EE schooling vs. employment

  1. Hey everyone. This might be kind of a weird question, but something I've been thinking about. I'm in my second year of Electrical Engineering, talking basic Circuits courses, diff.Eq, and a Digital Design class, and I have to say, classes are wicked hard. I guess I expected this, but I did very well fairly easily my first year, and now I'm working my butt off pretty much non-stop. Anyways, I guess my question is this: how does actually working in the Electrical Engineering field compare to the schooling for it? I love EE and find it amazingly interesting, but is it going to be this stressful and time consuming my whole life? :bugeye: Haha. Anyways. I guess I was just wondering if anyone has some thoughts on how schooling and employment compare. Thank you!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. chroot

    chroot 10,426
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It doesn't always have to be so bad. In general, learning is harder than doing.

    If you intend on achieving everything possible and advancing your career to the limit of current technology, you can expect to continue learning pretty steadily for the next 10 years or so after leaving school -- but learning on-the-job is not generally as stressful as learning in a formal setting, because it's more organic and less structured.

    On the other hand, if you're satisfied with learning one role and doing just one kind of work, you can pretty much close your mind and settle into a specific role after a couple of years of work experience. It will pretty much kill any opportunities for advancement (and higher pay), however.

    Also, keep in mind that good managers keep their employees challenged and interested, but not overwhelmed. Bad managers drive their employees into the ground. Often, having the right manager makes all the difference between a "wicked hard" job and a pleasant, enjoyable experience.

    - Warren
     
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