Studies & Degrees in Electrical Engineering
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Electrical Engineering Study Programs
An electrical engineer is someone who works on, designs, or operates any kind of device or machine that relies on electricity. Coursework for a degree in electrical engineering will include plenty of physics, math, and engineering science, and possibly some courses on chemistry, architecture, or communications. Electrical engineering is exciting for many students because it allows them to do sophisticated work on brand-new devices and stay informed about developments at the cutting edge of electronic technology.
As a field, it combines challenging intellectual and scientific knowledge with a grounded, hands-on approach. This makes it more appealing to many people than areas of pure science such as physics and chemistry. Nonetheless, it is important to have a strong grasp of mathematics and the sciences in order to succeed in electrical engineering.
- Attention to detail and methodical way of looking at problems
- Problem-solving skills
- Mathematical ability is a must
- Mechanical knowledge – a love of taking things apart and putting them back together is a good sign of an affinity for engineering
Due to the vast diversity of electrical devices that pervade our industrial society, there are dozens (maybe even hundreds, depending on how you count them!) of possible concentrations for students of electrical engineering. A few of the most popular options are signal processing, electromagnetics, electric power, and telecommunications.
While the majority become engineers working in a variety of industries, some students of electrical engineering will instead return to academic contexts to teach or do research. Naturally, this will affect their study choices. In most cases, a Masters degree or even a bachelors degree will be sufficient to secure the sort of jobs that students of electrical engineering generally pursue. Academic careers, however, almost always require a doctoral degree, which usually means an additional 4 to 7 years of intensive schooling.
Electrical engineering is the largest branch of engineering, and as communications and electrical networks expand across the globe, there is a constant demand for more qualified experts with good educational backgrounds in electrical engineering. Possible employers include power companies, computer manufacturers, or any number of other industries. An exciting possibility for electrical engineers who want to travel abroad is to work in international development, putting their high level of knowledge and expertise in the service of people in developing countries.
Electrical engineering can also be a highly practical area of study for students who want to enter a skilled trade but lack the time, resources, or desire to complete many years of advanced schooling. Because of the ubiquitous demand for professional electricians in today's industrialized societies, people interested in electrical engineering can often find enjoyable and high-paying jobs that do not require them to attend graduate school.