Engineers who specialize in the design and development of electrical systems are known as electrical engineers. Electronics engineers, on the other hand, work solely with electronic devices, while computer engineers develop the hardware and software that power computers. A bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or computer engineering is required if you want to pursue one of these well-paying high-tech careers.
Electrical Engineering Degree Program Accreditation Requirements
The accreditation status of a program is an important consideration for all engineering students. Programs that meet quality standards are referred to as accredited by non-governmental organizations. Programs in all engineering disciplines are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Program-specific requirements are included in ABET’s accreditation criteria, as are general curriculum requirements. Engineers are required to complete at least a year of college-level math and basic science courses, as well as a major design project, as part of their education. The study of differential equations, integral calculus, linear algebra, discrete mathematics, complex variables, and probability and statistics must be included in any electrical, electronics, or computer engineering program. In addition, students should be taught how to analyze, develop, and design electrical and electronic components and devices, as well as computer hardware and software, as part of these programs.
Under the same umbrella as electrical, electronics, and computer engineering, ABET also recognizes degree programs in communications and telecommunications.
Engineers in the field of electrical engineering
It doesn’t really matter if you major in electrical, electronic, or computer engineering if you have to meet the same accreditation standards. Despite their similarities, these two programs differ greatly.
Introduction to electrical engineering is a common first-year elective for students pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. According to U.S. News & World Report, courses in circuits, signals, and systems, electromagnetics, and semiconductors are also critical. Biosystems, communications, energy, multimedia, semiconductors, and nanotechnology are some of the specializations in electrical engineering programs.
Electrical engineers are frequently involved in large-scale engineering projects involving thousands of interconnected components, such as those found in space exploration vehicles and large rail systems.
The Study of Electronics
Differences in emphasis are more important than the content studied in electrical and electronics engineering bachelor’s degree programs. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electronic engineers work in a slightly different way than their electrical engineering counterparts, focusing on projects like broadcast and communication systems, portable music players, and GPS devices (BLS).
There are more foundational courses that focus on electronics, according to U.S. News & World Report, for students majoring in electronics engineering. Studying electrical circuits and their components in greater depth is part of this.
Because electronics engineering is a subfield of electrical engineering, many electrical engineering degree programs include specialization tracks for electronics engineering. Electives can be used to take courses on alternating current circuits, direct current circuits, digital circuits and systems, and other components that make up electronic devices and systems in this scenario, but students must still complete the required core courses for an electrical engineering degree.
Students in electronics engineering programs can take courses that prepare them to work on both traditional and renewable energy systems’ electronic components.
Engineering in the field of computing
Is there a relationship between electrical and computer engineering? Computer engineering and electrical engineering are often combined into one department. However, computer hardware engineers use electrical and electronics engineering techniques to design and analyze computer hardware and software specifically.
In contrast to electrical or electronics engineering programs, computer engineering programs typically include more computer science coursework, such as classes in discrete structures and data structures. Students’ engineering courses also emphasize computers more heavily through courses like computer systems and programming, algorithms and models of computation.
A computer engineering degree focuses more on real-world applications than a computer science degree, which is more closely related to mathematics than to engineering.
How to Select a Major for a Future in Electrical Engineering?
Electrical, electronic, and computer engineering all have a lot in common. Many engineering schools combine two or more of these distinctions into a single department, division, or major because of their similar curricula and employment opportunities. If you decide to major or specialize in one of these areas, it could have a significant impact on your career path. If you major in computer engineering, for example, you may not have the breadth of experience and knowledge required for certain electrical engineering positions. An electrical engineering degree may be considered too broad by a prospective employer if you are interested in a career in computer engineering.
A common solution to the problem of overly broad or overly focused curriculums in engineering schools is the availability of joint majors and academic concentrations, which allow students to tailor their education.