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Should I Go Electrical?

  1. Feb 9, 2009 #1
    My name's Chris, and assuming this is the proper forum section (If not I apologize), I'd really appreciate any information you could give me regarding electrical engineering.

    I'm currently going to a community college where I'm taking the math and science classes necessary to transfer to a four-year. The counselors at my school haven't been very helpful so far, so I've mostly been referring to online sources for future college and career information.

    I'm trying to decide whether or not I should study electrical engineering. My worry is that my interests might only play a small role in the time I spend in college, and what I'll do after it.

    I'm not very interested in computer hardware, comp. languages, or robotics. My main interests are motors, electromagnets, power systems (generation, distribution, storage), and propulsion (More MechE probably). I also am very interested in any/all technical skills associated with those areas.

    My main questions would be:

    1. How integrated are the aforementioned subjects in an ECE curriculum in/after college?
    2. How convenient is it to acquire the technical skills associated with electrical engineering at or after college?
    3. How often and to what degree do/can you work directly with power and propulsion systems? (Electricity requires a power system, I know, but I'd still like to here about it)

    If you have any other general comments about electrical engineering, I'd love to hear them.


    Is anyone educated in both ME and EE? When considering just the educational and skill set value, would you recommend studying both? I don't mind the cost.

    Thanks for reading,
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2009 #2
    personally, i'm not sure i'd do it again. this nation simply doesn't value it's engineers anymore. if you're smart enough for electrical, you smart enough for medicine, where you'd make a lot more money and get to retire early if you want.
  4. Feb 9, 2009 #3
    What if he's, you know, interested in EE and not medicine?
  5. Feb 9, 2009 #4
    then i guess he would have said he has his mind made up, or just not asked for input. i was interested in it too, and pretty much started sailing down that path after some 9th grade career project. if it's just something you've got to do, then nobody is going to stop you. but if not, consider your options.
  6. Feb 9, 2009 #5


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    1. Most graduate programs have power system type courses. As an undergrad, you might be able to take a some as electives but most EE programs don't really offer much of them as part of the curriculum.

    2. If you aquire none during college, you'll need to take some courses afterwards to get the basics down.

    3. I don't understand what you are asking.

    By background is in electromechanical systems so I deal with both on a regular basis (they call it mechatronics now a days I think).

    Quite a bit of emphasis on power systems and control systems in those type of programs (typically) as well as the core EE & ME stuff.

  7. Feb 10, 2009 #6
    EE is still valued in this country and around the world. If EE is where your aptitude lies, I say go for it. But interest alone is not enough. Ability, i.e. natural talent in math & science is all-important. Power systems is something most EE's avoid. If you like power, you should have no problems w/ employment. There is always a demand for good power & general analog practitioners.

    If you have good math grades in calculus, diff eqtns, etc. and you have an interest in EE, go for it. But remember, to be a good EE, you have to be studious, and willing to learn chemistry, physics, ME basics, CE basics, English composition, humanities, history, etc. There's more to EE than just EE. BR.

  8. Feb 10, 2009 #7


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    My degree is in physics but I recall that at my alma mater GaTech the computer component of the EE program grew so large they spun it off into a computer engineering school. This left room for the EE school to offer what you describe, broad non-digital areas of focus in their program (as well as the detailed engineering of hardware used in computers without all the computer architecture business). They had a substantial program in both electrical power engineering and electro-acoustic engineering within their EE program and I assume still do. I can't speak to what the jobs after graduation require but I know the program was large and in demand so I assume graduates were finding good jobs. If you want more flexibility you might consider an ME degree with EE concentration.

    I expect demand for EE grads will grow as we trend toward electrically driven vehicles be they powered by fuel cells, batteries, or IC engines. In addition to designing vehicle components I suspect in the next couple of decades a growth in electrical infrastructure as demand grows with the "greening" of our transportation systems.
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