Online Electrical Engineering Degree Programs
Electrical engineering, also known as electronics engineering, is the application and study of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. Electrical engineers play a crucial role in everything from power management and digital electronics to telecommunications and artificial intelligence. Because professionals in this field design, create, test, and manage the production of electrical equipment, very few disciplines within IT and manufacturing escape their input. Electrical engineers are vital to the long-term stability of modern society because they oversee the generation and supply of power and their accompanying systems.
Career Training for Electrical Engineering
A bachelor's degree in the field is usually the minimum employers expect for entry-level electrical engineer jobs. It is possible to enter the field from math and natural science programs, but given how rapidly the industry evolves, you may need to supplement your training with specialized coursework. Some programs offer two-year degrees, but again, four-years of intensive study represent the norm. Bachelor's degrees are especially important if you plan on offering your services to the public. All 50 states require licensing and certification for engineers employed by local, state, and federal government agencies.
Coursework for Electrical Engineering
The bulk of your coursework focuses on math, science, engineering, information technology, and computer science. Depending on your intended career field, however, you might also be expected to include classes from the social sciences, humanities, and public policy.
If you pursue an online degree in electrical engineering, you might consider supplementing your education with an apprenticeship or internship. By its very nature, electrical engineering is a field full of potential hazards. Bolstering your theoretical knowledge with hands-on training can give you a more thorough grounding in the safety guidelines required for this field. Your online program should be able to direct you to firms in your area that have temporary openings. If not, consider contacting relevant government agencies that oversee public engineering projects in your city.
Career Opportunities in Electrical Engineering
The bulk of electrical engineering opportunities are in architecture and manufacturing. Growing demand for electronic appliances and alternative energy management could help create more jobs in the future, but international competition might put added pressure on the industry as a whole. As a result, electrical engineering could enjoy slower than average growth from 2006 to 2016, highlighting the need for advanced education to be competitive. Those who work for firms that provide design services and engineering expertise to manufacturers should enjoy the best prospects.
On a more positive note, salary potential for electrical engineers is very encouraging. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for electrical engineers was approximately $75,000 in 2006. The highest 10 percent earned a median income of $115,000 during the same time period.
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