Can someone give me an idea on different areas of EE and the skill set required?

In summary, my school has taught me the basics of engineering, but I don't know how these classes will relate to an actual job in the future. I want to focus on a field, but I don't know which one. I am also struggling with EM, can you explain further why is EM so important?
  • #1
Currently I am in my 3rd year of my B.E. in EE and I am really lost. What I learned from my school so far are, classes such as Linear System, Communication Theory, Digital Signal Processing, Microlectronics, Power, Control System, etc. I do learn about the basic theories and learn how to solve problems analytically, however, I don't have an idea how these courses will relate to an actual job in the future.

My school have a few recommend area for undergrad to choose: electronic, system, power, telecommunication, and photonic. I want to choose a field to focus on but I just cannot decide since I don have any job experience.

I really want to have advice from experienced EE like you guys, to give me an idea on careers of different areas of EE, and what are some basic skills required for an entry level position of different fields.
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  • #2
Those classes you studied are very useful, it is just of different area. You need those as the basics for the job. You might not realize, but you'll be glad you had those classes later. BSEE is not for you to be specialized, it's for you to learn all the basics and provide you the tools for the job or to prepare you for grad school.

Question is which class you enjoy most? Not necessary the easiest or the ones that you get good grades. You have not studied EM yet? Be good in calculus, it is the language of all engineering books.
  • #3
I have not studied EM yet and I heard it is difficult... I am feeling all the classes I took teach me how to find the answer only, but they never teach me when and where I will need them. What I want to know is how these classes will apply in the real world.
  • #4
Communication theory teach you different type of modulations, they might get into different type of formats like ATM, SONET and might even to smaller ones like USB etc. You get to see how information floats in different layers. Everything is communication now a days.

Digital signal processing is also a big thing, there are a lot of software needed to process the data. All the image enhancing, audio filtering and other interesting stuff you see in CSI or other scientific shows talk a lot about how to filter out noise and enhance the audio or video. Those are signal processing.
Most of the circuits are shrunk into IC, hybrids, those are classified as microelectronics. In fact IC design RFIC are getting bigger and bigger while circuit boards are getting out of style.

A lot of precision machinery, robotics, power supplies use closed loop control which is control systems.

How can you say what you learned might not be useful? The undergrad classes give you the foundation so when you work in a real job where you need to learn the particulars of that job, you'll be able to understand the books, formulas etc.

Your classes have practical use. The other that is more abstract and more remote is calculus. This you almost never use in real life. BUT are the materials that you need to study are likely written in form of calculus, if you are not good in Calculus, if would be very hard for you to learn in the future. These are all about building foundation. The EM class is almost like the extension of Calculus, everything inside is Calculus. If you don't know calculus, you might as well give up on EM class!
  • #5
I am currently struggling with EM, can you explain further why is EM so important?
  • #6
Thank you Yungman, that's the kind of answer I have been looking for... Can you tell me more what kind of work do engineers do in the field of DSP and control? I am more interested in these two areas.
  • #7
Sorry, I am more analog and RF, never have experience on DSP. I'll defer the control system to Jim Hardy as he should know more than me. I use Bode Plot to do all my control systems, he use the more accepted way of Laplace transform.

1. What are the different areas of electrical engineering?

Electrical engineering is a broad field that covers a wide range of sub-disciplines, including power engineering, control systems, telecommunications, electronics, and computer engineering.

2. What specific skills are required for a career in electrical engineering?

Some key skills that are essential for success in electrical engineering include strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, a solid understanding of mathematics and physics, proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software, and excellent communication and teamwork skills.

3. How do I decide which area of electrical engineering to focus on?

It's important to consider your interests and strengths when choosing a specific area of electrical engineering to pursue. You may also want to research the current job market and demand for different specialties in order to make an informed decision.

4. Can someone with a non-technical background pursue a career in electrical engineering?

While having a background in math and science is beneficial for a career in electrical engineering, it is not necessarily a requirement. With dedication and hard work, someone with a non-technical background can still succeed in this field by taking relevant courses and gaining hands-on experience.

5. Are there any specific certifications or licenses required for electrical engineers?

In order to work as an electrical engineer, most countries require individuals to have a professional engineering license. Additionally, there are various certifications available for specific sub-disciplines within electrical engineering, such as power systems or telecommunications, which can help demonstrate expertise in a particular area.

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