • 10s4life10s4life Forum Champion UCLA 2509 replies53 threads Forum Champion
    @momocarly That’s what I’ve been seeing. Looks like I won’t do it. Do you recall how hard the GRE was? There’s UCLA MS in Engr for Systems online that I want to do eventually.
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  • momocarlymomocarly 1033 replies12 threads Senior Member
    My son is taking it in August. I don't think it is too bad. I have heard that Magoosh is a great online program to use to study for it
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  • 10s4life10s4life Forum Champion UCLA 2509 replies53 threads Forum Champion
    @momocarly thanks I’ll look into that!
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  • sevmomsevmom 8921 replies64 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    You might want to wait and see what you want/need once you get into the workforce. Both my kids are industrial /systems grads. Neither has felt the need yet for a masters. And if you do need a masters , an employer may be able to help with costs. Being able to get security clearances can help with getting work initially. My H is a PE but he is a civil. Different story. Good luck.
    edited July 2019
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  • 10s4life10s4life Forum Champion UCLA 2509 replies53 threads Forum Champion
    @sevmom Ya I wouldn’t do it until I had at least a years worth of work experience. The company I intern for (almost all interns get converted to full time if they want) has tuition reimbursement. Security clearances are usually put in at the end of summer. Just wanting to see if taking the GRE soon would be worth it since the score lasts a while. Looks like FE/PE is now out of the picture as it has so little benefit it’s not worth doing for the industry I want to be in. Thanks for the input!
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9502 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Check into current info.
    In my day (1984 BSME), studying for Part1 was not that hard, and it was "open book" (I brought in a crate of textbooks - mostly I did not use them, except for some handwritten forumulas inside the covers, from open book exams). I never took Part2, but I was glad to take Part1 while schoolwork was in near term memory .
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  • VMTVMT 1203 replies16 threads Senior Member
    A PE license is not needed in your case. Having said that, as stated above, the Fundamentals (part 1) exam is much easier to pass when it’s all fresh in your mind. I graduated with many students who took it just to get it out of the way in case they wanted their PE license in the future.

    The GRE is not difficult at all.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24997 replies20 threads Senior Member
    My daughter just took, and passed, the FE but she's a civil engineer so she needs it. My nephew finished a masters directly after undergrad and didn't need the GRE to continue at the same school. He didn't take the FE (mechanical) but his girlfriend (environmental) did.

    @colorado_mom , if by Part I you mean the FE, it is definitely NOT open book anymore. Daughter had to place all personal stuff - phone, notes, even her i-watch - in a locker before the test. She could take pencils and a calculator into the testing room, and they gave her scratch paper for notes.
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