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Electrical Engineering and Physics, or an intership

  1. May 22, 2006 #1
    Hey everyone. I posted this on another thread, but now that I see EE has its own forum, I moved it here (hope the moderators aren't mad at me). I'm an Electrical Engineering student, just finished my freshmen year, and now I'm trying to do decide what to do. In the next couple years, I'll have a glut of extra credits (I'll be taking around 10 credits a semester and my university says 13 is full time, and recommends 16 a semester) because of AP credits and some Lib. Ed. classes I'd take and what not. Anyways, I'm thinking about of what to with my extra classes and have some ideas. I plan on going to grad school either right after I get my BS or soon after.

    1. Electrical Engineering and Physics (with Engineering emphasis) double major. I'm looking at a double major with physics, hopefully I can get a better fundemental understanding of what's happening in EE, and get a leg-up on the job market. I've looked at how difficult it would be, and think I could do it. I've always liked physics, and was thinking maybe it would help on the understanding level.

    2. Electrical Engineering and internship. My college offers "Industrial Assignment" where they basically set you up with an internship your junior and senior year. How much help would two years of experience be when I'm done with school?

    3. EE and lots and lots of electives. My other idea is just to take as many EE classes I possibly can, even if it won't get me an extra degree or anything, but just for the pure desire to learn about EE.

    So there's my ideas. I've always loved both electronics and physics, and I think I do pretty well in my classes (have a good GPA). So I guess I'm just wondering what will give me the best help when looking for a job. I'm hoping to get a job that's not paper-pushing...but, I suppose I might have to start there anyways. So anyone who can give me their opinion, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you very much!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2006 #2


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    All right,
    i think you should allocate the course you are really interested in.
    Because when you are uninterrested in things you are making, your marks will not be as well.

    But I suggest you to set the main focus on EE and not physics because the demand is bigger to electrical Engeneers as for Physik- people (but this is my own opinion) :wink:

    In my opinion you don’t need as a big fundamental knowledge as you think. In EE there’s more important to apply the already existing devices as to invent new ones. :tongue:
    And I have to know it, because I’ve been almost since three and a half years an Electrical Engineering student (in Gerany). This also contained two practical terms in a company.

    Oh, by the way, my scholastics is like your third point and I’m very happy about it.

    Hope I could help you with your decision :uhh:

    regards from germany
    hope my english is not too bad, solution imrovements are desired.
    Oh, and don’t forget your feedback :wink:
  4. May 23, 2006 #3
    Thank you URI :)

    Another question I thought of, does it help in the job hunt to know a second language, and if so, any languages in particular? Thanks again
  5. May 29, 2006 #4


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    of course it 'll help!!

    You know i'm trying to learn english by answering some posts here!

    My native language is german!

    If i've finished my scholastics, i'll went abroad.
    First to the USA or england and then to Spain and France.

    In my opinion spanish is the common speech after english.

  6. May 31, 2006 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Hi Pete. Welcome to PF. Here are a few thoughts from me about your questions:

    -- Whether you double major in EE+Physics would depend on what specialty in EE you like. If it's computer science or something like that, then no, Physics is not a good double, and won't help you in the job market. If it's designing cutting edge ICs or RF work, then yes, the extra Physics background will likely help you.

    -- The internship route is probably the single best thing you can do to increase your marketability after school. Work experience (or even just building your own projects for fun on your own) exposes you to practical things in EE that you just don't get in school. And that practical knowledge helps you to "ask the right questions" both of yourself and your instructors in school, which increases your learning and helps you focus on what is important and skim past the stuff that you will not use later.

    -- I don't think that learning a 2nd language will help you substantially in your marketability or success as an EE. There are certainly some special jobs where it can be a help, like a sales position or something where being able to speak Japanese would help. But in my experience (which includes some cooperative chip developments with a Japanese company and working closely with several of their engineers), being fluent in english is enough. It *does* help a lot to be able to write and speak effectively, though. So taking some classes in technical writing and maybe getting into a debate club can help you be more successful later as an EE.

    Best of luck. Keep studying hard and getting good grades -- that counts for a lot in your marketability and success in life. -Mike-
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