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Where to start

  1. Jul 5, 2014 #1
    Hello! I have used this site in the past to answer a few questions I had. But never once have I considered using the vast knowledge available to help me figure out where to start. I am entering school with a duel major in Engineering and Physics. I was looking at the job http://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/view/15411884 [Broken] to give me a general description of what I should know. Kinda like using a template to know where to go and what I should know. But the problem is, this is all the end game. I do not understand half of what I read and lookup. I have tons of pdf files on a flashdrive that I read but I cannot understand it because I am ignorant on half of it. Does anybody know of files or SOMETHING that will not shatter my bank account in search of how to understand it all? If I look at it all and try to know it now, it will not be as hard when I come to it via classwork.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2014 #2
    define what you mean by it. Because otherwise, the answer is 42.

    Your question seems to be so broad it can't be answered. electrical engineering in particular is a very broad field. You can work in computers, signals, power, robotics, electromagnetics, lasers, radio, and on and on. As a consequence, specialization is required. Its impossible to be a master of everything.

    The linkedin page you listed is for someone with a specialization in high frequency radio stuff. At radio frequencies (GHz), some electrical properties that you could ignore in other disciplines become very very significant. So they want an engineer with knowledge of those areas, along with Antennae design, Electromagnetic Interference, and some practical experience with common industrial standards. But you have no need to understand that stuff now. When you get to school, you'll start having contact with instructors who can advise you. Figure how what their disciplines are, the applications for them, and decide if that is a path you'd like to take. Talk to an advisor to tailor your classes to support that path and try to get internships in that field.
  4. Jul 5, 2014 #3
    Heh sorry to be broad. What I have been doing is starting at the top of that list of requirements for the job, and looking/reading PDF's. So such as EMI and near-field/far-field. But I suppose ignorance comes into play because I am not advanced enough in math to be able to look at an equation and make sense of it. Are there some forms of tests that I can produce on my own (within reasonable pricing regions) that would help me learn for now?
  5. Jul 5, 2014 #4


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    well those things will all come clearer as you progress through your studies :smile:
    Don't jump in at the deep end and expect to know everything straight away, it takes time

    when you say school do you mean university .... as in you will be studying towards degrees in engineering and physics ?
    If so, I would assume you already have a good grasp of calculus ? you are going to need it :smile:

  6. Jul 5, 2014 #5
    To be honest, no. I have always struggled with math. BUT I would like to believe that just because you are not great at something, does not mean you cannot do it. Only that you will have to work harder than others. I do what I can, and yes university. I usually do fine with physics, its math where I meet the obstacles. But Khan Academy and tutor labs will hopefully keep me afloat.
  7. Jul 5, 2014 #6
    so you looked at EMI, and tried to understand it before understanding the basic physics and intermediate physics behind it? You need the foundations first. Essentially...

    Linear Algebra + calculus >> Physics >> Maxwell's Equations and Basic Electrical Theory>> RF engineering / Antennae Design / EMI

    Trying to understand a later link in the chain without having a strong understanding of the one before it is practically impossible.

    If you have spare time and want to do something to prepare, study calculus and/or linear Algebra. Get good at them. The better you are going in, the more time you can spend mastering concepts rather than struggling through the math. There are a number of resources linked from this website that can help you. And there is a link somewhere to Educator.com where you can take courses in them via a free 1 year membership from this site. There are a bunch of other resources like MIT's opencourseware and www.edx.org.
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