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Should I remain in Electrical Engineering?

  1. Oct 15, 2013 #1
    Hello everyone! I am a freshman in electrical engineering and scheduling for next semester is coming up. I chose EE because I loved physics in high school and wanted to go into engineering and had to pick a field at the last minute. The idea of studying applied E&M was/is fascinating. I am having some concerns about whether or not I should remain in electrical engineering. First of all I'm wondering how much of EE is done through computers. I am in intro to C++ right now and am not crazy about computer programming, so lots of programming to come is a turn off. Secondly, I have never tinkered with electronics before and have never studied much into circuitry outside of a math class. Will this lack of an intuitive foundation hurt in the future? Lastly, most of the EE's around me seem to love computers and fill out the stereotype of computer geeks. Also, it's mostly all guys. I do not fall into this category at all (computer guy) as I go out on weekends/watch football/can be found at the gym 3-4 nights a week.

    I love chemistry, physics, environmental science, math, and various other subjects within the humanities. I am not particularly interested in machines/drafting/architecture. On a side note my brother is a senior in ChemE and I would rather not have to take all of the same classes as he did simply because I want to go my own route.

    If anyone could provide an answer to one or all of my questions that would be great.

    1. I'm not crazy about computers, is EE for me?
    2. I have no experience with electronics/circuits. Will lack of intuitive base hurt?
    3. I'm hoping to have active/outgoing people in the major as well as females! Does this describe EE?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2013 #2
    You should consider Geophysics, it has a lot of field work and more guys who enjoy doing that sort of thing. This is the direction I am going.
  4. Oct 15, 2013 #3
    Is it possible to get a high paying job with just a BS?
  5. Oct 15, 2013 #4
    From what I have heard there are decent paying jobs (40-50k range with a BS) and has a lot of potential to go up. With a MS you have a lot more opportunities available to you and a lot more pay (100k+ range with some year of experience, usually you will be working in the oil field.)
  6. Oct 15, 2013 #5
    I wouldn't be so quick to cut out EE. I was attracted to it by E&M and the fact that it was applied math/physics. Computers are just one part of EE and there is absolutely no reason that an EE must enjoy it. Think about it, do all music majors enjoy composition or music history? Do all physics majors enjoy optics?

    If you expect to get an engineering job, you will more than likely have to do some sort of programming. Some jobs require more than others, but in this day you can expect computers to play a role. This doesn't mean you have to have a passion for programming. Look for jobs that require minimal programming, or just learn to enjoy it.

    Depending on your school, I would guess somewhere between half and all of the students in your don't have previous experience. The whole point of college is for you to learn the fundamentals. However, you may find yourself falling behind if you don't start gaining experience outside of class.

    Yes there are plenty of outgoing people in EE. ECPD once defined engineering as:

    The creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination.

    It is a field founded off of creativity and to this day is still home for many creative and outgoing people.

    You will find that there aren't many females in relation to males in your EE courses. There is plenty of time to meet girls other than in your classes (where you are supposed to be paying attention). It all comes down to priorities. Can you party on the weekends, workout for hours upon hours, play your game with the girls and pass your classes? It's definitely possible, but the question becomes what is important. Is the difference between understanding your controls course worth bigger muscles? Is it worth staying in on the weekends if you need to study? That's up to you. If you are a very quick learner, maybe you can have all of the above (I know people that did), but at a certain point you won't have enough time in one day and will have to make sacrifices.

    In school I had time to run for about an hour everyday and I usually had a few hours during the week to socialize. If all of this sounds horrible to you, then you may want to switch out of engineering in general, as they are all pretty time consuming (though the girl:guy ratio is better in other engineering fields). I always thought the lack of time was worth having an engineering career.
  7. Oct 15, 2013 #6
    Just to clarify, There are plenty of people in EE that are not "computer geeks", work out multiple nights a week, and/or watch football. I notice I didn't explicitly mention that.
  8. Oct 15, 2013 #7


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    Take the major you like the best. You can't tell now which major will have the best jobs in 3 or 4 years.
    Keep graduate school a possibility. (You get paid to go to grad school in any science.)
    I was an EE major, which drove me to grad school in physics.
    Now is the time to take what you like best.
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