Building a Successful Career As an Electrical Engineer

Electrical Engineers are in demand now more than ever, given the explosions in the areas of energy, information, health, and flight. In order to build a career as an exceptional engineer, a person needs the proper education, skills, and character traits to succeed.

Education

Electrical engineering degrees one can pursue are a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, a Master of Engineering or Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, or a Doctorate of Philosophy in Engineering.

Obtaining an accredited Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Degree requires a person to be accepted into a separate school of engineering. Undergraduate degrees are designed to take four years to complete with a full load of classes each semester.

Classes will be heavy in mathematics, physics, computer science, chemistry, statistics and basic engineering. According to Princeton University.

“If you enjoy these subjects, then you will find engineering a fascinating and rewarding field of study with many opportunities to solve key engineering problems. Sub areas within the discipline range from the exploration of information and its communication, through the physics of new materials and devices and the circuits made from them, to the algorithms that run on next generation computing platforms.”

Skills

An electrical engineer will need most or all of the following skills:

· Ability to use MathCAD, AutoCAD, Microsoft Office, and other computer engineering programs and write code using C or C++

· Proficiency with numerical analysis software: matlab, maple, mathmatica, etc.

· Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to work in a team environment

· Strong skills in mixed signal (analog and digital) circuit design, board layout, noise, grounding, and signal integrity issues

· Ability to use circuit simulation tools

· Ability to contribute to design reviews and design verification testing and related documentation

Specific skills in each industry where electrical engineers are employed will be necessary as well, and can vary greatly from one field to the next.

Character Traits

To be an exceptional engineer, a person needs certain character traits that lend well to the field. Employers seek electrical engineers with a desire to explore and solve problems with tenacity and determination. Knowing they have someone on the job who doesn’t give up is an asset to a company.

An engineer will also need a willingness to think outside the box and welcome the input of colleagues to the project at hand. A person who is able to work well with others and put their heads together to solve problems will be well respected within their field.

Having the ability to see the big picture and how their portion fits into the whole is very important, since an electrical engineer usually focuses on one part of a larger device or project. Finally, a person needs to be methodical and meticulous in recording test results, analysis, and design elements or much time can be lost redoing tests and procedures as well as searching for information.