What degrees can I earn in electrical engineering?
Educational opportunities in electrical engineering programs are available in associates, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. The top electrical engineering degrees required by employers are bachelors degrees. However, engineers from electrical engineering graduate programs have a competitive edge when it comes to job opportunities and salary.
Electrical engineering certificate
Both graduate and undergraduate certificate programs in electrical engineering require a bachelors or masters degree as a prerequisite for entry. An engineering certificate can offer greater proficiency in electronics theory or design analysis, among other areas of specialization. The standard length of time for a certificate program is 15 credit hours, which typically takes 1 year to complete.
Electrical engineering associates degree
An associates degree in electrical engineering is typically 60 to 80 credit hours and will take most students 2 years to complete. Whether a student is earning an onsite or online engineering associates, they will be able to choose between an associates in engineering and an associates in science with an electrical engineering focus. Some programs will require students to have completed advanced math courses, but may allow the courses to be taken in conjunction with general education classes.
Electrical engineering bachelors degree
A bachelors in electrical engineering can be earned as a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering or a Bachelor of Engineering with an electrical engineering concentration. Prerequisites for admission into an onsite or online engineering bachelors degree program include completion of advanced mathematics and science courses. Most bachelors degrees take 4 years to complete with credit requirements ranging from 120 to 140 credit hours.
Electrical engineering masters degree
An electrical engineering masters can be earned as a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering or a Master of Engineering with an electrical engineering concentration. Masters programs will typically take 2 to 3 years to complete with credit hours ranging from 30 to 40 hours. A minimum GRE score may be required for admission into a campus-based or online engineering masters degree program.
Electrical engineering PhD
Many colleges and universities offer a PhD track in electrical engineering, which will allow a student to seamlessly transition from the masters to the doctoral program. The career path for someone with a PhD in engineering will likely involve a focus upon research with the potential for teaching at the graduate level. The length of time required to complete an electrical engineering PhD program is an average of 5 years but can be shorter or longer depending upon the research being completed.
Are there any electrical engineering degree programs online?
The availability of electrical engineering degree programs online continues to grow, with some of the best colleges and universities offering full and partial online bachelors, masters and PhD programs to students. Nearly 300 colleges and universities offer partial online bachelors programs in electrical engineering, with 200 offering an advanced online degree.
Online degrees in electrical engineering
If you are currently considering an electrical engineering associates degree online, you might research accredited electrical engineering online colleges that offer the opportunity to move into a bachelors or masters program upon completion of your degree.
Most brick-and-mortar institutions allow for a seamless transition between the associates and bachelors degrees, and having that option could save you time and money if you decide to further your studies.
While many top universities offer an electrical engineering bachelors degree online, you will want to be sure that you have the self-discipline to stick to your curriculum. Poor self-pacing can be a major barrier to the success of online students, and 4 years of maintaining an online work schedule can be a lengthy commitment for some.
One of the challenges of earning an electrical engineering online masters degree is the fact that distance education makes networking more difficult. Students earning their degrees at a campus-based college or university will interact with professionals in the field who may connect them with potential job opportunities.
Be sure to make networking a priority by interacting with engineering professional organizations and engaging internship opportunities for maximum exposure, and to make connections that may be useful in your job search upon graduation.
Earning a PhD in electrical engineering will likely require a great deal of research, and 1 of the challenges of attending electrical engineering schools online is the potential lack of laboratory resources that will be available to you. The best electrical engineering online program will accommodate your research needs and will work with you to ensure that you have access to the necessary facilities.
What kinds of electrical engineering classes will I take in my program?
Whether you choose campus-based or online engineering courses, there are required classes across all engineering disciplines. As an undergraduate student you will likely take mathematics, physics and chemistry, along with introductory courses in logic design, circuit theory and applied algorithms.
Graduate students in an electrical engineering program will be taking courses that are more specific to their chosen disciplines. Some of the most common campus-based and electrical engineering online courses may include advanced circuitry, digital systems and electromagnetics.
Finally, as a PhD candidate in electrical engineering, your work will focus upon independent research that will contribute to the electrical engineering knowledge base. Your project will likely be planned alongside an academic advisor. Most PhD programs do not have a fixed curriculum but will require a project proposal, dissertation and dissertation defense.
What electrical engineering careers can I choose from?
Electrical engineering jobs demand a high degree of specialization ranging from telecommunications to microelectronics. Some of the best careers in electrical engineering are the result of new and ever-changing technology encompassing all 3 of the above specializations.
A power engineer works with power generation and transmission, as well as storing and distributing energy. Power engineering jobs typically require a bachelors degree but employers may have a preference for graduate engineers. Salaries for a power engineer range widely from $47,000 and $107,000 depending upon education and experience.
Microelectronic engineers work to research, analyze, design and create tiny electronic components to fit into the latest high-tech gadgets in order to make them smaller and faster. Microelectronics engineering is a growing field with many opportunities for engineers with a bachelors degree or higher. An electrical engineering salary in microelectronics engineering typically ranges from $87,000 to $108,000.
A telecommunications engineer designs and oversees intricate electronic communications and broadcasting equipment and systems. Jobs for telecommunications engineers typically require a minimum of a bachelors degree and pay an average salary of $46,000 to $103,000.
Is there anything else I should know about getting a degree in electrical engineering?
While not all engineers choose to pursue licensure, many electrical engineering jobs require applicants to have a Professional Engineer license. You must take the Fundamentals in Engineering exam in order to be considered an engineer-in-training, which will you allow you to gain professional experience until you are ready to sit for your licensure test.
The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers offers professional engineering certification for electrical engineers working in the field of wireless communications. The Wireless Communication Energy Technologies certification provides a globally recognized credential for telecommunications professionals with a wireless specialization. Eligibility requirements include graduation from an accredited bachelors program in engineering, as well as advanced knowledge of wireless systems.