Electrical Engineering Facts: Course, Skills And Other Helpful Trivia | Kidadl

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Electrical Engineering Facts: Course, Skills And Other Helpful Trivia

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Electrical engineering is one of the most popular and growing professions in the United States.

Electrical engineers are responsible for contriving different electronic devices and equipment that we use in our daily lives. It is estimated that during the period of 2020-2030 the profession will undergo a growth of 7%.

It's a fascinating field that covers a wide range of topics, from the basics of electricity to complex systems like electrical grids. If you're curious about electrical engineering, or if you're thinking about pursuing this field, then read on! In this article, we will discuss the coursework involved in electrical engineering, the skills you need to succeed in this field, and other interesting trivia about electrical engineering.

Course And Curriculum

The electrical engineering curriculum can vary from school to school, but most electrical engineering courses will cover basic topics like circuits, electromagnetism, and electronics. In addition to these core concepts, electrical engineering students will also learn about more advanced subjects like digital systems, control systems, and signal processing.

Anyone who wishes to pursue a career as an electrical engineer must complete a bachelor's degree in electronics engineering, electrical engineering, or any other subject related to these. The candidate can also opt for a master's degree to deepen their understanding of the field. Some institutions also provide a five-year course covering both bachelor's and master's degrees. Students can also start preparing from high school to have a firmer grasp of the field by taking extra classes in science and mathematics, such as physics, algebra, calculus, and trigonometry.

As already mentioned, studying electrical engineering does not completely depend on theoretical practices; both classroom, field studies, and laboratory experiences are essential in building a competent electrical engineer with the necessary skills.

Talking about curriculum, there are several subdisciplines that an electrical engineer can point their focus to, like control, power, electronics, microelectronics, signal processing, instrumentation, telecommunication, related disciplines, and computers.

The first discipline, control engineering, is all about contriving a diverse range of dynamic systems that basically work as controllers and regulate the functions of various electronic devices. This subdiscipline of engineering plays an important role in industrial automation, the cruise control present in modern automobiles, and commercial airliners.

Power engineering, the second discipline, mainly works with the transmission, generation, and distribution of electricity. Here you will also learn how to design various devices related to electricity, like electric motors, transformers, electric generators, and power electronics.

While electronic engineering deals with building and testing electronic circuits (that employ components like capacitors, resistors, diodes, inductors, and transistors), microelectronic engineering involves designing the components of integrated circuits or other very small electronic circuits.

The subdiscipline that deals with the transmission of information through optical fiber, coax cable or free space is called telecommunication engineering. The process of modulation (encoding information in a carrier signal and making it suitable for transmission) is an essential part of this subdiscipline. On the other hand, signal processing involves the act of analyzing and manipulating both analog and digital signals.

Instrumentation engineering requires a profound understanding of physics, often beyond electromagnetic theory. This subdiscipline involves contriving the instruments that measure temperature and pressure. For example, flight instruments help pilots by measuring altitude and wind speed.

Lastly, computer engineering involves the act of designing computers and computer systems. Designing other electrical systems and devices like PDAs, new hardware, supercomputers, tablets, and systems that regulate industrial plants is also a part of this subdiscipline.

Career And Opportunities

In the profession of electrical engineering, you will need to be able to think critically and solve complex problems. You must also be able to work well in a team since electrical engineering projects often require collaboration between engineers from different specialities. In addition, strong math skills are essential for electrical engineering, as many of the concepts covered in this field rely heavily on mathematical analysis.

As a growing profession, the number of electrical engineers is increasing every day. The top industries around the world are partially or completely dependent on electronic components and machines, which just increases the demand for competent electrical engineers. Students completing their engineering studies can join various industries including automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, engineering services, the federal government, telecommunication, utilities and construction, and research and development.

There are also several roles that students can apply for after studying electrical engineering. The first one is that of a design engineer. The tasks of design engineers comprise visualizing the finalized devices (product) and finding out the best uses of the new technology.

The next role, and maybe the most important one, is that of a research engineer. Even though almost all of the work of research engineers is confined in the lab, it is mostly their works and discoveries that are solely responsible for the advent of new technology.

The role of project engineers requires good knowledge and a deep understanding of multiple engineering disciplines. Their primary task is to lead a team of competent engineers and supervise new projects. It is essential for a project engineer to possess excellent communication ability, both internal and external.

System engineers and test engineers are the ones responsible for the functioning of devices and applications after they are fully developed. While the job of system engineers consists of installing and maintaining systems, test engineers make sure that devices are working properly and troubleshoot when required.

The primary responsibility of application engineers is to use the available resources to make the existing technology and equipment sufficient in fulfilling the employers' needs.

So, as we have already gone through different roles, now let's see the job availability and wages of this profession. As of 2020, there were about 188,000 electrical engineering jobs, and the median annular pay is $100,830. Although the highest 10% of employees in this occupation earned over $159,520, the lowest 10% earned less than $64,870.

It is because of electrical engineers that we are able to enjoy the latest technologies and advanced technological equipment.

Skills And Knowledge You Require

Electrical engineers require both practical skills and theoretical knowledge. As a result, even if you possess a bachelor's degree in the subject, it is essential for you to have a significant amount of practical experience, whether from participating in certain engineering programs or from internships related to the field.

The most essential quality for this profession is concentration. The day-to-day responsibilities of electrical engineers consist of designing and developing electronic products, components, and electrical systems. To perform these tasks competently the engineers must keep track of different technical characteristics and multiple design elements thoroughly.

Every electrical engineer undertakes numerous projects in their whole career, going from one to another. Similarly, every new project requires the best performance from the engineer. That's why they need to possess good knowledge of the field and keep building upon this knowledge over time, so as to cope with each new technology and how its use can be applied.

In this profession, electrical engineers mostly work as a group, whether they are inventing a new technology or trying to improve an existing one. This makes communication and collaborative skills one of the most important and essential qualities in this field. No good can come from a group of engineers unless they have a good relationship with each other and understand each other's ideas thoroughly.

The major duties of electrical engineers, which are designing, analyzing, and troubleshooting equipment, require the principles of advanced mathematics including calculus. Thus, it is necessary that an electrical engineer is good at maths and has relevant qualifications.

Along with good collaboration and communication skills, electrical engineers must also have a good grasp of vocabulary and writing. Apart from designing and developing new technology, they also need to put down technical writings related to their works, like operation manuals, maintenance manuals, product proposals, parts lists, and design methods documents. What is important here is that most of these writings will be read by people with little or no technical expertise; so, being lucid and comprehensive with words has always played an essential role in this profession, while being able to explain systems to people with a range of understanding.

FAQs

What is interesting about electrical engineering?

The most interesting thing about this field is that there are various subdisciplines, so students can choose to learn the one or ones that interest them.

What are five things electrical engineers do?

Electrical engineers research to discover new technologies, design new devices based on the research, develop new equipment, install the created systems, and finally troubleshoot the equipment if necessary.

Who was the first electrical engineer?

Even though it is impossible to determine who was the first electrical engineer, the earliest recorded name associated with this field is Sir Francis Ronalds. The person who is called the father of electrical engineering is called Michael Faraday.

Which engineering job has the highest salary?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paid engineering job is that of an engineering manager with a median salary of $144,830.

What skills do electrical engineers need?

Electrical engineers must be good at maths (especially advanced portions like calculus), must have strong concentrating ability, collaborative ability, and communication ability. They should also have a good grasp of language and words and should always be ready to learn new things and apply them to their projects.

Is electrical engineering difficult?

If you love science and have a passion for technology, then it might not seem that tough to you. But yes, electrical engineering requires excellent maths skills; so, if that is not your forte, then you will certainly face some difficulties.

What are the five most important facts about electricity?

Michael Faraday discovered the basic principles of electricity; the speed of electricity is equivalent to the speed of light; a lightning bolt contains 3,000,000 volts of electricity; an average taser can release up to 50,000 volts; the first power plant was built by Thomas Edison.

Written By
Prasenjit Das

Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from West Bengal State University - Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College and a Master’s Degree in English Language and Literature from Calcutta University, Prasenjit is not only hardworking but also possesses an exceptionally creative mind. He’s worked as a freelance content writer since 2017 and has gained the required skills to ensure cohesive and coherent copy. To ensure that he keeps challenging his creativity and honing his skills, Prasenjit completed the Introduction to Creative Writing Course from British Council. When he’s not working, you might find him writing poetry or engaging in other creative pursuits.

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