electrical engineering in pittsburgh
March 18, 2008 9:36 AM   Subscribe

What is the job market like in Pittsburgh, PA for new engineering grads? Where should we be looking?

So my girlfriend and I are thinking of moving to Pittsburgh this fall so I can go to grad school there. She is just finishing her bachelor's in electrical engineering, and while she plans to apply for grad schools next year, she will need a job this year. Ideally an entry-level engineering job. (we will be as flexible as we need to be, but this is the goal.)

Her degree is in Integrated Engineering with a focus on EE. It's a comprehensive program that includes courses from all engineering disciplines. She is particularly interested in power electronics. She has some experience as a co-op student and research assistant; I think she makes a good candidate.

Neither of us has any contacts in the Pittsburgh area. Googling 'Pittsburgh Engineering Job' gives lots of hits, but most of those appear to be with temping firms, and I have my doubts they would be very good jobs.

Someone pointed me to this website: http://www.pghtech.org/. Can anyone suggest any other places to look? Any good companies to check out? Can anyone describe what the job market is like right now in Pittsburgh, and if it is likely to be affected by the recession?

posted by PercussivePaul to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Since your girlfriend is similar to a lot of the students graduating from universities in Pennsylvania, you might want to look at the career services websites of some of the universities there.

For example, it looks like the University of Pennsylvania has an annual engineering career fair. The brochure from last year lists all of the companies that wanted to hire EE BA grads last year, so looking into those companies might be a good start for finding local jobs.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:48 AM on March 18, 2008

WorkPittsburgh runs ads on local TV allthefreakingtime, so that's the first place I thought of. It has listings for the city and surrounding 'burbs.

There will be a job fair at the Pittsburgh ExpoMart on April 3.

Today's Post-Gazette published a bunch of articles about the local economy (scroll to the bottom for the links).

I don't know if that will be helpful, as I'm not an engineer and my friends are civil and mechanical, not electrical.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 11:01 AM on March 18, 2008

Check out universities for potential jobs as well. There could be something interested and related at CMU or Pitt. A good friend of mine at the University of Colorado rolled from undergrad into a staff position for his department and he says it's an awesome gig.

Aside: You're considering leaving Vancouver for Pittsburgh? You're a stouter man than I. I was trying to decide between UBC, CMU and Johns Hopkins for grad school and ultimately, Vancouver was the deciding factor. Haven't regretted the decision since =)
posted by Nelsormensch at 11:22 AM on March 18, 2008

Response by poster: Aside: well, yeah. I like Vancouver but the Engineering and Public Policy program at CMU is very attractive. See here if you like. And I just visited Pittsburgh and rather like it.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:21 PM on March 18, 2008

i'm sure Pittsburgh has plenty of double E jobs available, but ever since the bubble burst, many of them can be obtained only through head-hunters. PghTech is probably the best job site, but most of those jobs are headhunters too.

here's a short list of big companies in the 'burgh that might hire EEs.

1) Eaton (Cutler-Hammer) - i think they're in power delivery or something
2) ECI Telecom - routers, big ones.
3) Medrad - some kinda medical stuff
4) McKesson - robotic pill dispensers, maybe other stuff
5) Union Switch and Signal - trains
6) Respironics - more medical gadgets
7) Bayer? - they do a lot of things besides aspirin. i know they hire materials engineers.

i'm sure i'm forgetting about a dozen more. if i remember any more, i'll post agin.

there are lots and lots of startups too. these jobs are more word-of-mouth, though. but if you're going to go to Clown College (er, i mean CMU), you'll be totally plugged into that stuff.

oh, one more thing. Geek Night. (google it) it's more of a CS type of thing, but you can't spell geek without a double E. it happens the nth thursday of every month down in the strip district/lawrenceville area. in the good old days, it used to be lousy with recruiters. not so much now, but there's still a tech network alive and well in pittsburgh. might as well look into that too. it's another entree into the downtown startup network too.

i hope this meandering screed helps a little.
posted by stubby phillips at 3:30 PM on March 18, 2008

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