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What is Electrical Engineering Really?

In theory what is it?

Electrical engineering is the study and engineering of signal waves and their propagations. A signal wave is any kind of electromagnetic impulse that either carries data or controls something. EE is in the business of taking this signal wave and making it become another or reading it. Simply stated, wave manipulation.

An electrical engineer would be in the business

of converting the crest shape of an ocean wave into a silly looking square shape, then identifying that the ocean would need 60% more salt and 10% less fish to

support such a shape. And after travelling 2 miles, the square ocean wave would spread out into several soft rolling waves.

What is it used for?

The connection your cellular phone makes. Receiving music on your radio. Identifying the highest MHz that a computer can really support. Converting digital data on CD's into music.

What does the major actually entail - work-wise?

Electrical Engineering used to consist of lots of hands-on work using capacitors, resistors, transistors, and other little cool devices to

manipulate waves & make things happen.

Unfortunately, since the advent of the DSP (Digital Signal Processor) and Computer Engineering advancements, EE is more about using software

packages to put preformed components together on the screen & inputing the necessary parameters. At a lot of universities, this boils down to hours of painful grunt work (aka 'training') in front of the computer screen on how to use the software packages. There is less and less of the golden theory and hands on practice offered these days. What this roughly translates into is less of an education and more

of a 'tutorial'. The degree obtained in programs like this has a useable lifetime of only a couple years—the lifetime of the software products you learned how to use. If you want to go into this field, make sure to ask current students whether the tuition is paying for education or training. Because, it is highly likely that if you want to go into this field, you already know something about EE—you will be dissappointed by a tutorial environment.

What kind of jobs do you get with it?

Contrary to popular belief, EE has nothing to do with being an 'electrician'. The kind of job an EE will get vastly varies. In a large company, Entry EE's

tend to get grunt jobs, characterizing or designing the most basic of electrical components. e.g. Designing the circuitry that controls the motors of 'Dancing Barbie'. This is because large companies tend to recognize the more training nature of the EE degree. However, in a startup company, an EE might design the entire layout and electrical system for a new cool device.

What are the fellow students like (personalitywise) in it?

My fellow students in electrical engineering tend to have large egos but fairly low confidence. They have 'something to prove' but never actually try to

prove it. Most are, or end up unhappy, having never mustered up the guts to actually do anything. Interpersonally, my experiences have found them to be spineless, more apt to take a backstabbing passive aggressive approach to solving an interpersonal problem

rather than a forthright one. Because of the generically low female population in this major, conjoined with the lack of guts, most EE majors have trouble either finding dates, communicating with females, or connecting on a more personal level to other people.

Common Misconceptions

Engineering is where to come if you want to 'change the world' with your innovation.

WRONG!

If you are innovative or creative, engineeringwise, go into a business administration degree & get a double major in the engineering that interests you the most.

Busadm shows you how to deal with people to get things done, and form contacts with people capable of forwarding ideas to production with funding. The attitudes of engineering departments are froth with large egos, who cannot allow another person to be (as they will see it) smarter than them—much less an

undergraduate… In all the business classes I've been in, the people have been friendly and sociable (more so than my EE fellows), and armed with the knowledge that busadm people are probably putting the '$' first, they are pretty easy to get along with.

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Electrical Engineering Major unemployment rate

_ Electrical Engineering All Majors
Unemployed %4 %7
Minimum Wage %1 %4
All Others %94 %88
More: Unemployment for all Majors *** not counting stay at home parents *** not counting those currently in grad school

Are things going well in Electrical Engineering?

Going Well %88
Not Going Well %12
More: All Majors Satisfaction ??? This is a social "life satisfaction" question. Overall, would people who graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering say that their life is going well? It could be interpreted in terms of stress, salary, long hours, future prospects, etc. *** not counting those currently in grad school

Graduates who stayed in Electrical Engineering

Still in Field %75
Got out %25
More: All Majors Still in field ??? A high "got out" percentage can be interpreted a couple of ways -- for instance, perhaps the major is a great stepping stone to becoming a totally different career -- like a doctor. Or perhaps the jobs one gets with the major just aren't that great. *** not counting those currently in grad school
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This school is a small engineering schoolThis school is a small engineering school that provides a good amount of hands-on training on new technology, which is very helpful in the job market. Most of the teachers are understandable (i.e. english isRead reviewElectrical EngineeriCapitol College Reviews
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WPI is a unique university that has muchWPI is a unique university that has much to offer a motivated student. The engineering curriculum places an emphasis on project work with a minimum of classes that are little more than busywork. For ElectricalRead reviewElectrical EngineeriWorcester Polytechnic Institute Reviews
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I'm not going to blast this school basedI'm not going to blast this school based on trivial things like parking. Where I have a major issue with this school is the tuition. For those planning on starting college, please take my advice.Read reviewElectrical EngineeriLawrence Technological University Reviews
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I majored in Electrical Engineering but I endedI majored in Electrical Engineering but I ended up working in Software Engineering. Though I do not use much of the purely EE knowledge I had learned (and now forgotten), the project design and implementationRead reviewElectrical EngineeriMcGill University Reviews
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