If you want to become an engineering student, electrical engineering is one discipline you might consider studying. With the world powered by technology more than ever before, the need for well-educated, skilled contemporary electric engineers is rising. But how do you know if this is the right career path for you? Electrical engineering students can become professionals who work on everything from cars and airplanes to the latest cellphones and computers.
What Do You Need to Become an Electrical Engineer?
The basic requirement is a four-year bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a similar field. It’s best to choose a program that specializes in electronics so you learn all of the crucial skills and knowledge you’ll need to find work. An undergraduate degree is a mandatory requirement, so you will have to start looking for good programs now if you want to find a job within the next five years.
Paying for an engineering degree can be intimidating; as an in-demand field, there are hundreds of different options at your disposal. Whether you decide to study locally or get accepted to a top university, the cost of a degree can lead to mounting student debt for decades. The good news is that by planning ahead, you’ll be less likely to wind up struggling to pay back tuition later on down the road.
Private student loans are one of the best ways to finance your college education. You can pay for your engineering degree on your own terms, carefully reviewing each loan and its terms offered to you beforehand. The added flexibility of being able to add a cosigner, lower interest rates and consolidation in the future can give you a greater sense of control in your education and finances.
Who Makes a Good Electrical Engineer?
You might enjoy a career in this field if:
- You have a strong interest in electronics and how they work.
- You’re a critical thinker who enjoys solving problems and testing different solutions.
- You are good at (or willing to learn) science and math.
- Technology excites you, and you want to be a part of its progression.
In addition to the core knowledge you’ll acquire through your studies, you will also need to build hard and soft skills to excel in the field. The most employable and important skills for an electrical engineer to have include:
- Problem-solving skills and tenacity.
- Organization and time management.
- Self-discipline and motivation.
- Passion for continued learning.
- Strong numeracy and the ability to translate data into oral and written communication.
If math is not a strong level of expertise for you, don’t worry. As long as you’re willing to work hard and put in the work, you can learn the skills you need to succeed in the field. It’s helpful to assess your current mathematical abilities now so you can sign up for tutoring or remedial lessons prior to starting your coursework. Studying for your degree before you even start a program is also a good way to determine whether this is truly the right major for you. Sometimes, a discipline is appealing as a concept, but the reality of it isn’t a good fit. Don’t be afraid to explore and see what truly speaks to you.
Many people who start off as engineers go on to work in electrical management or teaching. This gives you an opportunity to combine your knowledge and expertise to help others achieve. Working in management means you’ll lead a team of engineers and collaborate with other project managers to bring ideas to life. This could be in any sector, and you may decide to pursue your master’s if the idea of becoming a manager interests you. It’s helpful to look at job listings and see whether any of the posts appeal to you. Real-world research is always going to give you the most accurate depiction of what your career will look like if you decide to become an electrical engineer.