Electrical engineering is a hot field. With a degree in electrical engineering, you’ll have job opportunities in several different industries that use your skills in different ways. This means that you can pick and choose which of your skills you want to use regularly within your entire skillset. No longer is an electrical engineer destined to work only for an electric utility company.
Electrical engineering deals with electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. So, any area with electronics, from cellular phones to fuel cells to computer circuits will have a need for electrical engineers, as well as industries that deal with the generation of electricity. If you know which industry you’d like to work in, look for college courses that will allow you to get additional training in this field.
Electrical engineering is a difficult program and requires very good math skills. The best course of study is an electrical engineering degree; they are offered at many universities today. In most degree programs, you have the opportunity to select courses that have to do with your preferred area of work toward the end of your degree program.
It’s wise to pursue a minor in a complementary area, too. If you know which area of electrical engineering you’d like to pursue, finding a minor in that arena is helpful. Or, for any electrical engineer, a minor in business, the management or a foreign language can be a good complement.
Getting involved in extracurricular activities designed for electrical engineering students is a good idea. Most schools have engineering clubs and they often participate in contests that use your engineering skills. Participating in nationwide engineering contests looks good on your resume, and just being involved in an engineering club is great because it gives you a chance to practically apply the things you’ve learned in the classroom.
Getting involved in an engineering club early in your college education is also important in helping some people have a better idea of what area of electrical engineering they would like to pursue. This will help you choose courses toward the end of your degree program.
Research is Important
It’s likely that you’ll be required to do a senior research project. So, to be better prepared, it’s a good idea to do some research work during your sophomore or junior year. Work with your professors to get involved in any research projects they have going. Not only is it a great experience, but it will give you a chance to network. Those contacts can come in handy when it’s time to look for a job.
Join the Organizations
The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a good organization to join. It’s a great way to network, get involved in activities, and help with finding a job. IEEE has a student chapter, so you can join even before you’ve obtained your degree. There are other organizations, too, but this one is the most popular.
Get Your Certification
Even after you’ve obtained your degree in electrical engineering, you’ll have to pass the certification exam if you want to be considered a “professional” electrical engineer. The certification will be required for higher-level of electrical engineering jobs. Since work experience is part of the requirement for certification, entry-level electrical engineering jobs do not require it. Electrical engineers can become employed after graduation, gain work experience, and then take the exam later to boost their resume and earning potential.
In the US, some engineering activities, such as sealing engineering work, must be performed by a professionally certified electrical engineer. The Engineering Training Center can help you find ways to work toward your requirements.
Maintaining Technical Skills
As technology moves forward, keeping technical skills is of great importance for electrical engineers, so that their skills don’t become obsolete. If you’re a certified professional engineer, work experience and continuing coursework will be required to keep your certification up to date, too.
As the job market has decreased in recent years, electrical engineering jobs have decreased as well. There are still jobs out there, but there is a lot of competition for them. Therefore, it’s critical that you have an excellent resume, and get as much experience as possible early in your career. Part-time jobs in your field and extracurricular activities can really set you apart from other candidates when applying for engineering jobs.