Job Market Strong, Diverse for Electrical Engineers with Updated Skills
18 July 1995
he employment picture for experts in electrical engineering who keep their technical skills current should remain strong, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics' outlooks. And consumer, business and government demand for electrical and electronic goods should continue, says Steven Chin, assistant dean in The Catholic University of America's School of Engineering.
Electric power-generating and transmission plants and companies dependent on interactive computer networks require employees with sophisticated knowledge of electronics. Increasing research and development of computers, robots and other types of automated equipment should account for much projected job growth, Chin says.
Electrical engineers design, produce, operate and maintain modern society's networks of electrical and electronic equipment and services. Appliances controlled by computers, assembly lines powered by robots, TV news transmitted by satellites, images zapped over transcontinental computer networks - these technological advances we sometimes take for granted owe much of their success to electrical engineers, says Chin.
Multimedia learning systems, virtual reality devices, aviation and telecommunications equipment, microwave systems and biomedical instruments all depend on electrical engineering concepts, he says. A recent Catholic University graduate works with the Federal Aviation Administration supporting black boxes, the containers that hold vital flight records used to determine the cause of plane crashes.
In addition to designing and testing computer hardware, people with electrical engineering degrees are ideal candidates for technical support positions on sales staffs of software development firms, Chin adds.
Graduates also find careers as high-technology and patent lawyers and researchers, Chin says. One former student researches and makes recommendations on patents for electrical heating equipment.
Who should major in electrical engineering? Students talented in math and science who enjoy the hands-on experience of applying physics concepts to solve problems will find the field rewarding, Chin says.
Catholic University's School of Engineering offers degree programs in biomedical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. Electrical engineering majors can concentrate in communication and information engineering, a program that includes summer internships.
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