Is Electrical Engineering Right for Me?
Ask questions and explore more to decide if an Electrical Engineering major is your best fit. The Electrical Engineering major can raise a lot of questions for students. But getting answers and taking a closer look at the dynamic field of Electrical Engineering can introduce you to an exciting program of study and valuable career opportunities. We’ll explore some key questions and information that can help you determine if a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Houston Baptist University is right for you.
What Is Electrical Engineering?
Electrical Engineering is the study of electrical systems, devices and circuits such as communication systems, automobiles, computers, machinery controls and almost anything that uses electricity, or has a plug or a motor.
Electrical engineers create high-tech devices of all types that improve people’s lives. These devices can include cell phones, power generators, turbines, valves, pumps, sensors and more.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job descriptions for Electrical Engineering jobs typically contain the following responsibilities:
- Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
- Do detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
- Direct manufacturing, installing and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
- Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems and recommend solutions
- Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time and within budget
Overall employment of electrical engineer careers is projected to grow 9 percent through 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the BLS. Various types of Electrical Engineering jobs are available throughout the country in many diverse locations. Electrical engineers are in demand across a variety of businesses and industry: the most common is in engineering services, followed by electric power, and research and development.
In the United States, Texas is ranked second, after California, among the top five states with the highest employment of electrical engineers, says the BLS. The annual mean salary for electrical engineers in Texas is $104,670.
How Do I Become an Electrical Engineer?
Earning a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering is the right start. At Houston Baptist University, the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree program is in HBU’s College of Science and Engineering, along with the Cyber Engineering and Computer Science degrees.
Electrical Engineering majors work together with classmates and professors to design and build real electrical and electronic systems that can be found in commercial and industrial settings. The first two years of the Electrical Engineering major provide fundamental knowledge and skills in mathematics (e.g., calculus, linear algebra), physics, basic engineering and computer programming, with the opportunity to demonstrate those skills in a sequence of Electrical Engineering projects. Electrical Engineering majors also learn about concepts in electrical circuits and electronics, microprocessors, and computer systems in the second year.
In the junior and senior year of the bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering program, students learn important concepts in embedded systems, control systems and communication systems. Electrical Engineering majors may choose from advanced elective courses in digital forensics and cybercrime, wireless and mobile security, reverse engineering, and access control logic.
What Kind of Skills do I Need to Become an Electrical Engineer?
Typically, Electrical Engineering majors reflect an aptitude for the following skills and work to develop them further in college:
- Critical thinking
- Technological knowledge
- Active learning
- Interpersonal skills
- Organizational skills
- Complex problem-solving skills
- Mathematics and physics skills
- Innovative thinking
The bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at HBU includes several math and science requirements, Electrical Engineering courses and liberal arts core courses that include English, history, art, communications and more.
How Long Does it Take to Become an Electrical Engineer?
You can earn your bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering in four years. At HBU, the 128 credit-hour bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering includes liberal arts core courses (47 credit hours), math and science requirements (22 credit hours), and major requirements (59 credit hours). The return on investment is high: salaries for electrical engineers in Texas average $104,670.
How Many Electrical Engineers are Female?
The numbers of women entering the field of Electrical Engineering continue to grow. In 2017, nearly 14 percent of bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering were awarded to women.
The proportion of engineering degrees awarded to women reached a 10-year high in 2017, according to the American Society for Engineering Education. Women received 21.3 percent of all engineering bachelor’s degrees, 25.7 percent of all engineering master’s degrees, and 23.5 percent of all engineering doctoral degrees, representing a 2 percent to 3 percent increase over the proportion of engineering degrees awarded to females in 2008.
Visit the National Academy of Engineering’s site, Engineergirl.org, to learn more about women in the field. Companies who employ Electrical Engineers seek diversity in their teams and managers and more women are needed in Electrical Engineering.