The World of Electrical Engineering


An electrical engineer at a solar plant.

Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that involves the study of electricity, electromagnetism and electronics. Notable development in the field commenced in the second half of the 19th century after the telegram and telephone were commercialized. Today electrical engineering has a lot of subfields which include power engineering, signal processing, electronics, computers, and telecommunications.

It should be noted that there is a slight difference between electrical engineering and electronics engineering. The latter deals with use of electricity to process information using electronic devices while electrical engineering is seen as a discipline intended to help people troubleshoot problems related to transmission of electric power.

Where Do People Study Electrical Engineering

To gain skill in the field, you have to attend a college or university which offers a course in electrical engineering. To any standards, the discipline is challenging and most institutions have stringent measures while admitting students into the faculty. Qualities like the capability to innovate and come up with creative ideas are highly recommended as most of the work requires application of the knowledge learned in both theory and practical classes. To qualify, an aspirant who wishes to pursue a career in electrical engineering must have scored high grades in mathematics and physical sciences.

What’s In Store

Most of the technology we have today relies on electricity. Engineers who successfully graduate from college will soon be entrusted with tasks such as designing complex power systems to improve national grids. Others will specialize in safety where they design better circuits for home and commercial applications.

As the world strives to conserve the environment, engineers in this field have recently been researching on energy conservation and are expected to innovate energy efficient devices and appliances. The 20th century saw many breakthroughs some of the most notable being development of LCD and other flat screen displays which consume less power than the conventional CRT. Other appliances like fridges, washing machines and HVAC systems which used to consume a lot of power in the past have also been improved over the years.

For sustainability, electrical engineers are always encouraged to put their focus on renewable energy. Solar power for instance has substantially reduced what most households used to spend on electricity bills. Engineers designed panels which are capable of powering an entire home or commercial enterprises and redirected the excess power back to the grid. Large companies like Google also fund research with anticipations that innovations will come up and allow them to power their complex machines without putting to much strain on the environment. One of such plans is to harness energy from ocean waves and use it to power some of their servers and data centers.

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Everyone knows that it would be impossible to run the world as it is now without electricity. As the population increases, more is being demanded although natural resources used to produce is it like coal and fuel are nearing depletion. To avoid feasibility problems in the future, the government needs to put more funds into research projects and offer lucrative incentives to those who wish to pursue electrical engineering.

Do you think you have what it takes to be an electrical engineer?


What’s a Career in Electrical Engineering Like?


A career in electrical engineering can be very rewarding.

Electrical engineers are people who have studied electrical engineering in detail and hence capable of troubleshooting problems or designing utterly new components to enable the transmission of electric power. Someone with credentials in electrical engineering can  apply their knowledge to troubleshoot problems associated with electrical power transmission, development of power resources, design electrical systems of buildings or cities, design systems related to computers and  microchips, design computer networks, work in a computer or microchip manufacturing facility, be part of an engineering team of a space program, develop new technology that can be applied in electronics or biotechnology, and so much more.

Academic Qualifications Needed To Become An Electrical Engineer

To qualify and become an electrical engineer, you need an electrical engineering degree from a recognized university or college. As it is obvious, the discipline involves a lot of mathematical computations and is hence deemed as one of the most challenging courses. The entry requirements for a course in electrical engineering are stringent. For one, an aspirant has to be well versed in mathematics and practical sciences and furthermore score high grades in high schools. In addition, an engineer whose passion is electricity should be creative and possess a mind which is able to troubleshoot and solve problems.

On average, electrical engineering courses are designed to run for four years. However, it might take longer to receive your credential if you are going to study part time or if you retake a class in which you failed. Note that you to be licensed before you begin working; companies only hire those who are licensed as a quality assurance policy.

The Responsibilities Of An Electrical Engineer

Like mentioned before an electrical engineer’s main responsibility is designing systems to aid the transmission of electrical power. Below are some of their responsibilities:

  • Confer with engineers in other fields and electricity consumers to discuss projects and improvements on existing products.
  • Design, implement, maintain and improve systems and facilities for industrial, commercial and domestic use.
  • Direct manufacturing, installation, maintenance, support and testing of new systems to ensure that they comply with manufacturing codes and customer requirements.
  • Use computer software to design new equipment and perform other engineering tasks.
  • Inspect completed installations to make sure they comply with safety standards and the areas installation code.
  • Investigate complaints from electricity consumers, find solutions to the problems and recommend them to other engineers.
  • Develop budgets for installation projects.

Job Prospects For Electrical Engineers

After receiving your credential you can either opt to work for the government or in the private sector. When you work for the government, most of your responsibilities will revolve around designing standards for electrical equipment or inspecting infrastructure. Government work might also involve research although most of the technologies which are being patented today come from those who work as individuals or for firms in the private sector.

Salary And Other Benefits

There are so many benefits which are associated with a career in electrical engineering. For one, it will suit if you like working outdoors or on practical projects instead of sitting in an office all day. Secondly, electrical engineers get a handsome pay with the median estimated at $86,000 annually by the Bureau of Labor.

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Cool Guys With A Degree In Electrical Engineering

I just want to share with you guys this list of amazing people that know the value of electrical engineering. Famous and respected in their own fields, they all hold a degree in electrical engineering. It’s amazing to know that these guys stuck to education and took up a degree that really molded their future. As a matter of fact, they all became icons in their chosen field. Here are the cool guys.

Steve Wozniak

There are two brilliant Steves behind Apple, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak also known as “Woz”. His greatest contribution to the microcomputer revolution are the Apple I and Apple II computers.

Influenced by his father who was also an engineer, Steve Wozniak showed interest in electronics at an early age. Like Bill Joy, he earned his degree in electrical engineering/computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Alfred Hitchcock

Known as “The Master Of Suspense”, his most famous film, “Psycho”, is the reason why we don’t close our eyes when we shower. His early techniques in film making have become the footprint for many to follow.

Born in London, England on August 13, 1899. He took up electrical engineering at St. Ignatius College in London. His first job was a draftsman and an advertising designer in Henley’s, a cable company. He started in the film industry as a title-card designer at the Famous Players-Lasky Company. After a few years, he became an assistant director.

Alfred Hitchcock is most famous for his technical expertise. Roger Corman, a director and producer has this to say about him.

“Hitchcock did establish a film-making style that has influenced everybody since.”

Alfred Hitchcock, a great film-maker with an electrical engineering degree up his sleeve, was knighted in 1980.

Rowan Atkinson

Who doesn’t know Mr. Bean? Everybody is familiar, if not too familiar, with this particularly quirky guy that lives alone with his teddy bear. Bizarre, funny, and some times irritating; Mr. Bean never fails to entertain us.

But in real life, Rowan Atkinson has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Newcastle University. He then went on to earn an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at the Queen’s College. Oxford. Now, that’s definitely not quirky.

Recognized for his acting and charity undertakings, this funny guy was awarded
Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Edwin Howard Armstrong

Well, if it weren’t for Edwin Howard Armstrong we wouldn’t have the FM radio transmission. This brilliant electrical engineer and inventor graduated from Columbia University.

His contribution to modern electronics technology is tremendous. He revolutionized electronic communications with his discoveries such as the Superheterodyne receiver, FM broadcasting, and the Regenerative circuit; to mention a few.

Bill Joy

Bill Joy is a computer scientist who co-founded Sun Microsystems, a computer system and software company. Now known as Oracle America, this software maker corporation ranks second to Microsoft.

Just like Rowan Atkinson, Bill Joy earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in the same field from the University of California, Berkeley.

So the next time you update Java in your computer, think of this guy that took up electrical engineering.

There we have it, five brilliant minds from various industries. Given their expertise and stature in their chosen fields, they all boast of a degree in electrical engineering. That’s definitely cool!