July 13, 2023

As technology has evolved over the years, so have the skills and expertise of IEEE members and volunteers who help bring these new advancements to life. 

Their backgrounds go far beyond traditional engineering and range from computer science, information technology, physical sciences, biological and medical scientists, mathematics, law and policy, technical communications, education management and more. 

From the development of products to the maintenance of large and complicated systems, these individuals draw on the expertise of others. 

There’s a lot of discussion today about how to train more people to work in science and technology related fields. And so we talked to people that have followed these career paths. 

They’re members of IEEE. Their stories show how IEEE has been the professional home for people from a wide range of backgrounds. 

Different Paths to the Same Destination: Leading IEEE. IEEE Fellow Kathy Land and IEEE Life Fellow John Vig come from two different backgrounds. Land has a degree in education, Vig a degree in physics. Both have served as president of the organization. They’ve also enjoyed lengthy careers as leaders outside IEEE. We discuss their perspectives on their career development. 

From English Ph.D to IEEE. For IEEE Life Senior Member Annette Reilly, a Ph.D in English led to a lifelong career – first as a teacher of technical writing, then as a proposal writer and project manager. 

“From student or young professional to life member, IEEE has the resources to help you learn and think strategically throughout your career,” Reilly said.

Sometimes, Technical Skills Are Only a Foot in the Door. Technical skills and formal training have helped many people land their first jobs. But as people move through the ranks, they often find themselves using fewer technical skills, and more managerial ones. IEEE Life Senior Member Annette Reilly, IEEE Senior Member Irene Pazos Viana and IEEE member Charles Stein discuss how they forged a path forward.

Learn more: Inspiration, passion, creativity, collaboration. No matter where you are on your career journey, find out why IEEE can be your professional home


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