Electrical engineering is a challenging area, requiring a lot of abstract thinking and mathematical skill. Unlike some other areas within engineering, it is not easy to see exactly what you’re working with. For example, a civil engineer can look at a bridge they’re constructing, but an electrical engineer can’t see a wireless signal. 

What will I be dealing with? 

Electrical engineering addresses problems, physical phenomena and techniques that lie beyond the everyday experience of most people. However, these features have given rise to many technological innovations we now take for granted. These include: 

  • micro-electronics 
  • wireless 
  • wired and optical communications 
  • generation, transmission, conversion and conservation of electric power 
  • micro-electromechanical systems 
  • sensors 
  • transducers 
  • embedded devices. 

Electrical engineering is also the study of signals, including multimedia signals. It’s the central discipline that deals with the robust control of systems, from micro-machines to large industrial plants and beyond. 

What skills do I need? 

Successful electrical engineers need to be able to grasp mathematical concepts. They actively pursue challenges, love to solve problems and have a passion for designing products that can impact very large numbers of people. If you want to be at the forefront of developing new technologies, this could be the field for you. 

It’s worth noting that computer science is closely related to electrical engineering; in fact, computer science grew out of electrical engineering. The two disciplines are often found within a single school in many engineering faculties around the world. If you have a knack for programming, you may find a degree in electrical engineering – or a double degree – is the right choice.