Earning an electrical engineering degree can lead you into many excellent careers. Engineering careers require graduates to apply the rigorous and technical STEM coursework they completed in college, and employers need well-trained professionals who can complete tasks on electrical systems and equipment. Engineering degree graduates can find work at major tech-related businesses and in medical and military environments.
Electrical Engineering Degree Skills
Earning an electrical engineering degree prepares you for a career in this field. The coursework will include math and science, specifically focusing on calculus, differential equations and physics. Degree-specific coursework will introduce electrical circuits, power and energy systems, communication technology, and the design process and coding using languages like C.
Electrical engineering careers are built on strong academic skills. Additional skills are needed to specialize in certain career paths within electrical engineering. These skills include:
Electrical engineers work with teams of people. They must be adept in explaining complex engineering theories to a non-technical audience. Electrical engineers should hone their communication skills, speak clearly and write intelligibly in order to share information about industry standards in research reports and technical documentations.
Electrical engineers play major roles throughout the entire life cycle of an electrical design project. They may not have formal training as a project manager, but electrical engineers should be able to scope a project in terms of outcomes and deliverables. Additionally, they may be required to engage in an agile development process be able to engage in an agile development process.
Research is a large component in some electrical engineering careers. Engineers follow the scientific method to create hypotheses and apply research methods, gathering data to solve problems.
Critical Thinking and Analysis
Engineering challenges require electrical engineering degree graduates to develop critical thinking skills. They must utilize the skills acquired in various courses to analyze designs and address issues.
In an electrical engineering degree program, you will learn about circuits and control systems, well as other design-related topics. On the job, you must use this fundamental knowledge to design systems based on unique specifications. Electrical engineering designs must also include safety standards and ethical considerations.
Concentrations for Specialized Engineering Careers
There are several types of electrical engineering careers available to graduates. You may specialize in some of these fields during your degree program, while others can be learned on the job.
Computer engineering is closely related to electrical engineering, integrating electrical engineering and computer science coursework to develop engineers that focus on the creation of both computer hardware and software. For example, they may build the smart devices that are used increasingly in homes and office buildings. Computer engineering and electrical engineering backgrounds include electronic system design, computer architecture and machine intelligence.
Biomedical engineering programs integrate physiology and traditional engineering disciplines like electrical engineering or mechanical engineering. The coursework for biomedical engineering typically includes living systems, instrumentation design and biotransport. A biomedical engineer specializing in electrical engineering applications may design new medical implants or instrumentation used in clinical or bioscience manufacturing settings.
Electrical engineers may choose to study engineering management in a master’s degree program. This allows them to build skills in leadership and management. Engineering management programs typically include classes in budgeting, finances and marketing. An engineering manager must be able to work with diverse teams. Combining electrical engineering and engineering management degrees increases career growth potential for individuals seeking to apply their technical background in a business setting.
Renewable energy is becoming an important source of energy distribution around the world. Electrical engineers can concentrate in energy resources to learn about sustainable energy sources. They may study solar, thermal and wind engineering. A focus in power and energy systems provides an opportunity to work with and improve existing energy resources while exploring new opportunities.
Electrical Engineering Degrees
Electrical engineering careers do require a specialized education. As with many careers, the more education and experience you have in the electrical engineering field, the more likely you will be to get a higher-paying, more complex job.
Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering
A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering is generally made up of at least 128 credits and takes about four years to complete. Along with the technical training in math, science and engineering, the student will need to complete general education and humanities coursework.
Some bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering programs include concentrations or minors that allow student to tailor their degree to their desired career. These bachelor's degree concentrations may include areas such as electrical engineering technology. Electrical engineering degree students will also have opportunities to complete internships to prepare for their future careers.
Graduates of an electrical engineering degree program can work in commercial, medical and government sectors. They may find entry-level careers in industries such as instrument development, software and aviation. Earning a bachelor’s in electrical engineering will also prepare graduates to take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam in order to obtain professional licensure.
Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering
Engineering students with bachelor's degrees can pursue advanced degrees in electrical engineering. A master's in electrical engineering degree program generally consists of between 30 and 40 credits and may take two years to complete.
A master's degree allows an electrical engineering student to concentrate in one particular area of the field.
Someone with a master's in electrical engineering can be a project manager or oversee electrical engineering projects. They not only oversee personnel, but they may be the head designer on a project and ensure that budgets and deadlines are met.
Doctoral Degree in Electrical Engineering
Electrical engineers who wish to pursue academic careers can earn a doctoral degree in electrical engineering. These are rigorous, research-heavy programs. Graduates with doctoral degrees in electrical engineering can teach at the university level, run research labs or work for think tanks in the private sector.
A doctoral degree in electrical engineering includes coursework and research for a dissertation. A student earning this terminal degree in electrical engineering will spend most of their time researching and publishing articles to advance the body of knowledge in the field of electrical engineering.
Grand Canyon University offers two degrees related to electrical engineering. You can earn a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering or Electrical Engineering Technology and gain hands-on skills that prepare you for jobs in industry or graduate school. Click on Request Info on this page to learn more.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.