Electrical Engineering?!?!?!?!?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andrew S, Feb 22, 2002.

  1. Andrew S

    Andrew S Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm a grade 10 student thinking about career choices for the future. I have the highest average in my class and am strong in math and I'm looking into electrical engineering. Does anyone out there have any Pro's and Con's for me? Also, do any canadians have any advice regarding becoming an electrical engineer in Ontario (Schools, programs, etc.)

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You didn't say what your interests are and that can affect your choice of engineering disciplines. I actually started out as a computer engineer but didn't find the electronics and programming very enticing and switched to mechanical (where I ended up working for one of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturers, who knew [​IMG] ).
    All of the engineering disciplines tend to be fairly stable. However, the sparky's (EE) tend to be an extra popular discipline which can make jobs more competitive. Also, since it is a more specialized discipline it may not be as portable as other degrees. However, if you really like electronics and computers then it is definitely the way to go. Word of advice, if you go for a EE pick up a second language (preferably Japanese, Chinese, or German). That will probably open a few extra doors when you graduate.
    Kenneth
     
  3. Marshall Alsup

    Marshall Alsup Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well I'm about to graduate in CS and I have a bunch of EE friends. We all learn our stuff in the same buildings on campus. I think if computers and electrical engineering interest you than you cant go wrong getting an EE degree. I've attended two jobfairs this year and have yet to get a job. It seemed like all the companies that attended were after EEs only. This shows that even in this crappy job environment that EEs are still very much in demand. I considered EE at the beginning, but I just love to program so I went CS. Well, heres hoping things turn around!

    Good Luck,

    Marshall
     
  4. Andrew S

    Andrew S Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you very much for the info so far...
    And I suppose it might be a good idea to post my interests [​IMG]
    I obviously like home theater, wiring my cheapo speakers and playing around with placement, etc... I'm interested in how things work, when I was little I used to take flashlights apart. Oh, and if I had the money, I would DEFINITELY make my own DIY subwoofer and speakers. Playing around to see what driver and what enclosure work best together is something that I'd probably enjoy a lot. I'm just assuming that I'd like speaker building since I haven't tried it yet, but I'm almost positive I would.
    I remember one time I saw a circuit for an IR Repeater on the internet and always wanted to know how to make cool little things like that...
    Anyway, I've rambled enough...
    Any other pieces of information would be very much appreciated...
    Thanks
     
  5. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    1,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    Greg
     
  6. ryan_x

    ryan_x Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2001
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you want to get into electrical engineering and you have good enough grades I reccomend you try to get into the University of Waterloo...they probably have the best engineering program in Canada...it has co-op as well...my brother went their for chemical engineering...I even read a statistic that Microsoft hires more engineers from that school than from anywhere in North America...for some reason americans hold a Canadian degree in higher light than from american universities...except for the big ivey league schools like harvard
     
  7. Mark Schermerhorn

    Mark Schermerhorn Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2000
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Andrew, I agree with Greg. A EE degree is very broad and there are a lot of options when you gradaute, including (beyond engineering work) sales, marketing, and management if you decide that's your thing. Tech companies often prefer people with tech backrounds for those positions because that knowledge is necessary in order to market and sell those kinds of products.

    I received an EE degree in May of 2000. The opportunities right now (and most of the time I think) are better in EE than in CS. The other thing about EE is that you can move into programming very easily, whereas a CS person can't move into circuit or chip design without tons of work (and companies almost never support that kind of move). Also many employers prefer EE's for certain programming jobs, especially low level coding like firmware.

     
  8. ryan_x

    ryan_x Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2001
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    sorry Mark...i didnt explain myself very well...I was just trying to make a general statement...there are tons of non-ivy league and even non-MIT type schools, that are excelent...but I think its just the fact that their is just so many universities down in the states...that it makes it to easy for someone to get a degree from a no-name university...like one morning I was listening to Howard Stern and some girl was on who said said she had just graduated with Bcomm degree...yet she didnt even know what the square root of 16 was!
     
  9. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2000
    Messages:
    3,971
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Most of the communications engineers where I work were EE's. I think you may find that that remains a popular field and a wonderful career choice.

    But he's right. All the engineering fields are pretty good.
     
  10. Alex-C

    Alex-C Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,238
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm a civil engineer and the options are wide open and there are always always plenty of jobs to be had. Engineering in general is an excellent field to be in if you are up for it/like it.
    said another way....if you can deal with the nerds, the money is great.
     
  11. Andrew S

    Andrew S Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks again to everyone who responded. I knew this would be the place to ask. Right now my options are still pretty open, I still have high school to complete, so my strategy right now is just to get the best math credits I can because I'm pretty sure I will at least pursue some kind of engineering (I know math isn't everything, but I'm just assuming). Does anyone have any idea what kind of demand there will might be for EE's in the future, specifically in Ontario? Today my class went to a local college for a "Trades Fair", where they talked about how students would spend big money on their university degree to find there is no work, while plumbers and stone masons (just learned what a "mason" was today [​IMG]) spend much less and are making the big bucks. I just want to make sure that this won't be the case for me.
    But hey, I'm still just some young "hooligan" with lots of time to think, for now anyway.
    Thanks Again,
     
  12. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 1999
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Civil engineering rules!!! Oops, I am biased since I am one. :b

    I agree that Canadian universities that offer co-operative programs should be highly considered. Typically, these co-op programs require one to maintain very good grades. About 10 years ago, at University of BC, most co-op students were either mechanical or EE/CE.

    Prospective engineering students should be very strong in both math and physics while in high school. Computer science or proficiency in computers is very helpful or required (depending on the field of engineering).

    As for which schools, I believe that the University of Waterloo and Queen's are both very highly regarded. Years ago, I liked the engineering program at McMaster since one option/requirement included business management courses (not sure if it was a true MBA or not).

    Dave
     
  13. Paul Jenkins

    Paul Jenkins Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2000
    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  14. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  15. Rob_J

    Rob_J Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Andrew, not sure if they offer an electronics course at your highschool or not, but if they do, I'd recommend taking it so you learn the basics and see if that stuff is what you will like to do in the future. I took such a class when I was in grade 10 and I really liked it. It won't teach you exactly how to design things such as an IR repeater, but it will give you enough background info on how it works, how to build it and what some of the limitations are of electrical circuits.
    As for what school to go to, just about any Canadian university engineering program will do, as they are all accredited by the same board and must meet the same academic requirments. True, there are more elite schools than others, but from my experience, the "teaching" in these schools is not always better than the less elite schools. I figure this is because the professors are there to do research, rather than teach and end up neglecting students. Of course, there are always some good professors anywhere you go.
    One word of advice in today's economy (probably won't matter by the time you get your degree) but staying general is a good idea. I've been in high tech, and it's not that fun when they start cutting back. Fortunately for me, I'm now designing control systems for machines working in nulear reactors--completely different industry, same engineering knowledge required.
    All in all, you can't go wrong being an EE, just make sure you want to put yourself through the "pain" of getting the degree. [​IMG]
     
  16. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    EE is the best discipline in the world! Well, at least it allows you to pretend to know what you are talking about in the hardware forum [​IMG]
    Seriously, if you like it, it is a very fulfilling field with plenty of opporunities to branch out should you want to do something else afterwards. The degree and the profession carries a lot of respect with it - saying "I am an Electrical Engineer" and seeing the impressed look on people's face hasn't gotten old yet [​IMG]. But then I have been working a grand total of 4 weeks so...
    While I would say most of EE is specialised, I am lucky to be working in a position where I get to do everything: From high voltage stuff like elevator motors to microcontroller based door operators etc... Also, I deal with both old technology (relay based controllers) and new stuff... I am a jack of all trades, in making, so to speak... and master of all! You have to be, with my boss...
    So far I am liking it, desiging circuits and systems can be frustrating but when you are done, the satisfaction of seeing your creation work is unparalleled.
    So go for it!
    --
    Holadem - I will be back later with the negative stuff, there is some...
     
  17. John Miles

    John Miles Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2000
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  18. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2000
    Messages:
    2,149
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Andrew, Currently I am going to school for an EE degree at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. One of the biggest selling points for myself in attending Drexel was their Co-op program.
    It will take me five years to get my degree, but in that time you will work a minimum of 18 months, and if you find decent positions, in that time you will make as much or more then an EE just coming out their first year, plus possibly have three job experiences on your resume. (It also helps me support my electronic habits, and I by no means consider myself poor compared to other friends at schools that do not have co-op programs).
    There is so much you can do as an EE. So far both of the jobs I have had were related to process automation. Before I went to college I had no idea what a DCS (Distributed Control System) or PLC(Programmable Logic Controller) was, but now I have a very good knowledge of programming and maintenance on various platforms (GE,AB,ABB), and think this may be something I want to do in the future.
    As for school work in high school, I would recommend taking the highest math classes your school offers (Calculus for sure) and maybe look into seeing if your local college offers classes. Depending where you attend, you will probably end up taking 6-8 advanced math classes, not to mention the math that is used throughout your various EE classes. Physics is also big (2-5 classes), so make sure you have a good foundation from high school. You will also have to take Bio and Chem in college so get good exposure to these in HS.
    If you have any more questions about EE, college, or anything in general thats on your mind, feel free to post here or shoot me an e-mail: [email protected] I will try to to answer what I can, or point you towards the proper sources.
    J
     

Share This Page