Electrical Engineering Specialization

Discussion in 'Career Advising' started by sportguy98, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. sportguy98

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Fellow electrical engineers, I need some advice/opinions.

    Not sure which specialization I should go into... Which is one is the best paid? more jobs available? etc.

    My 4 choices are:

    1- Electronics/VLSI Option
    2- Power and Renewable Energy Option
    3- Telecommunications Option
    4- Avionics and Control Option

    Mostly hesitating between #1 and #2.

    Thanks for the input :)
  2. WBahn


    Mar 31, 2012
    Don't make your career decision based on which one is best paid or which one has more jobs available. While you can't ignore those completely, your decision should be driven by which of the four areas interests you the most. That will be your key to financial success because if you go into an area that strongly interests you, you will be much more willing and likely to put in the time and effort to become very good at it and that is what will open the doors to good paying jobs in the long run.
    Metalmann likes this.
  3. sportguy98

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    I agree entirely... #1 and #2 really seem the most interesting to me and that's why I wanted to get some feedback on both of these.

    Thanks for the input.
  4. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    Ditto. Find your passion and the rest will take care of itself. Also, your long run success will depend more on YOU and less on your chosen field.

    On the other hand, I have a niece that wants to study library science. I may be wrong, but it's hard to imagine that as a vibrant and growing industry.
  5. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    Do you like the outdoors in all seasons? The answer to that may provide you additional guidance.
  6. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    Maybe she can study TV/VCR repair if the librarian thing doesn't work out.
  7. sportguy98

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Don't mind it in summer or hot temperatures, but in cold weather forget it.
  8. WBahn


    Mar 31, 2012
    Take note of the next sentence: "While you can't ignore those completely...."

    In particular, people should look at the potential job market and the wage scale -- both starting and five to ten years in -- and use that as a guide to deciding not so much which field they choose, but how much is reasonable to spend on pursuing the necessary education. Especially if they are taking out student loans to finance it.

    Way too many people get themselves ~$100k in debt getting degrees that, even if they get one of the few jobs in that field, are heading into $30k starting salaries with little likelihood of significantly increasing that.

    The nice thing about engineering is that decent starting salaries are to be had in most fields most of the time (certainly no guarantee). Also, engineering degrees are quite versatile so you aren't locked into whatever specialization you initially chose.
    djsfantasi and GopherT like this.
  9. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
    I'd like to emphasize what WBahn said. I was in college studying Applied Mathematics when I discovered an aptitude for computers. So that's the direction I followed. But my passion was more creative - the arts. So after many years, my job became less satisfying.

    When it was time for my first born to go to college, I prompted him to follow his passion. Now with large school bills, he isn't working in his passion - music.

    So be very thoughtful. You must balance passion and practicality.

    Good luck!
  10. crutschow


    Mar 14, 2008
    With #1 you would more likely be working extensively with a computer to do circuit design or IC circuit layout. Not likely working so much with hardware.

    With #2 you would more likely be working on both electronic circuit design and electronic hardware design.

    So your choice, between those two, somewhat depends on how hardware oriented you are.
  11. ramancini8


    Jul 18, 2012
    With #1 you will have constant competition from low paid immigrant or H1B engineers, and the routine work is shipped offshore. Much IC design is done offshore and the amount done in the US is decreasing. But for now it can be a lucrative field if you are willing to be cooped up with a work station all day long. But, peripheral jobs like sales, applications, field apps, field engineer, etc. do exist, and often at higher salaries.

    #2 leads to mountains of paper work rather than hands on work. My son works for a major power company, and he hasn't seen hardware in years. Here, you start with a component and work your way up. Be careful to select the correct company/industry. Most renewable energy options are not and never will be cost effective, so the companies tend to be short lived. Again, field work tends to be more hands on.