Career Opportunities

Tips on Career Planning

It is never too early to think about your post graduation plans. Graduates typically become working, professional engineers in Hawaii or the mainland. They may also find a profession in a related field, e.g., teaching, another engineering field, or in information technology. Another option is graduate school to earn a master of science (MS) or PhD degree.

Here are some tips to help find employment (it is recommended to begin at least two years before your planned graduation):

  • Find out about job opportunities , e.g.,
  • Employers will visit the campus, participate in Career Day, and conduct on-campus interviews. Find out when these employers visit, attend their informational sessions, and sign up for interviews. If you are a sophomore or junior and are interested in an internship program, they may let you sign up for an interview if they have extra time.
  • Write a resume for yourself. Start this as soon as possible, since it takes longer than you think. If you are a sophomore, your resume can be used to find a summer job or an internship. Student organizations such as Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) host resume reviews every semester.
  • Summer jobs and internships at engineering companies or agencies can be valuable experience. Many of these opportunities are at the same companies and agencies where you can find full-time employment. Some of these opportunities are on the mainland, and they may help with travel and housing. Some programs require planning well in advance, e.g., NASA, or the CIA has a program with an application deadline 9 months in advance.
  • Use resources from professional societies like IEEE and SWE.  Societies like SWE have conferences which have career fairs.

Graduate school is another opportunity. You should get started on this at least two years before your planned graduation.

  • The University of Hawaii Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering offers Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) graduate degrees (application information). There is also a combined 5-year Bachelor’s and Master’s program (BAM), where selected courses in your Bachelor’s program can be counted in your Master’s program.
  • Talk to your faculty advisor or mentor about others school or programs.
  • Find schools that you are interested in and learn about their application requirements and deadlines. Some schools only allow admission in the fall, and their submission deadlines are often in December or January. Many of the applications require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Learn about GRE and their deadlines. Practice exams can help.
  • Find opportunities for research and teaching assistantships at the schools you are interested in. Often assistantships provide for tuition and a stipend for living expenses. There may also be graduate fellowship opportunities at the school. Fellowships are also available from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program and organizations such as the IEEE or SWE.