Bi-Weekly ADVICE Mega-Thread (May 09 2016)

I'm looking to switch jobs and I'm starting to feel like a fraud. Or that my current path is a dead end.

I have a BSME. In school I was always interested in power generation and thermodynamics, with a personal passion for renewable energy. After graduating, it took me a while, but I found a job with a utility-scale solar EPC. I was in the O&M department monitoring the solar sites. It was pretty low level and not super glamorous, but I got a start in an industry I was passionate about. I learned a lot about the industry and about all the components and design considerations. I was introduced to SCADA systems and tracking systems and lots of interesting stuff.

I was then promoted to "performance engineer". I do a lot of data acquisition and analysis, and create technical operating reports. I also create and maintain all the code in MATLAB that produces these reports. I really enjoy that. But I'm not sure where I go from here.

Am I an "engineer"? I don't even know. My title has engineer, but I'm not a PE. Does being an "engineer" even matter in the big picture? I don't know. In a way I kind of feel like a fraud. I started looking for new jobs, and solar is kind of niche to begin with. A lot of jobs are for EE's, or actual solar design engineers. Meanwhile I only have experience analyzing them.

Maybe I can apply my skills more to the consulting side? Or maybe I need to search for analyst jobs instead (solar or otherwise)? I'm just getting frustrated by my lack of a clear career path. My current search strategy involves going to google and typing in some combination of "solar matlab engineer jobs". How do I figure out where I go from here?

/r/engineering Thread