Electrical engineers apply specialized engineering skills to the design, manufacture, application, installation, and operation of electrical products and systems. Almost everything we use and rely on in our everyday life has an electrical component: from the computer we use at work, to the television we watch and the cell phone we use to keep in touch — everything relies on electricity, electronics, and computer chips or programming. Electrical technology can be combined with other fields of engineering; for example, it might be combined with mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering to design an artificial limb for an accident victim. Electrical engineering offers a broad range of research options in areas such as systems control, electromagnetics, photonics, electronics, and power systems and devices.
Computer engineers are members of the engineering profession who specifically develop solutions for the growing computer industry. This is one of the newer disciplines of engineering, and has its roots in both electrical engineering and computer science. However, computer science differs from computer engineering as the former is primarily concerned with the programming side of computers. Computer engineers study the hardware, software, and systems of computers. They learn computer architecture and work in every sector of society and industry. They can design the control system for an automated production line in industry, create software for digital telephone switching systems, plan and supervise the installation of a Local Area Computer Network (LAN), or develop a new operation system for a client with specific needs — to list just a few of the jobs they might do.
Careers in Electrical and Computer Engineering
The demand for both electrical and computer engineers is very strong and promises to be so for many years to come. Electrical engineers are needed in a wide variety of industries, especially in the communication sector. Computer engineers often work in the software engineering and hardware engineering industries, but almost every industry has a computer component. No business, industry, government department, university, or organization could survive without a computer system. There are also plenty of opportunities to work as a consultant.
Most universities offer bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees in computer science, from within their departments of Mathematics, Science, or Engineering. Computer scientists can be found in most industries, as well as government agencies, universities, and research labs around the world. Among the many possibilities are the exciting fields of space exploration, electronics, telecommunications, financial trading, medicine, and electro-optic systems. A computer science major may be employed as a programmer, a systems analyst, a network analyst, a project manager, a database analyst, an Internet security analyst, and in many other capacities.
Computer scientists are needed to design new operating systems, more efficient algorithms, better encryption schemes, faster compilers, more efficient databases, and more effective applications. They are also a crucial part of every other engineering field.
See also: Computer Science
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