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Should I change my major from ECET to EE?

  1. Dec 22, 2014 #1
    Hi, my name is Brandon. I am having a very hard time finding a true answer as to the difference between ECET and EE? I am currently one semester into my BS in ECET degree, what I am wondering is if I should continue with this or if I should change?

    I chose this degree because I was told it is more of a hands on approach to electrical engineering as the EE is more theory based? As well as, my advisor told me that if there are no EE jobs available I can apply for computer engineer jobs as well. No one in my classes seem to know anymore than me as far as this goes. I don't know anyone that has graduated with either engineering degree to give me advice either. It appears the same as the EE only with one less math class, Calc III. I love math and I do very well in it so that is not a concern to me. I am planning on having a math minor with the ECET if I plan to continue with it anyways so I will have that math as well. I love working in the labs over the classrooms so I assume I would like to work hands on with projects as to in a office for my career.

    What I am starting to think about now is finding a job when I graduate, I was told that the ECET's apply and get the same jobs as the EE's. But, looking online I see half of people saying they do and the other half saying the opposite and downgrading the ECET's.

    I start my second semester in a few weeks and I was wondering if anyone could give me some real world experience advice with what I should do? I am attending Western Carolina University in NC. I just do not want to continue with this degree if I am going to just get let down and wish I would of done the EE degree. Or, if I am fine then just not having to worry about this issue no more.

    Thanks for the help tremendously!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2014 #2

    davenn

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    This should have been posted in academic guidance :)
    I have asked for it to be moved

    cheers
    Dave
     
  4. Dec 23, 2014 #3

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    An ECET degree is not an EE degree, it is basically "EE lite". You can apply for some EE jobs at diminished odds, and other EE jobs you will not be able to apply for. Further, is your program Abet accredited? Some aren't. And if you go into a field needing professional licensing, you may not be eligible.

    So if you can handle EE you should do it
     
  5. Dec 23, 2014 #4
    Yes, all of our programs are ABET credited. In NC at least I can get my PE with this degree, I chose this because of the many different job options available if a basic EE job is not. So does the BSEE look better for getting a job or is it still just a piece of paper? It would be another 18 months of school because of the way they offer classes at my school is why I am kinda stuck as to change majors, I was going to take all of the math classes either way. Thanks for the help!
     
  6. Dec 23, 2014 #5
    Thanks for moving it, I had no clue!
     
  7. Dec 23, 2014 #6

    russ_watters

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    BSEE looks better/pays better. But it is good that it is accredited so you can still get a PE if a PE is relevant in the specific field you go into.
    Another 18 months may not be worth the hassle, but if you test the job market with your ECET and don't have much luck, maybe you could go back then, for a masters -- 18 months just about gets you there. It would be good to talk to some people at job fairs for more relevant answers.
     
  8. Dec 23, 2014 #7
    Ok, thank you for the advice! I spoke with an advisor he said it would be one more year of classes instead of one and a half. So that's not to bad, but if I can apply for the same type of jobs and maybe start out around 70k a year I would be happy for now, whereas they told me the EE's are graduating with salaries of 89k. What would I learn doing the BSEE that I will not learn in this BS ECET that would hold me from getting a EE job? The advisors say some people will graduate with just a plan ET degree nd work as electrical engineers but I feel like they just got lucky but I don't know
     
  9. Dec 23, 2014 #8

    russ_watters

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    Are you in the US? In an expensive area to live? Those numbers are both way high for the typical US salaries unless you live in an expensive city. The US median is $64k for EE with 0-3 years of experience:
    http://www1.salary.com/Electrical-Engineer-I-salary.html
    And $41k for EET:
    http://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/Electrical-Engineering-Technician-I-Salary-Details.aspx
    As you say, the main difference is in depth of theory vs hands-on application. For the actual job, you're basically an electrical engineer's assistant:
    http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture...l-and-electronics-engineering-technicians.htm

    Beyond that, it's the piece of paper. Browse Monster.com and have a look -- if a job says EE and you apply and say EET, odds are pretty good that the application never gets seen by a human.

    BTW, is yours a 2 year or 4 year degree?
     
  10. Dec 26, 2014 #9
    I had no idea of that, they have always told us 89K for the EE's but now I'm guessing that's what is expected as the peak in your career. And the ECET at my school is a 4 year just like the EE just way more labs are done with the ECET as to only plain classes for EE. I have 4-5 labs per semester with my classes whereas the EE's at my school have about 1 or 2 tops. And I live in a pretty expensive city but not like California or New York.
     
  11. Dec 26, 2014 #10

    russ_watters

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  12. Dec 26, 2014 #11
    Brandon:

    I went to SPSU in Marietta GA. I have been offered plenty of jobs that would go to EE. The difference is EXPERIENCE! I am now 15 years in Telecom, working on a Masters in CompSci and I interview people from GA Tech to Moorehouse (private schools) and I will tell you that those who are ECET are very intelligent and are more prone to having actual working experience. Why? Because that is one of the things most ECET programs stress...Co-op or Internships. GA Tech EE students have been very bright, but you quickly see the "book smarts" take over than the business smarts. Also, many of the traditional EE programs overload you with lecture materials and many of their students "JUST WANT TO GET OUT OF SCHOOL ASAP" and forsake work experience!

    A lot of times you also get the "I am a GA Tech" student swagger and that also becomes a hinderance to getting them hired. Bottom line: give more thought to your career path than to your degree. You can always go back for Masters in MBA or Masters in ECET or something like EE if you need to. As was mentioned above, professional licensing comes in to play when you start comparing EE to ECET and that only matters in a few cases. Also, name brand schools like GATech and University of Georgia etc carry some cred with a few employers, but in technology if you don't know what you are doing, no amount of letters, etc will matter.

    I wouldn't give much thought to the letters of the degree (ECET vs EE) until I truly evaluate if I want to go in to management (which then it may not matter...MBA will be best)! Or research, which it may cause concern; or if I am simply looking for an opportunity to get in the door (which comes with experience, ambition, preparation, attitude, personality, and vision)


    Hope this help!
     
  13. Dec 26, 2014 #12
    P.S. I have been well above six figure salary for at least 7 years and I only have an ECET at this time. I will be completing my degree in CompSci but since I have worked a while in the industry, I am planning my own venture and for that....

    Degrees are measure in the kitchen where REAL WORK IS DONE! :)
     
  14. Dec 26, 2014 #13
    Brandon:

    If you like the ECET program and it is cost effective (which is very important), then do the ECET with a minor in Math! That way you can show that you are able to handle higher level math and also would give you a foot in to any EE or Masters in EE if you chose that route...Just something to think about!
     
  15. Dec 28, 2014 #14
  16. Dec 28, 2014 #15
    That helps a ton! I always thought the ECET is more hands on which I figured would be better for getting a job when i get out of school and to get internships while I am attending. I have been a manager before, but for a restaurant.

    That is a very nice salary! Which I would be fine with a lot lower! I just don't want to be going to school for 4 years to get out and only make 40-45k, when I could of done EE and made way more. That's what I am concerned about as far as that goes.
     
  17. Dec 28, 2014 #16
    If I had the math minor would that look better to employers that I can do the difficult math as the EE's have done? Well, we take calculus II and the EE's take calculus III, so the math minor would actually be more than they take. Maybe showing them that I truly did the ECET for hands on learning instead of it being easier which is what quiet a few people in my classes say as to why they are in ECET over EE. A lot of the guys say they changed majors all because of the one calculus III class which makes no sense. But, I also got accepted into the honors college at my university, if I was to graduate with honors do employers actually take that and gpa into consideration or just the fact that one has the degree or not.

    Thanks for all the advice, it helps so much!!
     
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