Electrical or Computer Engineering?

  1. [SOLVED] Electrical or Computer Engineering?

    1) Which major would be more beneficial if you are more into math, but at the same time, you want to do something with programming?
    2)Which do you prefer majoring in?
    3)What kind of jobs can you get with each major?

    And if you can add in some of your experiences with your career in engineering and how it is, please feel free to share. Thanks :smile:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. chroot

    chroot 10,426
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    1) If you want to do any sort of real programming, you want a computer engineering degree. Most schools will teach EEs a bit of programming, but it rarely goes beyond a few classes. CpEs learn more programming, but skimp on the power and radio classes EEs take instead. Both majors involve quite a bit of math, but computer science is actually more mathematical than either of the engineering disciplines.

    2) I have a BSCpE -- but what you do with your career should be your own decision.

    3) You can pretty much get the same kinds of jobs with either degree. The two degrees usually overlap significantly. Either will exposure you to enough electronics and enough programming to get you started in either field.

    - Warren
     
  4. Are the power and radio interesting subjects to learn about?
     
  5. chroot

    chroot 10,426
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    Only you can answer that question.

    - Warren
     
  6. To see if radio interests you, you can take a look at HAM radio educational materials. The study guides for the HAM-license tests go into some of the theory behind transmitter and receiver operation. HAM study guides can be found here:
    http://www.waypoints.com/hambooks.html

    General and Extra classes go into the most theory.

    You might also want to check out CQ, the amateur radio magazine:
    http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/
     
  7. Oh. If I want to read about what exactly HAM radio is and what are its functions/profit of using it, where can i find these info?

    And also, if I wanted to start getting into HAM radio, where is the best way to start?
     
  8. Wikipedia has a pretty good description:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio



    Find a local ham radio club. Then, go to one of their meetings and ask them what you should do to get started. They will probably tell you you should read one or more of the ARRL study guides (which I linked to above), and they will probably also tell you you should read CQ magazine (which I also linked to above). CQ magazine has an information page for prospective hams, here:
    http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/infoc.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2005
  9. chroot

    chroot 10,426
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    Keep in mind that this is getting off-topic -- being an engineer has little to do with being a ham. The "radio" classes I spoke of are really more specifically communication theory and electromagnetic fields. They're not going to teach you morse code.

    - Warren
     
  10. I see.. so anybody else have any outputs on these questions below?

    1) Which major would be more beneficial if you are more into math, but at the same time, you want to do something with programming?
    2)Which do you prefer majoring in?
    3)What kind of jobs can you get with each major?
     
  11. chroot

    chroot 10,426
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    r3dxP,

    Do you really think it's necessary to repost your original questions?

    - Warren
     
  12. No. Sorry//////
     
  13. I am an Electrical Engineering student and minoring in Physics and Math. The minor in Physics and Math is because I like them both. It just so happens that my University (UCF) only requires 6 more credit hours (two classes) of upper level math courses beyond your Calculus / Diff Eq track. So, it is quite nuts for an EE or CpE NOT to get the math minor since you have to do all the math anyway!

    That satisfies my curiosity for math. Even if you dont want the minor, you can still take upper level math courses that will help with your engineering. Classes such as Linear Algebra / Elementary Matricies and Applications of Complex Variables are really good math courses. A Physics course I would suggest that is very good for Engineers also is Intro to Theoretical Methods (will help problem solving / I dont know why this is a PHY courses as it is darn near pure mathematical).

    I was torn between CpE and EE for a long time.... but as it was stated, they are very close to the same thing. At UCF the difference is about 5 courses. If you want a more programming aspect or want to become more of a software engineer, go with the CpE. If wireless communications or power supplies are more your thing, go with EE. The fact of the matter is you can really do anything with the two.... or just double major if you have an extra semester or two. :smile:

    As for HAM Radio, I think it is highly benificial to the Engineer, but that is because I am a General Class operator. Before I even started engineering classes in college I was building my own recievers, transmitters, keyers, ect. All of my knowledge gained from HAM Radio and the 'old timers' in the club I belong to has made my Circuit Analysis courses mostly repetative and boring. :biggrin:

    Then again, I have met many engineers who dont know a thing about ham radio and have no desire to become an operator. So, it all hangs on you. Go to www.arrl.org and look up the local clubs. I beleive there is even a page off that website that will get you started.

    Hope this long post helps. :surprised
     
  14. I think that Software Engineering is among the most promising specialization. It is still immature as science, so there is a great opportunity for researchers to improve it. Jobs? Skilled Software Engineers are needed everywhere. Only that SE is not much related to maths.
     
  15. I thought it programmers*software engineering* are very competitive about their jobs because new people are coming and if they dont work hard, they can be replaced by better programmers.. So it would be hard work every day..

    Oh chroot, what do you do .. like job wise..etc?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2005
  16. chroot

    chroot 10,426
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    Software engineering is a new profession, and there are still many more positions than employees.

    I'm an electrical engineer.

    - Warren
     
  17. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Its also worth noting (unless I missed it...) that like most other diverse fields, its still industry (and company) specific: A buddy of mine is a software engineer who used to work for UNISYS supporting voicemail servers. They're shrinking while NEXTEL (who owns UNISYS servers) is growing - so he got a job with NEXTEL.

    Software engineering is a relatively diverse field (though probably not as diverse as EE or ME).
     
  18. Isn't it possible for an Electrical or Computer Engineer to become a Software Engineer? I know that UCF has a SE specalization for the CpE program... but even the EE's at UCF take the same programming classes as the CpE's. Maybe with a course or two extra... or some good job experiance... an EE could take up SE?
     
  19. Well there are plenty of options if you have a specific interest.

    For example, I am an EE doing a computer science minor. I really wanted to be an EE, but I like programming so I chose a CS minor.

    I could have done CoE, but then I'd miss out on a few classes that EE's take that I wanted to take, but are not required by CoE's.

    There are plenty of combinations for you to chose from if you have a certain interest. Do some research for the crossover opportunities at your school.
     
  20. EE is much broader than CE in scope.

    If you will be a professional software developer/programmer, go CE.

    Otherwise you will see and do more in your career as a EE. (I do.)
     
  21. chroot

    chroot 10,426
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    This is incorrect. In the vast majority of cases, the degrees are quite comparable. The majority of the curricula (circuit analysis, digital design, etc.) are the same.
    Horrible advice. You will not learn to be a professional programmer in a computer engineering program; that's what CS is for. CpE will teach you how to build a computer from silicon, and a little bit about how to program it. CpE is mostly electronics with a little programming thrown in.
    Also false. The vast majority of industry positions make no distinction between EE and CpE students, and the same jobs are generally available to both. Also, keep in mind that the experience you'll gain in first couple of years on the job pretty much nulls whatever you did in college.

    - Warren
     
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