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Can I go into electronic engineering with an ECE degree?

  1. Apr 15, 2016 #1
    I just got accepted to an electrical and computer engineering course (ECE) and I was wondering if its possible with this degree to get a job in electronic engineering. It seems that the syllabus covers more of electrical engineering than computer, but I'd like to get a job designing hardware systems and computer parts. I'm just so worried that I'll be stuck doing a job in something that I don't particularly like because of my degree.
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  3. Apr 15, 2016 #2


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    I'm a retired electronics engineer/project manager..

    "Electrical Engineering" courses can vary a lot. Is it mostly Electronics or Electrical Engineering? At the university I went to these were two separate courses. For example is there anything in the syllabus on transmission lines? (I mean high frequency transmission lines as found on printed circuit boards not those on pylons across the countryside). Theory of Semiconductors? If it's more biased to Electrical Engineering (high voltage equipment, motor/generator theory, power distribution) then it might not be suitable.

    The one thing I felt I missed was being able to code. My course didn't include any significant programming. Embedded microprocessors are everywhere these days and being able to do more programming myself would have helped.
  4. Apr 15, 2016 #3
    My course is mostly Electrical. To be fair there is some computing involved, but the ECE course mainly focuses on the areas of communications, digital signal processing, and programming. This is some of what it includes: Advanced Random Processes – Multi-user Wireless Communications – Digital Communications with a Focus on Wireline – Channel Coding – Speech Signal Processing – Detection and Estimation – Model Order Reduction – Embedded Systems Design Lab – Advanced Digital Design
  5. Apr 16, 2016 #4
    What do you mean by designing hardware and computer parts? Do you want to do board layout? Do you want to design in silicon? Are you interested in computer architecture?

    There are many varied jobs and varied skill sets needed for them. Most will require some higher math, so don't skimp there.
  6. Apr 18, 2016 #5
    To answer, I'd like to do board layouts or computer architecture. I'm aware that the math is going to be otherworldly but I'm ready to kick its ass in any case.

    Following up on my question, is it possible for me to have a career in this field with a closely related bachelor's? Or should I pursue a masters specific to electronic / board design would be better?
  7. Apr 19, 2016 #6


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    what school is this from? can you give us a list of their courses offered.

    If you want to do digital board layouts and computer architecture then you're looking for classes like digital design, vhdl/verliog, etc.

    If you're looking for RF stuff look for RF/microwave courses, fields and waves, etc
  8. Apr 19, 2016 #7


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    Yes it is very possible to get a job with a bachelors (I did, as did all of my classmates).
    You'll want to wait until you make a decision regarding a masters degree.
  9. Apr 21, 2016 #8


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    Typically engineers don't do their own layouts, so I'll assume you mean board design. For the most part the math is quite simple (usually don't need to do more than some arithmetic) in board design. For most MS-level computer architecture jobs again the math is pretty simple... mostly bookkeeping.

    The math is mostly hard in school as you're trying to turn complex concepts into intuition.
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