EE career questions and advice.

Discussion in 'Career Advising' started by Cozykillacarmine, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Cozykillacarmine

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 22, 2017
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    Hi all forum members!! (I'm new so please feel free to correct me if I do anything wrong :p)

    1) I'm just about to leave high school and start my first year at UW-Platteville, a engineering focused college, and I'm very adamant about going into Electrical engineering. The problem I'm coming up with is I cant pinpoint exactly what I will be doing on a job cite after college. My high school makes you research your possible majors and the websites I found say things like "you could work at a power plant" but I'm not actually clear on what that means. If anyone has any first hand experience you would like to share or any clarification on what you might specifically be doing I would greatly appreciate it a lot!

    *Extra credit* 2) If you had any advice on what specifically you think I should do here's a little background on me!

    I do a lot of regular electrical work with my dad and I find a great deal of pleasure in learning about how outlets, light ballasts, and wiring houses works. My dad also works at the local power plant and tells me about the interesting electrical things he fixes throughout his days at work. I've kind of recently been fascinated in electrical grids and figuring out how power is locally distributed around a city or municipality, or even understanding how a coal powered turbine at a power plant generates electricity and brainstorming ways to improve the process to make it more efficiently produce energy.

    TL;DR: can anyone offer insight on what specifically you do as an electrical engineer either at a power plant or circuit wise.

    Thank all of you for taking the time to even read this and to help me out!
     
  2. BR-549

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 22, 2013
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    Just what is it about electrical engineering that you like? Is it really what you want to do?
     
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  3. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    The first thing to know about getting an engineering degree is that it involves a lot of applied math (algebra, calculus, differential equations, etc.) so you need an aptitude for math. That almost derailed me from engineering since I wasn't great at math, but I toughed it out because engineering was the only career that appealed to me.
    And I've had a fairly successful career as an analog electronic design engineer for over 40 years until I retired.
    I've always enjoyed designing circuits and I still do a little of that on these forums to help solve poster's problems.

    Working at a power plant doesn't necessarily entail engineering per se. Generally that's more of a technician type job, although they may be referred to as plant engineers.
    Engineering would more involve the designing and building of the power plant, rather than running it.

    So one big question is: do you want to do something like your Dad in maintaining and running a plant, or do you want to design the plant?
    In other words, do you want to work with something already designed or do you want to do the design?
    That somewhat determines whether you want to be an engineer or not, or at least what type of engineer you want to be.

    Of course an engineering degree gives you a solid technical background to do many types of technical jobs.
    That would give you a big leg up if you wanted to be a plant engineer, in charge of the technical operation of a plant, for example.
    This could be any type of manufacturing plant that involves electrical and electronic equipment, not just a power plant.

    So what do you think your preference is?
     
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  4. Cozykillacarmine

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 22, 2017
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    Well for starters thank you both for taking the time to respond. I actually do not really have a problem with the math level involved in engineering I'm a senior in high school and I have taken ap physics 1 and am taking ap physics 2 with calc BC so I don't really have a struggle in that category. I've done some small things like try to use codeacademy.com to self teach but with no success, but then again I don't know how much actually coding is involved. I have taken shop classes and other building classes where you're required to design than build something and I generally like things like that.
     
  5. BR-549

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 22, 2013
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    I think you should take the first couple of years in your new school to talk and investigate all the possible fields of EE, before you decide.

    That will take a couple of years................really. There are so many directions to go. Explore as many as you can before setting a goal.

    Good luck.

    Edit.......in the meantime......take as much math as you can stand.

    Edit, Edit......as a matter of fact, your first degree should be math.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  6. Cozykillacarmine

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 22, 2017
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    Was actually considering having some sort of degree in math, computer science, or general physics. (although i dont exactly know how useful a physics minor would be) and suggestions on what math to minor in. (general mathematics, calculus, etc.)
     
  7. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    How many math courses have you taken?
     
  8. Cozykillacarmine

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 22, 2017
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    just about done with Calc BC, geometry, Algebra 2, Algebra 1, and Pre-calc (basically Algebra 2 extended with some trig thrown in)


    Edit: Trig is the bane of my math career as of right now in calculus....have a hard time remembering derivatives of things like tan, cot, csc
     
  9. BR-549

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 22, 2013
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    A math degree will allow you


    to work anywhere at anytime for anybody for any function.
     
  10. Lyonspride

    Active Member

    Jan 6, 2014
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    And a degree in any of the hundreds of useless/easy subjects, followed by a short spell flipping burgers, will land you a job in management.
     
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