What You Should Know About This Degree
Electrical engineers must be adept at mathematics, problem-solving, critical thinking, and attention to detail. Individuals with backgrounds in physics, algebra, trigonometry, calculus and technical drawing are best suited for careers in electrical engineering.
While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum level of education required for most electrical engineering jobs, employers also seek individuals who have some hands-on experience. Often students gain this experience in internships or other experiential learning components of their degree program. Even if you are planning on completing an online degree, it may be beneficial to find one that will give you the opportunity to get some real-world experience.
Entry-level electrical engineering jobs don’t require any credentials or licenses, but in order to move into higher level or leadership positions, you will likely need a Professional Engineering (PE) license. PE licenses are awarded at the state level, and each state sets its own standards for licensure, although they typically include a degree from an ABET-accredited program, supervised work experience, and the successful completion of exams.
Although the overall job outlook for electrical engineers is good, certain areas within the field, particularly electronics engineering, are expected to lose jobs to outsourcing and automation in the coming decade.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Electrical Engineering programs:
- Does this program offer the specialization that I want? There are various areas of focus within electrical engineering, such as aerospace, computer science, biomedical, and power electronics. Many programs will allow students to specialize through electives or certificates. If you are considering a specialization, be sure to select a program that offers that option.
- Am I eligible for this program? This is primarily a consideration for master’s-level students, as advanced degree programs typically seek students who have an undergraduate degree or coursework in electrical engineering, or a related field. They may also want applicants with professional experience in the field. Some programs will accept students who don’t meet all the eligibility requirements, and allow them to fulfill courses through a bridge curriculum.
You should also review the program’s application procedures and deadlines. Gathering your application materials and submitting them well ahead of the application deadline will help your admissions process go smoothly.
Financing your electrical engineering degree is also an important consideration. Start researching funding options, including federal financial aid, scholarships, assistantships, and tuition assistance from your employer, if you are currently working.