A Tinkerer’s Dream: Electrical Engineering Degree

Electrical engineering is a specialized area of study in the engineering or civil engineering degree programs. Individuals who focus on this area can expect to learn all about various electrical systems and how to design, produce, test and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment. If you currently have a bachelor's degree in engineering, then you can enroll in an online electrical engineering program and begin working toward your master's degree. With the successful completion of this program, you can expect to enter a world of fascinating and emerging technologies and can have a direct impact on many of the technologies our nation requires on a daily basis.

Electrical Engineering Degree Information

Prospective electrical engineers will generally start out pursuing a bachelor's degree in engineering, generally Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Bachelor of Applied Science or Bachelor of Technology. While learning the basics of engineering, students will focus on electrical engineering and expand upon that concentration as they proceed to a graduate degree and professional certification.

Study Options

Students interested in electrical engineering can obtain a Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Science in engineering in four or five years, either at a traditional brick-and-mortar university or online. Students will learn theories of physics, mathematics and engineering. Students will touch on a number of engineering sub-disciplines, with those interested in a career in electrical engineering weighting particular emphasis on this discipline.

Advanced Degrees

For most of the major electrical engineering positions, engineers will require professional certification. They may also need a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, or a Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering. These degrees usually take about two or three years of consistent study to achieve and are usually terminal degrees. Students who wish to further their electrical engineering education may opt for the E.E. or electrical engineering degree.

Masters of Science In Electrical Engineering

A Master of Science in Electrical Engineering will prepare the student for any career in the field of electrical engineering. Students will learn the ins and outs of electro-mechanical power conversion, the workings of electronic circuitry, dynamics of AC drives and even robotics.

Master of Engineering In Electrical Engineering

Master of Engineering degrees in electrical engineering similarly qualify candidates for most electrical engineering positions. Those pursuing this degree may design a program with a focus on a specific electrical engineering concentration such as communication, control and signal processing, devices, systems and circuits, electrodynamics or bioelectrical engineering.

Choosing A Degree

Those with a mechanical aptitude have the opportunity to excel at electrical engineering. Students who grew up taking things apart to see how they worked and putting them back together may gravitate towards the electrical engineering discipline. Obtaining an electrical engineering degree will also require a good understanding of basic mathematics and physics.

Career Opportunities

Electrical engineers can find work wherever there are electrical systems that need development, testing or maintenance. This means that electrical engineers are needed wherever anything that has an electric motor is manufactured and wherever electrical wiring is required: automobile plants, aircraft manufacturing, navigation systems companies, power companies and construction companies.

Earning Potential

Electrical engineers are among the highest paid of the engineering disciplines. The median salary for an electrical engineer in 2006 was $75,930 and some electrical engineers made over $115,000. Electronics engineers, who focus on the workings of specific electronic devices, enjoyed a median income of $81,500 and a top salary of nearly $120,000.

Getting Your Degree Online

There are several online options for those interested in an electrical engineering degree. Students can get online training as an electrician, an electronics technician and learn basic electronics online. They can also earn a Bachelors of Engineering or a Masters of Engineering in electrical engineering. Be sure that your online university is accredited and has a reputation for quality so that your degree can carry as much weight as one from a top brick and mortar college or university.

Getting Your Degree Offline

Since electrical engineering will require a lot of hands-on application of learned principles, many students find it helpful to take courses at a physical university. At the right college or university, students can learn the basics of electrical engineering and put their knowledge to use in the presence of trained professionals who can help guide them to electrical engineering mastery. An offline electrical engineering bachelor's degree will usually take four or five years to complete, and students will gain knowledge of basic engineering as well as mathematics and science. They will be prepared to move towards professional certification or to pursue a masters degree in electrical engineering, which can also be earned either online or offline.

Electrical Engineering Degree FAQs

In What Industries Do Electrical Engineers Work?

You can find electrical engineers in numerous industries including aerospace, biomedical, computer science, telecommunications and many others. Traditionally, one of the most common areas of employment for graduates with a degree in electrical engineering is the power management sector.

What Is the Curriculum for Online Degree Programs in Electrical Engineering?

The curriculum for a given degree program is determined by the learning institution providing the program. Therefore, not all online electrical engineering programs will offer the same curriculum. However, certain aspects of study must be present in virtually all online programs. These may include the study and application of electronics, electricity and electromagnetism.

How Long Does It Take to Earn My Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering Online?

In most cases, it can take between two and three years of additional study beyond a bachelor's degree. However, because of the flexibility afforded by online degree programs, the actual completion time depends on the dedication and availability of the student taking the program. Resulting from job or family obligations, some students may not be able to complete the program as quickly as others.

What Can I Do With an Electrical Engineering Degree?

Electrical products, equipment and systems play a huge role in our daily lives and for most people around the world. With continued growth and technological advances in the field, there is no reason to expect a decrease of jobs in this sector of engineering. In fact, electrical engineering is routinely one of the fastest growing areas of the engineering trade.

Why Should I Enroll in an Online Degree Program in Electrical Engineering?

If you want to further your education and your career by obtaining a master's degree in electrical engineering, you have two options -- enrolling in an online degree program or attending a full-time college.

By enrolling in an online degree program in electrical engineering, you get to keep your full-time job and take your classes in your free time. You can also have greater control over how and when you attend and finish your program. If the flexibility of distance learning appeals to you, then you may wish to consider an online program in electrical engineering.

Electrical Engineering Student Guide

Electrical engineering is a subfield of engineering that deals specifically with electronics. Electrical engineers learn how electricity and electromagnetism works, how it is electricity is conducted and how it can be practically applied to fields like telecommunications, power and signal processing.

Electrical Engineering Books

Mastery of electrical engineering will require intensive study of some of the major texts in the field in addition to classroom lectures and laboratory work. The Electrical Engineering Handbook by Richard C. Dorf is one book that may prove invaluable in the electrical engineers studies. Others include the Standard Handbook of Electrical Engineering by Donald G. Fink and H. Wayne Beaty and the "Electrical Engineering Reference Manual for the Electrical and Computer P.E. Exam" by John A. Camara. For more books on electrical engineering, you may wish to visit the Taylor & Francis Group website at TaylorandFrancis.co.uk. Taylor & Francis is one of the largest distributors of academic textbooks in the world and has many key engineering texts for you to choose from.

Electrical Engineering Articles And Databases

For articles on electrical engineering, you should consult your school's library, which should have a database that you can use for your engineering research needs. For more assistance locating electrical engineering articles, consider visiting the website of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (Ieee.org).

Online Electrical Engineering Journals

A good source of electrical engineering articles are academic engineering journals. Some engineering journals you may want to avail yourself of are the International Journal of Electrical Engineering Education, Computers and Electrical Engineering and the Journal of Electrical Engineering. Other electrical engineering journal information can be found at Ieee.org or Elsevier.com.

Other Electrical Engineering Research Tools

One of the best resources for electrical engineering research and information is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The IEEE has information about electrical engineering events and conferences, has a power library of useful engineering information, a digital library and even links to online learning programs for electrical engineering.

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