What is the best branch for electrical engineering

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by KenG732, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. KenG732

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 3, 2016
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    I am a student still in middle school 8th grade. But I believe that I want to become a electrical engineer. I have seen many branches off of electrical engineering. So I ask what is the best electrical engineering branch?
     
  2. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    What are some of the things you like to do? Do you like to take things apart and fix them? Do you like computers? Perhaps control things with computers? What do you picture yourself doing in electronics??
     
  3. Sonoran Desert Tortoise

    Member

    Oct 30, 2014
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    Excellent question for an 8th grader. My answer would be, the one you enjoy most. There is no best. The branches are formed over time because many sub-specialties within electrical engineering (or any technology) are needed. One person cannot be a specialist in all. So, if it is going to be your job that you have to go to every day, the best thing you can do is find a segment that you enjoy.

    Now, there is no assurance that you will actually find a job in exactly what you want to do - don't set your target too specific. Don't decide today that you want to program Software for medical devices at a company in central Mississippi. Anyhow, whether you want to design motors or magnets or robots or medical devices, you decide. Also, you can design, manage manufacturing, manage quality, do tech service at customer locations to repair, calibrate or even sell devices. It is all part of engineering.

    Good luck.
     
  4. KenG732

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 3, 2016
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    Well I kind of picture my self doing big construction electrical engineering. And I also like to build some things time to time like a oxyhydrogen generator.
     
  5. KenG732

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 3, 2016
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    Thank you. What ever I decide to do in school for the future I will still try to become some sort of electrical engineer. I do hope I get something that I really like.
     
  6. Sonoran Desert Tortoise

    Member

    Oct 30, 2014
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    Also,the more you learn, the more things you will discover that are interesting. When I was a kid, I saw a repairman fixing one of the first ATMs in my city. I there was an armed guard watching the people walking buy. I thought it was really cool. It wasn't long before I thought something else would be cool. You're in 8th grade. I commend you for thinking about it but, hey, there is plenty of time. Also, you may do one thing for a few years, another fore 5 years and still another later on. Who knows.
     
  7. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
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    Not only do you have plenty of time to decide, you may make a number of large career changes over the course of your working life. It sounds like you know the general direction, you can zero in as you learn more in your field and then take advantage of the appropriate opportunities as they appear.
     
  8. Sonoran Desert Tortoise

    Member

    Oct 30, 2014
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    Yup,

    One friend just quit a job at Siemens after 20 years and then he opened a drive-up coffee kiosk. He was so fed-up with electrical engineering, he hired someone to set up his cash register and security system.
     
  9. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
    3,234
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    You're young and your interests will likely change many times before you graduate from high school.

    My youngest Child is going to start college next year (she'll graduate high school with an AA degree), and the last college we visited said it isn't uncommon for college students to change their majors many times; or to be undecided for a couple years. Both of my Children have changed their career choice once.

    I wanted to be an electrician when I was 8. When I was in high school, it changed to electrical engineer. I got an EE degree and ended up doing software and process technology for most of my career.
     
  10. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I also commend you on asking this type of question at your age.

    There's no "best" branch because the very concept of "best" depends on what you consider important (and what you consider important today is virtually guaranteed to be different than what you will consider important five, ten, and twenty years from now, but that's fine -- that's just life).

    As you go along for the next roughly five years focus on figuring out what the most important things are to you when considering various branches. Here are some examples:

    1) How much do you love it?
    2) How hard is it to get a job in it?
    3) How well does it pay if you do get a job?
    4) How much education do you need to work in it?
    5) How stable are the jobs in it?
    6) How quickly can you advance in it?
    7) How much travel is expected in it?

    At this stage, I would recommend focusing on the first three or perhaps four. The top one is, in my opinion, the most important one because if you go into a field that is easy to get a good paying job, you have to remember that even if you don't love the field you are in, you will always be competing against people that do. On the other hand, if you pick a field you love, you will probably enjoy putting in the effort it takes to become very good at it and so will be quite competitive and may make good money even if the field has an overall reputation for being hard to get a good paying job in.

    Beyond that, whatever branch of electrical (or another other) engineering field you choose, accept that the cornerstone to doing well is to get a very solid education in math and science (and also English). Above all, remember that at the end of the day engineering is about problem solving -- that is the skill that you will bring to the table that makes you valuable. People will be willing to pay you well if you can solve their problems for them. So if you don't enjoy solving problems (particularly "word problems"), then think carefully about whether engineering is really right for you.
     
    Roderick Young and Sinus23 like this.
  11. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    @WBahn Congrats on your 15,000th post!

    Now back to our regularly scheduled program...
     
  12. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Thanks! Okay, break's over!
     
  13. KenG732

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 3, 2016
    4
    1
    Thank you for all your replys but from what I said. What would you guys suggest as a branch for me?
     
  14. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    Mehatronics
     
  15. PeterCoxSmith

    Member

    Feb 23, 2015
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    ...you might like to look a High Voltage DC distribution of electrical power, there are many big challenges involved and it is modern.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current
     
  16. MrSoftware

    Member

    Oct 29, 2013
    497
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    Get some intern type jobs. Try different places. This will give you exposure to what the jobs are really like. You've got time, your interests may change as you learn new things. Good luck!
     
  17. Sonoran Desert Tortoise

    Member

    Oct 30, 2014
    53
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    What kind of person are you?
    - Indoor guy or outdoor?
    - Desk job or moving around job.
    - Do you prefer the same thing every day or something different every day?
    - In charge kind of guy (managing people/processes) or Doing kind of guy (working with equipment and designs)?

    Rank the following from favorite (1) to least favorite (6)...
    - Negotiating and debating?
    - Helpful and teaching?
    - Fixing and problem solving?
    - Designing and building?
    - Optimizing and improving?
    - Following rules and procedures?
     
  18. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    That depends greatly on your interests and abilities. EE theory depends heavily on the sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry); make sure you enjoy those subjects before deciding on a career built upon them.

    Keep up with new electrical engineering topics and pursue any you're interested in, but understand that the problems that need solving after you get your degree will most likely be different than the problems that need to be solved now. There is a possibility that you'll discover a solution to a difficult problem; in the near future, sometime in the distant future, or never. No one can predict that.

    You may think you know what you want your career to be, but life has a way of throwing obstacles in your path.

    Formal education is just the beginning of your learning. Most of what I worked on in my career wasn't taught when I was in college. I believe "breakthroughs" in a number of areas I worked in won't be taught as regular college curriculum for years. The books haven't been written yet and won't be until the problems are solved.
     
  19. hp1729

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2015
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    Ah, come on guys. Are those the answers you were looking for in your early years? Yes, congrats on looking towards the future. I started formal electronics in the 9th grade and only regret not completing my education.

    Are there any fields y'all think may be less or more active in the future?
    Robotics, I think, will have a big future. Drones. Microelectronics.
    Communications I think will be a Chinese business in the ten years he will be hitting the market. Same with computers and systems..Programming? No.
    Military? Yes. Weapons development will continue as particle bean weapons develop.
    Does theoretical physics attract you? Superconductors? Wafer scale technology where the whole wafer is one system?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  20. hp1729

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2015
    1,939
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    Try to get subscribed to magazines in the areas that interest you. Get active in the fields where possible. If you are interested in robotics get into robotics programs in your high school. The contacts you will make at the contests can have a serious influence on your future.
    Who you know, and who knows you, can have a profound influence. Be that kid that brings the hacked clock to school. :)
    Don't just be another kid with an education. There are too many in that crowd for talent to stand out. Have something more to put on your resume than just your education.
     
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