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Is electrical engineering becoming outdated?

  1. Dec 4, 2015 #1
    I'm wondering if a degree in electrical engineering is still worth pursuing today? Would it be a better choice to get a degree in mechanical engineering? Any advice on this matter would be appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2015 #2

    anorlunda

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    I just googled the starting salaries, EE $61,420, ME $61,523. Sounds like a toss up to me.
     
  4. Dec 4, 2015 #3

    phinds

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    I'll do you the courtesy of assuming that you are serious even though it is astounding to me that anyone could even ask such a question. Do you have any concept of how much of the world depends on various forms of electronics devices? Do you think updates to these things, and new such things, are going to design themselves?
     
  5. Dec 4, 2015 #4

    russ_watters

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    Yeah, I can't fathom what could possibly make someone believe EE was "outdated". There must be some misunderstanding at work here.
     
  6. Dec 4, 2015 #5

    Student100

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    Perhaps the outsourcing of circuit design/prototype fabrication? That's only a small part of EE though, so it's hard to guess what he meant.
     
  7. Dec 4, 2015 #6

    Krylov

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    Maybe, but then the EEs would first have to make them smart enough to do so.
     
  8. Dec 4, 2015 #7
    If technology and the economy ever morph so much that Electrical Engineering is no longer a viable profession, then any advice we might have for you will be just as worthless.
     
  9. Dec 4, 2015 #8

    SteamKing

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    Even Scotty on the USS Enterprise had to deal with blown fuses and fried power conduits all the time.

    I don't think EEs are going anywhere anytime soon, unless you have some revolutionary energy concept which is going to totally replace electricity.
     
  10. Dec 4, 2015 #9

    anorlunda

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    Somebody is pulling his leg. :wink:
     
  11. Dec 4, 2015 #10

    donpacino

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    energy concept != control concept

    that energy concept would power things, but you would still need electronics for the "brains"
     
  12. Dec 4, 2015 #11

    SteamKing

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    Not unless humans are capable of controlling this revolutionary new power source solely with the power of the mind. :wink:

    Then all those EEs could just go pound sand. o_O
     
  13. Dec 4, 2015 #12

    symbolipoint

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    Maybe confusion to distinguish between levels of study or levels of knowledge practiced. Two decades ago, the community colleges had Electronics courses for vocational programs. Student could study AC and DC current and circuits and whatever else goes with those topics, and LABORATORY instruction and exercises. Such courses are no longer common, and in fact, very few community colleges offer these courses. Instead, you need to be an Engineering student at a university and have your "circuits" course as one of your first Electronics, and then there is the focus on digitial electronics and you can no longer study about resistors, capacitors, potentiometers, transformers as you were able to at a cc so many years ago.
     
  14. Dec 6, 2015 #13
    I know someone who got an EE from Cornell in 1968. He left the EE field. Although he is very successful today as a professor, look at all the developments in EE (the microprocessor, very large scale integration), that he left behind. EE is no more outdated today than it was in 1968. Mechanical Engineering is also a worthy pursuit though. Both fields should be in high demand for the foreseeable future.
     
  15. Dec 6, 2015 #14

    SteamKing

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    To be sure, EEs do a lot more than work with just microelectronics. For the really leading edge microelectronic research, having a physics PhD might be more advantageous than having strictly an EE background.
     
  16. Dec 6, 2015 #15

    donpacino

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    simply not true
     
  17. Dec 6, 2015 #16
    Do you have a source for this claim of "high demand"?

    Electrical engineering has been shedding existing positions.
    http://www.computerworld.com/articl...l-engineering-lost-35-000-jobs-last-year.html
    Pay has not outpaced inflation.
    http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1149198
    The Beuaru of Labor statistics predicts slower than average growth in the field.
    http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/electrical-and-electronics-engineers.htm


    Certainly there is a demand, but I see no evidence of high demand in the foreseeable future. We have electrical engineering graduates working along side community college graduates as maintenance technicians at my job.
     
  18. Dec 6, 2015 #17

    symbolipoint

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    A little more commentary would be helpful.
     
  19. Dec 6, 2015 #18

    symbolipoint

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    I said what I did based on what courses are available at various colleges in my geographical area. Change in what is available have happened in the last several years. Electronics courses at local community colleges? Not available at very many compared to 20 years ago. This is not related, as I see it, to how important is electrical engineering. Maybe the courses are just no longer popular at community colleges any more, or result of budget changes.
     
  20. Dec 7, 2015 #19
    Fun Fact: There are actually only two types of engineers. Electrical Engineers and those who weren't smart enough to be Electrical Engineers :D
    I may be biased though.
     
  21. Dec 7, 2015 #20

    StatGuy2000

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    Then do you concur with the OP's basic premise in his/her post that electrical engineering is "outdated"? And that he/she would be better off studying mechanical engineering instead (the same Bureau of Labor statistics predicts slower than average growth in mechanical engineering, same as electrical engineering)?

    BTW, when I checked the Bureau of Labor statistics link, it predicts that architects and biomedical engineers will experience much faster than average growth in their fields. Perhaps this betrays my bias of being in Canada, because there are relatively few openings that I'm aware of for either fields here -- is the situation really that different in the US? Cartographers are also projected to have faster than average growth.
     
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