Not sure which second major to choose?

Discussion in 'Career Advising' started by deki, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. deki

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 6, 2011
    23
    0
    So I'm entering my 3rd year of an Electrical Engineering degree and we're required to choose a second major from the following:
    1. Control Systems
    2. Power and Energy Systems
    3. Signal Processing
    4. Telecommunications

    And I'm unsure which one to go for because I have interests in all fields! I'm fascinated by electric motors, generating electricity and developing methods to transmit that energy wirelessly, but I'm also interested in transmitting and receiving data. I'm also drawn to the hardware aspect that Control Systems would offer, since I would like to focus my future career in the hardware/electronics side of things and somehow combine it with telecom/signal processing, but also include generating electricity in that too...crazy I know :rolleyes:

    I know that going with 2. will definitely guarantee me a job in Australia and anywhere else in the (Western) world. But from what I know, this type of role seems to be more of an office work based job? Since the power plants are usually so far from the major cities. I'd rather have an even combination of practical and office type work. I think I'd prefer to work in a research type of company/institution with regards to this discipline then.

    I know that I can combine at most, two of the disciplines/majors in my future career, so I can narrow it down that way. I've looked through the course structure for each major and their electives, and I've seen that a lot of the electives cross over into all the other majors so I can still broaden my scope that way.

    Right now I'm leaning towards either Control Systems or Telecommunications. Anyone care to offer some advice? What it's like in the industry and such?
     
  2. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    6,357
    718
    4 will often cover/overlap a lot with #3

    With your desires, control theory would be a better fit and offer the most opportunities post college. Lots of people need PLC systems designed/upgraded/fixed.

    This is assuming you already plan on the second option, and want to pick two.
     
  3. jimkeith

    Active Member

    Oct 26, 2011
    539
    99
    I would suggest Robotics which would probably be covered best by control systems--that will be the wave of the future.
     
  4. deki

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 6, 2011
    23
    0
    Thanks fellas!
     
  5. jakegwood

    New Member

    Apr 13, 2011
    29
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    For what it's worth, I've heard a lot of people who market themselves as telecom experts losing their jobs overseas. Regardless of what the overlaps are and what each field entails, that seems to be the psychology. For that reason, I would avoid telecom for that reason. Other than that I know a handful of people in Signal Processing jobs who really enjoy their work.
     
  6. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
    1,584
    435
    Telcom never went out of business,they changed the name.They were

    doing most of the governments work,too big to fail.The government

    agengies had to communicate. A lot of people lost every thing,but the

    government had to keep communicating,that the new world we live in.
     
  7. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    Hate to disagree, but long distance telecom as we know it is gone. It was absorbed by the internet. I worked 24 years with Rockwell (Collins Division), and then Alcatel. Alcatel survives, but not in the USA manufacturing telecom stuff, which was all internet related equipment. The .com bust killed that division, and hurt a lot of other companies that were in the field.

    Collins Radio, before it was bought by Rockwell, used to make anything radio related. When I joined the company they made AM/FM commercial broadcast transmitters, HAM equipment, long distance telephone, government radios, that sort of stuff. The HAM gear was considered top of the line long after the company disappeared.

    Basically fiber optics has taken over most of the functions that were done with racks of microwave equipment. Most of the legacy equipment, such as satellites, have gone digital and now support the internet. The fibers carrying the information (as in internet) stay the same, but the equipment keeps improving and getting faster and faster. When I was pushed out the fibers that started by carrying a couple hundred megabytes of data were carrying 40 channels of 40 gigabytes each, and that was over 10 years ago.

    It was a good living while it lasted, and I miss it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
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