Guide to an Electrical Engineering Degree

Engineering is a field with a wealth of opportunity. And with the right degree, you can take advantage of these opportunities. Engineering is comprised of many different specialties, including civil, nuclear, chemical, and mechanical engineering, just to name a few. For students interested in pursuing an engineering degree, you can start by earning an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. However, if you’re already working as an engineer and you want to upgrade your skills, you can pursue a master’s degree or even a Ph.D. in engineering. You might be surprised how many industries need engineers to support their operations. What’s more, you can expect an impressive salary, and with an advanced education, the possibility of earning more is greater.

Electrical Engineering and Other Related Programs

Engineering is a field with a variety of specializations and concentrations. In fact, engineering often dominates the list of academic majors given the wide range of available career options and opportunities. While several schools offer engineering degrees online, few offer programs specific to electrical engineering. However, we have listed those schools and some that offer related programs below as well as links so you can contact each school to learn more.

DeVry University — DeVry University is one of the most popular schools for students seeking technology and business degrees. Many of their programs, like the MS in Electrical Engineering or the BS in Electronics Engineering Technology, can either be taken at the school or through online classes. DeVry University has over 85 campuses in the US.
Grantham University — For students who are looking to begin a career in engineering, Grantham University is an excellent choice with a wide range of degrees available like the BS in Electronics Engineering Technology or Engineering Management Technology. These programs can be pursued online for a fast, convenient way to accomplish your career goals.
ECPI University — ECPI University is the only school to offer an AS in Electronics Engineering Technology through online classes which can help prepare students to become Electronic Technicians, Computer Specialists, or Technical Support Technicians. ECPI also offers a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology online which can help students bridge the gap between technicians and engineers.
Drexel University — Drexel University is a prestigious school promoting graduate degrees. The school offers several degrees in engineering like an MS in Electrical Engineering or Engineering Management. Drexel has five campuses all located around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the exception of the Sacramento Center for Graduate Studies.

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What is an Electrical Engineering School?

Students may have an idea of what area of electrical engineering they want to go into. However, you can expand your horizons when you enroll in an electrical engineering school. There is a huge range of careers in the field so choosing to attend a specialist school is worth it.

Electrical engineering schools offer a range of degree programs. Admissions requirements vary depending on the nature of the program. Bachelor degrees require a high school diploma or GED whereas a master’s degree will require an undergraduate degree in a relevant field. Each program prepares you to enter the workforce with the skills and training necessary to obtain employment.

  • Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (B.S.): An entry-level undergraduate degree, the BS focuses on providing students with a comprehensive introduction into the field of electrical engineering. Usually combined with computer science and other forms of engineering, students have the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge of the field. This degree provides a strong foundation for more advanced study in the future or for entry-level employment in the field.
  • Master of Electrical Engineering (M.S.): A master’s program is an advanced degree that promotes hands on and practical learning as well as theoretical education. Students can choose from a range of courses but are often provided with mentoring to enhance their employment prospects following graduation. What’s unique about graduate-level programs is the ability to choose from a variety of specializations.
  • Doctor of Electrical Engineering (Ph.D.): Finally, the Ph.D. in electrical engineering is designed to enhance research into the field and students are encouraged to formulate their own theories and innovations. There is a strong mentoring tradition with this degree so those wanting to take their education as far as possible gain significant benefits.

Is Financial Aid Available for Engineering Students?

If you wish to pursue a degree in electrical engineering, financial aid is available as well as scholarships and grants. There are federal and state programs available as well as school specific or state specific electrical engineering scholarships. However, the following are electrical engineering grants that some students may qualify for:

  • Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEEE): The IEEE offers electrical engineering grants and scholarships for students currently studying the field and those that want to. There are numerous opportunities available to everyone as well as those designed for those facing financial difficulty.
  • The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE): Aimed specifically at African Americans, the NSBE offers various scholarships and grants to students interested in pursuing an electrical engineering degree. Qualification criteria do vary so research each grant and/or scholarship carefully. Applications are taken online.

What is the Average Salary for an Electrical Engineer?

Electrical engineers can earn high salaries depending on where they work and who they work for. Your salary level will go up over time, but starting salaries vary.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical engineers earned a mean annual wage of $89,200 in May 2011. With a master’s degree or a PhD, you could earn more. Some industries pay more than others. Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation include:

  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution
  • Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing
  • Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing
  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing

Top paying industries for this occupation include:

  • Other Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing
  • Oil and Gas Extraction
  • Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction
  • Support Activities for Mining
  • Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing

Common Careers for Electrical Engineering Graduates

Once you have graduated from an electrical engineering program, you can pursue a number of career options. Some of these options are outlined below as a quick career guide:

  • Electrical Engineer: Electrical engineers work in a variety of fields, from building sites to within mechanical plants. They have a range of duties from establishing electrical connections and installation to health and safety provision.
  • Business Development Engineer: Business development electrical engineers work for companies that establish and launch new products, ensuring that all specifications are met and products developed are to standard.
  • Design Engineer: Design engineers are hired to design and implement electrical circuitry within buildings, outdoor constructions or other such places.
  • Maintenance Engineer: Maintenance electrical engineers literally do what the title suggests, maintaining electrical circuitry. This is usually done within an industrial setting rather than a domestic one.

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