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Med lab tech vs Electronics engineering tech?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 5th, 2018 12:35 am
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 30, 2016
39 posts
5 upvotes

Med lab tech vs Electronics engineering tech?

Hello RFers,

I am about to go back to school in my thirties and am second guessing the path I've thought out. I am aiming to get into the Medical Lab tech program in my province, but I need a couple of highschool classes that I didn't take or had low marks in; done again. There are 3 classes in total and classes start next month. Unfortunately the school system only allows one class at a time and so I talked to the college about it and they said they'd give me a conditional approval just so long as I pass chemistry, Physics and Bio all with 70+. So after further discussion, I asked if I could take a medical lab assistant course first as it only requires Bio and Chem. She said that I could and that the program is only 7 months long, and then next fall I could sign up again for the medical lab tech program and have some of my classes already transfer over. This is what I have set out on and already signed up for the chemistry class($400) and the CPR/FA course($160) that all medical students have to take. So my plan is Medical lab assistant(Can start right away)>Medical lab Tech(Will have all 3 classes done by next fall or earlier)>Work in 2020.

However my passion has always been in technology and computers. I actually went to University for Compsci but became disillusioned with the community. That aside, they also offer an electronics engineering program and when looking it over, the work really interested me. I don't mind routine(Medical lab work) but being able to work on different projects, work with my hands(both jobs) and create/try things in my free time has always been something I enjoyed. That program requires only Physics and the rest of my marks, math espeically are already up to par and I believe I could get into that program right away.

So here's what it comes down to for me:

Medical lab assistant/Medical lab tech
-$25/hr and $33/hr respectively +/-
-Medical industry will "always" need work
-Probably lots of benefits
-Job security
-Many places to work close to home
-If I move I can find a job relatively easily
-Requires a $1200 investment upfront with 3 highschool classes
-Medical lab assistant program is 7 months and then I have a 4 month gap before Medical lab tech program starts
-No knowledge about the healthcare industry

Electronics engineering tech:
-$22-40/hr or more with experience.
-Probably not that much job security in comparison to medical industry
-Is a two year program in total whereas my other path would take 3 years
-Have worked with electronics and computers my whole life
-Have started side projects requiring extensive use of critical thinking and hardware/software implementation
-Automation might be the future, but being able to maintain machines would keep me employed
-Can work in the city or run around the province or farther out
-Work conditions vary wildly from a factory setting to outdoors
-Job will keep me mentally stimulated and have more changes than working in a lab

So, what do you guys think? I really need to get something done as I'm 32 now and fumbled through University without ever graduating. I think the med lab path makes the most "secure" future sense and I already paid for some things regarding it. But I know the medical field has its own problems and that nepotism runs rampant. Thank you for any advice and suggestions.
4 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jan 27, 2006
9333 posts
3374 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Career counsellors always tell you to follow your passion and having a passion for something shows to potential employers. Since you enjoy one of the two subject matters and the rates of pay are similar to start, go with the one you enjoy.... however, I would check to see what's the local job market is like for an electronics engineering tech. You can start by asking the school if they know the percentage of the students who are hired after graduation.... Some schools will also know if graduates are hired before graduation (ie. they get offered/accept a position to start right after graduation or even work part-time just prior to graduation).
Member
User avatar
Jul 29, 2007
461 posts
137 upvotes
North America
Which province/city are you in? What’s the name of the school you will be attending? Theses programs sound like two year diploma and not degrees. I agree with Craftsman, you should also research the job market online in your area and within the fields you are interested in. I usually get more than one opinion, one from the school and one where I do the research to find those details. There are a few job prospect or job outlook sites that illustrate the job markets in each industry.

Question, how far along were you in he Comp sci program? Would you want to move back into a Comp sci or similar role? Have you thought about getting a Comp sci Degree? Do you know roughly how many credits you have obtained? I ask because you may want to finish it off if you are close to graduation. Even if you are half way, there are schools in the US that take the bulk and more of those credits.
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[OP]
Newbie
Dec 30, 2016
39 posts
5 upvotes
craftsman wrote:
Aug 4th, 2018 1:33 am
Career counsellors always tell you to follow your passion and having a passion for something shows to potential employers. Since you enjoy one of the two subject matters and the rates of pay are similar to start, go with the one you enjoy.... however, I would check to see what's the local job market is like for an electronics engineering tech. You can start by asking the school if they know the percentage of the students who are hired after graduation.... Some schools will also know if graduates are hired before graduation (ie. they get offered/accept a position to start right after graduation or even work part-time just prior to graduation).
They do have employment and job fulfillment reports that can be referenced for the purposes of which you speak. I looked through them and both fields have a 96% employment rate and income is a rough $200-300 difference between the two programs(Electronics pays slightly more). And yes, many of the students are hired prior to graduation in both, but much more in medical obviously.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 30, 2016
39 posts
5 upvotes
Saltywetguy wrote:
Aug 4th, 2018 8:57 am
Which province/city are you in? What’s the name of the school you will be attending? Theses programs sound like two year diploma and not degrees. I agree with Craftsman, you should also research the job market online in your area and within the fields you are interested in. I usually get more than one opinion, one from the school and one where I do the research to find those details. There are a few job prospect or job outlook sites that illustrate the job markets in each industry.

Question, how far along were you in he Comp sci program? Would you want to move back into a Comp sci or similar role? Have you thought about getting a Comp sci Degree? Do you know roughly how many credits you have obtained? I ask because you may want to finish it off if you are close to graduation. Even if you are half way, there are schools in the US that take the bulk and more of those credits.
I'm in Saskatchewan, SIAST and yes they're both two year programs. I did look at the schools report but also checked job postings on various websites and also visited Saskatchewan health to learn more about the employment prospects. Nursing is the big thing that they told me they needed and would hire often before graduation. But the other technical roles are needed as well and they straight up said that students are welcome to apply if they're near graduation. I just don't know much about the health industry as I've always been a tech guy and am a bit nervous. But that will leave in time. As for compsci, I only took 1 year and just didn't like it at all. It wasn't what I expected and while I hear the money can be good, it is becoming quite saturated these days and I just don't have any interest in it. It'd be a minimum of 3 years, maybe 2.5 without breaks if I wanted to finish it.

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