Opinion on graduation degree

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by amano001, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. amano001

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 7, 2012
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    Hey all I had a few questions I wanted to pass by some of the more senior people in the field of engineering. I am a junior at my university and so far enjoy circuits mostly.

    First is I have the option to basically either graduate with an EE degree or CpE with almost the same type of classes for my last year. The only difference really is either 2 more embedded classes(CpE) or fields+wave/power (EE). I am just wondering is it going to make a huge difference in the work place when I go to apply for jobs? In my opinion CpE is more software oriented and EE more towards hardware. I tend to not like the programming so much and I have a minor in CS. But it seems the future is going towards a lot of embedded which is why I am a little afraid to go EE. The field I am mostly taking my classes in is the nano technology concentration which is electronics 1, 2, integrated circuits, nano fabrication. I do plan to get my masters just not sure what I will want to specialize in.

    Second is I have a choice to take communication signals which I was only taking to get into DSP but my adviser said that it would probably be a waste if I was not going to go further into antennas and the like. But I was interested in audio signals which is why I wanted to go more into DSP. Or I have the option of not doing those two above classes and just doing filter design.

    Thanks everyone I look forward to hearing everyone out. I just want to get more opinions then just one adviser.
     
  2. amano001

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 7, 2012
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    bump anyone =)?
     
  3. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
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    I got my degree in EE with an emphasis in Control/Robotics and Digital System design, but I am currently working as a Software Engineer.:p

    This is my opinion, but I think EE is a better major. Anyone with a background in EE can pick up semaphores and data structures, it's much harder to go the other way and learn about digital control systems and microelectronics.

    I think if you leaning more toward embedded system design, you need EE, if you want to do embedded programming... EE still, it is too versatile to pass up in my opinion. Efficiency of a system, be it power or timing requirements, is a valuable commodity and EE sets you up for both.

    CpE tends to be a little more abstracted from assembly and the low-level stuff that can make a huge difference in an embedded system. Though, I would absolutely recommend microprocessor classes, which are usually attributed to CpE.


    An aside: what school do you go to? My school had a similar program...
     
  4. amano001

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 7, 2012
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    Hey thanks for responding, I go to Florida International University in Miami. These are the two engineering flow charts they are basically the same and you can pick the same concentrations the only difference is a couple classes. It basically comes down to the title mostly and the 2-4 class difference between CpE and EE.

    Thanks!
     
  5. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
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    I see no flowcharts!:p
     
  6. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    My first reaction is take as many of them as you can. It almost sounds like you are planning to graduate with the exact number of credit hours needed and not credit more. But I'm having to read quite a bit into what you wrote to justify that hypothesis, so I might well be wrong.

    From what you have said, I would but the higher priority to the EE courses. Employers are generally willing and able to teach you (or give you the time to teach yourself) the code-monkey aspects of whatever embedded hardware they are working with. If can take an FPGA prototyping course or similar, that would probably be worthwhile. If you don't have a microcontroller course that is required in your EE curriculum, try to take that as well. With those in hand you will be well positioned to come up to speed on other hardware as needed. As already stated, the EE classes are generally much harder to come up to speed on if that becomes necessary, so you really want a solid foundation if you are planning/hoping to go anywhere near that field of engineering.
     
  7. amano001

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 7, 2012
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    Ah I Am sorry I guess they did not attach properly here are the flow charts with the concentrations that you pick from.

    And actually I have almost enough credits to graduate with dual degree in CpE and EE but I am trying to do an internship and do not want to take 15 hours for my last 3 semesters. I am the chair of my IEEE branch and want to do an internship plus working part time I dont have the time to finish with a dual degree therefore I have to choose.

    The course selection so far I have done is all of the data software concentration and half of the nano technology section. I really enjoy circuits and plan to finish nano technology. I just wanted to know if taking communication systems and DSP would be beneficial or will it be spreading to thin and I will not get enough out of the courses. I have already taken a couple of embedded system courses they are not really that great at my school even the professor says it himself. We are using the xilinix fpga board by the way, I feel if i just bought a board I could probably learn more on my own. For microcontrollers I have been using arduino to learn on by myself and just bought the TI Launchpad to try out. Also I am competing in the IEEE hardware competition so that will definitely help my microcontroller skills.

    I am definitely leaning towards EE just because I think taking the power classes will be helpful in getting a job anywhere. It is just with CpE I would gradute a semester early but I am not sure I want to be classified as more of a software guy if I go with CpE degree.

    Thanks guys.
     
  8. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I think you will be fine whichever route you go. The additional things you listed will go a long way to making employers look at you. Most employers like to see evidence that you do related techie things on your own and above-and-beyond the minimum requirements. So highlight those on your resume, in your cover letters, and in your interviews. Of course, as with all things, don't go overboard.
     
  9. amano001

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 7, 2012
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    So do you think it will be better then to go the EE route get an internship have one more semester to take my time and get some more information in before I graduate?

    I am just worried I have heard CpE majors end up getting pigeon holed into software engineering jobs and that is not really what I am after.

    Thanks.
     
  10. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
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    Those overlaps are huge!

    I would definitely recommend taking the Intro to Fields and Waves class, at least, if it's anything like my electromagnetics course was. That is, perhaps not as directly used in the field, but I found it quite enlightening, if even just to sooth my magnetism itch.

    As far as I can tell, I'd say go with whichever, at this point, they aren't too different. I would be more inclined toward the control systems classes, but that is only because I didn't really understand it coming out of my first class. It wasn't until I took my third controls class that I understood it...

    Make sure though, that you understand FPGAs, or programmable logic in general(VHDL/Verilog, timing diagrams, state minimizations, FSMs, etc.), microcontrollers/microprocessors(or both is better!), and at least a bit of programming preferrably object-oriented.

    If you can take those classes, or have taken them already, and understand them, you should be pretty well set.
     
  11. amano001

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 7, 2012
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    Yes, basically all you have to take to get dual degree is something like 40 more credit hours.
     
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