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Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is an engineering field that deals with the application and study of electricity, electromagnetism, and electronics. The commercialization and use of the telephone, electric power distribution, and the electric telegraph in the second half of the 19th century brought this field to the forefront. Electric engineers deal with the problems associated with electrical systems, including electrical machines and electrical power transmission, while electronic engineers look at electronic systems like integrated circuits, computers, radar, and communication systems.

Program Information

Princeton University has an excellent electrical engineering program. The 4 year B.S. in Engineering program will result in an ABET accredited degree. The program merges elective courses in the liberal arts and entrepreneurship with rigorous training in engineering fundamentals. The program offers a unique combination of exposure to current developments in the field, independent student research, and challenging coursework both beyond and within engineering. It provides terrific preparation for a career in engineering, but also for potential professions in finance, business, law, government, and medicine. The first year of the program gives students a solid foundation in the science and math requirements of the program. Students can concentration in different areas, ranging from theoretical topics to more design and experimental topics. 36 courses are required to complete the degree, and students shape their schedule to fit a specific area of concentration with guidance from faculty advisors. Georgia Tech also has a terrific electrical engineering program. In fact, the electrical engineering and computer engineering programs at Georgia Tech are in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings, consistently placing in the top 10. The program provides a concrete foundation in the fundamentals of both science and engineering while also providing a variety of electives to help students shape their studies to a certain technical interest. Core requirements include General Chemistry, Calculus, Program Design for Engineers, and Introduction to Signal Processing. A total of 132 course hours is required.

electrical eng student

Pros & Cons

Like many engineers, electrical engineers are able to advance to manager positions without attending graduate school or taking any form of additional education beyond a bachelor’s degree. This helps students save on tuition money, and allows them to begin immediately working off any student debts by gaining employment right after they complete their undergraduate degree. A degree in electrical engineering also provides the necessary training for the Practice of Engineering and Fundamentals of Engineering and Principles licensure exams, and most programs offer students the chance to gain real world experience through co-op learning or research projects. It can be difficult to gain a license even with the training however, since you need to pass two separate exams. Once you are employed as an electrical engineer, you may have to work overtime. The coursework can be difficult, since you need a solid foundation in both math and the sciences.

Graduate School & Career

Most people who take an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering immediately enter the workforce since a graduate degree is not necessary for an entry-level position or required for potential promotions. Electrical Drafters provide detailed, visual guidelines that show the specific layout and wiring of many different electrical devices or building types. This helps with both the repair and installation of electrical services or equipment. Electrical Engineering Technicians help develop, test, design and manufacture many different electrical processes and devices using theories and principles of engineering, science and mathematics. Power Plant Operators are responsible for controlling the machinery that creates electrical power, and maintain and monitor several generators.