Electrical engineers have made remarkable contributions to our world. Electrical Engineers helped invent the computer, DSL, cellular phones, microchips, and solar panels - to name just a few! DVD players, cellular phones, radio, television, computers, airplanes, space vehicles, cars, motorcycles, home appliances, life-saving medical equipment, computer games, and Martian battles fought with joysticks represent a mere sampling of the now familiar facets of life made possible with the input of electrical engineers. There are ten key industry sectors that employ electrical engineers, computer engineers and computer scientists:
- Education and Research
- Energy and Electric Power
- Services and Other Professions
- Transportation and Automotive
More detailed information about Electrical Engineering is available on the Career Cornerstone Center's Electrical Engineering site. Another approach to understanding the field of electrical engineering is to examine the technical interests of the Technical Societies and Councils that encompass the technical activities of the IEEE.
What Electrical Engineering Students Study at the University Level:
Core courses taken by all EE students include such topics as circuits, electronics, digital design, and microprocessors. Laboratory courses play an important role in reinforcing the concepts learned in the lecture courses. The core curriculum builds on a foundation of basic courses in calculus, physics, chemistry, and the humanities. Additional courses draw heavily from other disciplines such as computer science, mechanical engineering, materials science, manufacturing, management, and finance. Many Engineering students also participate in co-op programs. Co-op students alternate terms of work experience in different industries with terms of coursework.
Career Guidance Suggestions for Pre-University Students:
Pre-University students should take as many math and science courses as possible, both during school and as part of after-school programs. Students aged 5-9 should do additional math, puzzles, and code exploration projects. Students aged 9-12 should take extra math, and if inspired, explore pre-algebra and geometry. Students aged 12-18 might consider taking advanced algebra, chemistry, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, physics, electronics, and engineering concept courses. There are also several lessons and activities, and projects and competitions that can help provide students with an interest in engineering first hand exposure to electrical engineering principals. Students who implement these activities and participate in projects or competitions have a better understanding of engineering and its impact on society. They'll be better able to determine if engineering is the career path for them by sharing their interest with other students, and experiencing hands-on applications of engineering. Summer programs and internships are another great way for students at the pre-university level to explore engineering.