Why Should You Study Electrical Engineering?

Three students are assembling electronics circuit board

Deciding what to study at university is never easy. Above all, when deciding on a college or university major, prospective students need to follow their passions. After all, it does you no good to study a topic that you simply aren’t interested in. In fact, according to a recent study, only 46% of college graduates actually work in their field of study. The same respondents were fairly divided regarding their prospects of finding a well-paying job in their field of study. Fortunately, as a premier university in San Francisco, we proudly offer cutting-edge degree programs. And an electrical engineering degree is cutting-edge. Electrical engineering has been around for a long time, at least since 1821, but electrical engineers are still in high demand. It’s an old discipline that’s far from old-fashioned.

So, what makes electrical engineering so great? Well, for one, an electrical engineer works at the forefront of developing new technologies for many industries. From transportation and logistics to healthcare, construction, and robotics - electrical engineers are a required component. Electrical engineers also create and improve systems that provide a net benefit to society. Finally, and this may be the most important factor of all, electrical engineers are in high demand.

It’s important to leverage potential career options against how much money you’ll make and the kind of work you’ll be doing. That's why we wanted to take a deeper dive into electrical engineering. We offer a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) program, but is it right for you? What makes electrical engineering such a desirable area of study and potential career option?

What is the Difference Between Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering?

Electricity is an integral part of modern life. It could be argued that the discovery of alternating current and the advent of modern electricity was one of the big societal game changers of all time. Electricity and power generation touch just about every aspect of our lives. Let us count the ways:

  • Power generation
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Healthcare and medical technology
  • Quantum computing
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Cryptography
  • Communications
  • … and more!

Here’s a question everyone asks: What’s the difference between electrical and electronic? To put it simply, electrical engineers work with the supply and flow of electricity. Conversely, electronic engineers create and engineer physical devices that we use in our everyday lives. Electrical engineering specifically touches on the actual harnessing of electricity. This could include producing, delivering, storing, and transmitting power. Take one of our neighbors here at SFBU as an example. Tesla is so close we could bring them cookies. And they need a lot of electrical engineers. The proximity we have to so many world-class companies is one of the upsides of being a university in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Meanwhile, electronic engineering specifically refers to the creating, designing, and testing of electrical circuits and components. Electronic engineering also refers to integrating computer hardware and software systems. All applicable fields apply to electronic engineering, from AI to computation and communications.

We’ve talked about electrical engineering and what it is, but now the question is why should you choose it? Out of all possible options, why should this area of discipline be what you spend your valuable time studying?

1. Money

As much as we hate to say it, money and pay are still primary motivating factors for anyone selecting a major or career. Fortunately, electrical engineers make a healthy living. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the reported median salary for electrical engineers in 2021 was $100,420 and for electronic engineers, $104,820.

Electrical engineers currently have a good job outlook, on par with the average for the United States right now. The BLS expects job opportunities to expand by approximately 3% on an annualized basis. This would account for approximately 9,000 new high-paying jobs.

There are even ways to make more than half-a-million dollars per year as an electrical engineer. The key is to learn the attributes of a high-paying engineering job and then properly position yourself within the marketplace.

2. Specialization

Much like other high-tech majors, electrical engineering encompasses a wealth of different job titles. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Electrical design engineer
  • Electrical control engineer
  • Power systems engineer
  • Circuits engineer
  • Electrical project engineer
  • Instrumentation engineer
  • Photonics specialist
  • Electrical reliability engineer

And the list doesn’t end there. The fact is, if electricity fascinates you, then a career in electrical engineering might be exactly what you’re looking for.

3. Transferable Skills

Employers look for a diverse array of skills and fresh mindsets. Skills are essential, but innovation comes from new ideas and different ways of working to achieve your goals. Fortunately, the skills and innovative thinking you get from studying electrical engineering are easily transferred to other areas of study and career options.

4. High Demand

There’s a huge benefit to the high demand for electrical engineers: The need is global. There are not only high-paying electrical engineering jobs open all over the world, there are a lot of them. Even in today’s remote work environment, electrical engineers are traveling to where their jobs are. You’ll be hard pressed to find electrical engineers that are wont for work. From smartphones to medical devices and security systems, electrical engineers design it all.

5. It’s Never Boring

New electrical devices and components, whether for consumer or commercial applications, are invented and created every single day. When high-tech devices go to market, companies backing these devices are already looking for the next big thing. Companies build upon ideas and improve and innovate on current technologies every day. And many of them, especially those that serve universities in San Francisco, provide opportunities for their employees to be a part of the next big thing in technology and electrical engineering.

If you are even remotely interested in electrical engineering as a discipline for study in university, consider San Francisco Bay University. We are proud to be a university in San Francisco dedicated to cutting-edge degree programs. And we are even more proud to offer generous scholarships, grants, and tuition assistance to help students who want to get a degree in electrical engineering. Enroll today and future-proof your degree decision!