I received instructions from the Managing Director, Ms. Geraldine Schleiermacher to provide professional details to my colleagues on electrical and electronics engineering career advisers. This report is prepared for consultants undertaking career advice to electrical and electronics engineering students. The team of career advisers will benefit from my insider perspective for the profession to formulate career advice for students. My colleagues will find the report informative on the electrical and electronics engineering profession from both personal and academic perspectives.
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Purpose of Report
This report presents professional career details, having received instructions to assist the delegation of career advisers from the Managing Director. Herein, the report presents information on electrical and electronics engineering from various angles of interpretation, relevant for the team to formulate career advice. The main part of the report highlights the relevant requirements as received from the instructions, with a focus on the profession. In the report, basic information acts as the main body giving different views on electrical and electronics engineering. The report cites various professional and academic sources to introduce an authoritative presentation on the profession.
Career to be Researched
The Managing Director of Career Consultants Incorporated allocated the task of providing insights based on my professional background. Incidentally, the report aims at providing information from which the team on career consultancy will formulate consultancy details for students making similar career choices. To this end, my personal input from a professional insider’s perspective makes an account of the profession for career advice.
In terms of the scope of professional career advice, the team of advisers will need deep detail on electrical and electronics engineering. To this end, the report relies on various authoritative sources of information on the career. Due to the opportunity of having trained as an electrical and electronics engineer, I found it relevant to include the given subtitles to highlight useful career considerations. Government organizations in the US and UK give credible sources of information on the national labor market for engineering. UK’s National Career Services and the US’s Bureau of Labor Statistics for instance give insights from two developed nations. Equally, insights of peer-reviewed opinion form part of the consulted academic resources to supplement government publications.
Electrical and electronics engineering as a career entry position presents several work options. Apparently, professionals in this career take up the roles of two related fields of sensitive electronics and electrical designs. Principally, their work options entail formulating designs, construction, and maintenance of electrical gadgets and their control systems (Fink and Ryder, 2006). Electricity engineering handles heavy current machinery while light current gadgets translate into electronics. Complete understanding of the job profile for an electrical and electronics engineer requires an understanding of the actual professional activities (Robbins and Undeland 2003).
Firstly, the design of various gadgets, systems, and equipment categorized within electrical demands falls under the profession. Secondly, the development of existing electrical products into advanced classes with better usage calls the EEE professionals to the task. Thirdly, testing the functioning and usage parameters of electronics and other electrical products forms a vital part of an electrical and electronics engineer (Nebeker and Weber 2004). Fourthly, electrical and electronics engineers ensure the supervision of electrical and electronic works performed by junior staff and technicians.
Apparently, early foundational education for students willing to take up electrical and electronics engineering must facilitate prerequisite technical abilities (Hoske, 2009). Mostly, students in high school can determine their suitability in engineering, by choosing their courses corresponding with engineering requirements. Primarily, courses suitable for tertiary specialization in engineering must include physics and mathematics.
Courses in mathematics that enhance engineering abilities include calculus, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and other subjects that develop technical drawing skills. Seemingly, entry-level educational requirements for electrical and electronics engineers start at the bachelor’s degree. Engineering programs that provide students with practical skills appear more acceptable than those with fewer practical training. The reason for the preference for practical training relates to the high practical intensity of engineering.
Most university degrees in electrical and electronics engineering provide sufficient practical training, but not similar to practical experience gained through cooperative engineering programs. In light of quality, cooperative engineering programs provide a rare opportunity for students to acquire credit that translates into a practical advantage. Entry-level bachelors degree requires four years of study on various academic units such as systems designs and circuit theory. Some institutions provide engineering programs that enable students to have theoretical and practical training for five years. Post-graduation training includes Cisco associate and professional certification in network, various related technical master’s degrees, and project management.
Consequently, the acquisition of a bachelor’s degree requires graduates’ authorization to practice to attain full professional status. Licensing of engineers facilitates the authentication of academic certificates, which entails ascertaining professional competence. Equally, registration with engineering professional bodies such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) adds value to the academic profile.
Professional bodies’ affiliation suggests that an engineer invests time to network with approved professionals for inspiration and peer review. License acquisition and membership to professional bodies assist young professionals to appreciate the industry’s successes. Professional networking contributes to decisions such as on-job training to achieve the status of inspiring professional peers. Licensing follows upon passing the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE) for new entrants while experienced engineers take the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam (BLS, 2012b).
Most of the daily activities of electrical and electronics engineers require an office setting. The nature of designing and developing engineering models suitable for electrical and electronics projects demands a settled environment. Potential professionals must learn to maneuver around indoors working conditions to provide quality results. Usually, field activities may arise during the daily operations of an electrical and electronics engineer.
For instance, the requirement of inspecting an engineering installation with technical detail may force the engineer to visit the site of installation. However, with advancing video transmission technologies, it is possible to give instructions remotely using live video footage of an ongoing project. In light of such conditions, electrical and electronics engineers can increase their coordination and inspection abilities. As Chuah (2009) observes, some projects may require site visitation by several electrical and electronics engineers to provide technical teamwork and make work easier. Dorf (2005) reckons that the supervision of trainees and mentoring entry-level employees may form part of roles for the engineer.
Various products and systems falling under the electronics and electrical category include all equipment and systems using electricity powering. Examples of such equipment include automobiles, robots, cell phones, electricity generation equipment, power transmission, and power distribution. Appendix ii consists of graphical examples of systems under the oversight of the electrical and electronics engineer, including navigation systems, telecommunication systems, global positioning systems, heating systems, and manufacturing plant electrical systems among many others. Williams (2007) identified some of the commonest sectors affected as transport, energy, manufacturing, building, construction, information, and communication among many others.
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Electrical and electronics engineers form a significant fraction of engineering jobs in the US and around the world. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010 had nearly 300,000 employed electrical and electronics engineers (BLS, 2012a). On average, an electric engineer earned an annual wage of $84,540 during the same period. Similarly, electronic engineers earned an average wage of $90,170, which shows a slight difference between the two specialties of the profession. Government employees earned slightly higher wages than did private-sector employees (BLS, 2010c).
The ever-growing demand for technology products and installations makes the profession one of the high-demand disciplines. Labor distribution for various specialties in the same year indicated design and architectural engineers experiencing the largest demand at 22 percent. At 10 percent stood other electrical and electronics engineers including power industry, instrumentation and control, navigation, and measurement engineering. Other electrical and electronics engineering specialties including semiconductors and electronic material production had a proportion of about 7 percent of national careers.
Additionally, scientific improvement of engineering products, research, and development comprised about 5 percent of the entire engineering labor force. The year 2010 also had the Federal Government absorbing the largest proportion of electrical and electronics engineers, followed by semiconductor and telecommunication industries (BLS, 2012a).
To produce the best professional output, certain personal attributes appear suitable for electrical and electronics engineers. As enumerated above, students taking up the engineering profession require numeracy skills as much as they need literacy skills. Balancing arithmetic abilities with grammar and comprehension assists in developing analytical skills that form a vital component of the engineering profession.
Paying attention to details facilitates the ideal candidate in devising the appropriate intervention (BLS, 2012b). Besides academic skills, the student must adopt other relevant traits that enhance the development of the student into a competent professional. Drawing skills prove vital for any engineer, which extends to technical drawing and interpretations during professional practice. Blockley (2012) observes that adopting analytical skills in various engineering problems must always guide the student in the determination of probable solutions.
Other attributes ideal for an engineering student includes the ability to offer design explanations with clarity and precision. This implies that the ideal candidate must also possess impeccable communication skills to relay design ideas. Additionally, engineering students must develop presentation and organizational skills, which assist in the practical generation of order in projects. For a student to develop a strong engineering career foundation, decision-making skills must manifest. Students facing difficulties in simple decision-making assignments may find it difficult to express engineering prowess in their future careers (Lord and Tunbridge, 2001).
Equally, mastery of mathematical analysis must enable the engineer to make accurate estimations including budgeting skills. Ideal engineering students arise from active learners since they possess the ability to translate knowledge into an applicable form and solve engineering challenges. In addition, active learners can undertake continued training in order to update their knowledge to remain relevant as technology changes.
Financial management in engineering determines the success of engineering projects, which underscores the relevance of translation of numbers into sustainable decisions. Engineers work with teams, which emphasizes the need for an impeccable teamwork spirit. This implies that the dynamics of group work touching on interpersonal relations must develop an understanding of engineering teamwork. Cautious students have a higher chance of success in their careers than do reckless students, which underscores the significance of the following guidelines. Engineering works comprise numerous instructions, hazard interpretations, and safety regulations, necessitating a cautious approach (NCS, 2012).
The job placements process in the electrical and electronic engineering labor market presents impressive projections for the future. In terms of opportunity for a successful career, labor projections support taking up careers in electrical and electronic engineering. Electrical and electronic engineering graduates with relevant experience easily find employment opportunities due to the high demand from the large technology production currently taking place.
High job placement chances avail for experienced and licensed engineers, which underscores the relevance of accreditation on top of academic qualification. Robbins and Undeland (2003) observe that entry-level opportunities may require diversification into consultancy and technician roles to gain confidence and build industry navigation skills.
The labor market for electrical and electronic engineers possesses an upward trend for projections between 2010 and 2020. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the profession’s projections for growth illustrate a constant rate of between six and seven percent over the decade from 2010. When compared to the entire labor market growth of 14 percent, the profession will experience modest growth within the projected demand as shown in Graph 1 in Appendix ii. The labor market projections are consistent with growth estimations in the technology sector, which presents one of the biggest beneficiaries of the profession. The exponential growth in demand for technology today presents various ready labor markets for which the professionals can feel flexible to adapt (BLS, 2012c).
However, the growth of the labor market will depend on the parameters of the entire industry for various specialties of engineering. For instance, the telecommunication sector may not experience similar growth projections to that of the automobile industry during the specified time. This implies that the growth of the electrical and electronic engineering profession will depend on other specific forces of growth for various manufacturing industries (Greengard, 2013). Computerized systems, as well as mobile communication technologies, present categories that will remain on constant growth as the demand for enhanced computing power persists.
Blockley, D. (2012). Engineering: A very short introduction. New York, NY: Oxford.
Chuah, H. C. (2009). Building the past, engineering the present, educating the future. The Institution of Engineers, 2(71): 1-4.
Fink, D., & Ryder, J. (2006). Engineers and electrons. New York, NY: IEEE Press.
Greengard, S. (2013). Vanishing electronics. Association for Computing Machinery. Communications of the ACM, 56(5): 20.
Hoske, M. (2009) Engineer more, faster. Control engineering, 58(8): 21.
Lord, K., & Tunbridge, P. (2001). His influence on electrical measurements and units. London, UK: The Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Nebeker, F., & Weber, E. (2004). The evolution of electrical engineering: A personal perspective. New York, NY: IEEE Press.
Williams, S. R. (2007). The evolution of technology for electronic materials over the last 50 years. Journal of Materials, 59(2): 58-62.
Additional resources other than peer-reviewed sources appearing in the references section include the following.
BLS. (2012). Occupational outlook handbook: Electrical and electronics engineers work environment. Web.
BLS. (2012). Occupational outlook handbook: Job outlook. Web.
BLS. (2012). Occupational outlook handbook: How to become an electrical and electronics engineering technician. Web.
BLS. (2012).Occupational outlook handbook: What electrical and electronic engineering technicians do. Web.
Dorf, R. (2005). The engineering handbook. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC.
IIIT. (2013). Training and placements: Electrical and electronics engineering. Web.
NSC. (2012). Jobs profile: Electrical engineer. Web.
Plymouth University. (2013). MSc electrical and electronic engineering. Web.
Robbins, W., & Undeland, N. (2003). Power electronics: Converters, applications, and design. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.