1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is electrical engineering a dying field?

  1. Jan 13, 2016 #1
    Before I start this I just want to say that I don't want to offend anyone. I am a freshman college student who is looking to apply to the electrical engineering program at the end of the year at my school. I love working with my hands and solving problems using physics and mathematics and I believe electrical engineering is one of the more technical and math-intensive fields in engineering which is why it intrigues me most. Also I think about how cool it would be to one day have wireless energy or 100% electric cars that can outperform those using internal combustion engines, so this makes me want to switch to electrical engineering even more. I also have an interest in computers and the ability to code things such as the Arduino. However, I just wanted to ask how far can we really go with electrical engineering? I love innovation and new discoveries to be applied to everyday life and I want to just ask if we are nearing an end to how far the power of electricity can take us, or are we just scratching the surface, or somewhere in the middle? Also, how has electrical engineering changed and how is it going to continue to change if it is going to? Thank you so much for your help because I am very into the idea of electrical engineering but this one thought has had a really heavy burden on me.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2016 #2

    anorlunda

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The short answer is "no." EE is in no danger of dying out.

    A question similar to yours was discussed extensively in a recent thread.

    Is electrical engineering becoming outdated?
    See if that addresses your questions.
     
  4. Jan 13, 2016 #3
    If we ever get to the point where electrical engineers are obsolete, then much bigger things are going on than a few people losing their jobs.
     
  5. Jan 13, 2016 #4
  6. Jan 14, 2016 #5
    Where did you get the idea that the value of an Electrical Engineering degrees might be a dying? You're the second person to have brought this question up recently. I find it quite surprising that someone would consider such a thing. So how did you get the idea that it might not be all it seems?
     
  7. Jan 14, 2016 #6
    I'm curious to hear this as well, but one explanation may be that if you Google "electrical engineering unemployment," the top two links are to articles about the decline in employment for electrical engineers:

    http://www.computerworld.com/articl...-declines-nearly-10-but-developers-up-12.html

    http://www.computerworld.com/articl...l-engineering-lost-35-000-jobs-last-year.html

    It would be a topic for another discussion why this unemployment is actually happening, but combined with the stress of picking a college major, I can kind of see how seeing articles like that might inadvertently make someone's mind jump to "electrical engineering is becoming outdated."
     
  8. Jan 14, 2016 #7
    The reason for me is just I do not know a lot in depth about the field which means I don't know how much we can improve what we have and how we can make things we haven't been able to create or even think of yet. I just don't know how much you can do with electricity
     
  9. Jan 14, 2016 #8
    If you are looking in the US,
    Try checking the the Bureau of Labor Statistics job projections as a start.
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.toc.htm

    I would not take this as absolutely infallible, but it could provide some initial insights.

    For example, if new technologies begin I'm unsure the BLS would even know how to categorize and count
    them; it could also be they are behind the curve in technology and new types. Color me doubtful about
    anything the government reports. Declines in any category could also result from outsourcing.

    Elsewhere, Reports seem to infer computer developers and programmers are being hired via H1B visa's granted to foreihn students after graduation from American universities ....rather than American citizen graduates.....

    "The US H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, and medicine. Under the visa a US company can employ a foreign worker for up to six years.....Applying for a non-immigrant visa is generally quicker than applying for a US Green Card, therefore the H-1B visa is popular for companies wishing to bring in staff for long-term assignment in the US
     
  10. Jan 14, 2016 #9
    Not many do....The ones who had unique insights and independence are billionaires.....Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and partner, etc.....Zuckerberg/Facebook or one of those guys even left college w/o graduating....
     
  11. Jan 14, 2016 #10
    I don't worry about EE dying. Even if I can't be hired as an EE I have enough hands on experience to work maintenance or as a technologist. Or I can just program plcs.

    Personally, I am of the opinion that if you cannot get hired with an ABET EE degree the problem isn't the degree or the job market. It's the degree holder or their location.

    I'm seeing a lot of people just skate through class without really devoting time to study or learning extra things. For example I have people in my class that didn't know about ABET, didn't know what the PE is, don't know what job they want to do, etc. This is just some of the stuff you should research IMO
     
  12. Jan 14, 2016 #11
    That is very true I've been looking into that a lot
     
  13. Feb 3, 2016 #12
    No..on the other hand its a growing field due to renewed focus on renewable and increasing importance of electronics in everyday life..an excellent degree and would rate it equal to the best degrees in science.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook