Talented electrical engineers are highly sought by firms in many different industries to develop electrical equipment, systems, and programs that can efficiently solve a variety of problems. While you can obtain many professional roles within electrical engineering with just a bachelor’s degree, additional education opens the door to advanced career opportunities with deeper responsibility and better salaries and benefits. Engineering professionals interested in career progress should learn about how earning a master of science in electrical engineering will enhance their professional skill set and industry knowledge.
Industries That Employ Electrical Engineers
Electrical engineers have a unique understanding of electronic devices and how to optimize them. This knowledge makes them essential to the operations of industries that rely heavily on electronic devices. Such industries include:
- Automotive – In this industry, electrical engineers are responsible for designing, inspecting, and repairing the electrical components used in automobiles. They may also maintain the equipment used to produce the cars.
- Information Technology – Electrical engineers improve information and communications technology by developing micro- and nano-electronic components that connect organizations and enhance their ability to communicate with one another.
- Manufacturing – Before releasing electronic products, manufacturers need electrical engineers to test them for faults. Electrical engineers are key to manufacturing processes including controls, robots, and machine vision systems.
- Energy – Because electrical engineers deeply understand the process of generating, transmitting, distributing, and applying electrical energy, energy companies often hire them to design, implement, and maintain energy systems. For example, an electrical engineer could be employed by an energy company to identify the best way to convert a renewable energy source, such as sunlight, into electrical energy that can be used commercially.
- Transportation – Jobs in this field will mostly revolve around managing the electric systems that allow transportation networks to run smoothly. This role involves tending to indoor/outdoor road lighting as well as the electrical systems found within toll plazas, maintenance stations, truck weight/inspection stations, and transportation tunnels.
- Construction – An electrical engineer has the skills needed to design, test, install, and maintain large-scale electrical systems—such as lighting, heating, or ventilation systems—for commercial construction projects.
Career Opportunities for Advanced Electrical Engineers
Although electrical engineers can work in many fields, an engineer with just a bachelor’s degree might only have exposure to the basic fundamentals of physics, mathematics, and engineering. This limited knowledge restricts the scope of positions for which they qualify. To improve prospects, engineering professionals must pursue a master’s level electrical engineering program. In such a program, they’ll be exposed to advanced engineering concepts and theories, enabling them to concentrate within a specific field of electrical engineering. These are some of the specializations available to master’s level electrical engineering graduates:
Communication Theory and Systems
While the concepts that are most prominent in communication theory are largely abstract, a master’s degree program will help prepare an electrical engineer to apply them to real-world situations. Students will learn how to identify and analyze different types of signals, in order to design digital communication systems that are resistant to errors. They’ll also learn about modulation, a family of techniques used to transmit information using signals that are coded at various phases, frequencies, and amplitudes. With this expertise, graduates become more desirable candidates for advanced engineering roles that include signal processing responsibilities.
In advanced computer architecture coursework, students learn how to design and build advanced computing systems. The curriculum also teaches how to design and test various hardware and software that is used in computing, such as integrated circuits, embedded systems, network infrastructure, and operating systems.
Computer engineering is a subset of electrical engineering that focuses on creating the hardware components used in computers. Master’s level coursework usually offers engineers a more in-depth understanding of the often complex systems that run computers, such as circuits, computing chips, microcontrollers, and other micro/nano-electronics.
Very Large Scale Integration Design
Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Design is the process of producing a single chip that includes thousands (or millions) of transistors, thereby creating an integrated circuit with the capacity to perform digital tasks at increasing efficiencies. By advancing their knowledge in this area of electronics, engineering professionals can learn how to improve the devices they design by accelerating their operating speeds, lowering their energy cost, making them more reliable, and decreasing the physical space they occupy without sacrificing their power.
Electrical engineers are also integral to managing the process of converting electrical energy into other forms. This process is defined as power electronics. Through a master of science in electrical engineering program, engineers can enhance their ability to optimize this process, enabling cleaner, more efficient energy conversions.
Partly due to the world’s increasing demand for electronic products, the number of careers available in the field of electrical engineering is expected to grow steadily at a rate of 7 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. With this in mind, taking the first step towards earning a master of science in electrical engineering degree can be an ideal opportunity for you to advance professional skills and accelerate progress towards excelling in a specialized area of electrical engineering.
Learn More at Ohio University
At the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, graduates of the online Master of Science in Electrical Engineering program are equipped with the skills to research, design, develop, and test new technologies and industry applications — and to position themselves as leaders.