Electronics vs Electrical

<p>Tried searching from the search bar, but I get too many different threads that does not pertain to this subject.</p>

<p>Anyways, I was wondering which major is "harder." I do realize the major differences occur during Junior/Senior year of school. Judging from research, electronics major makes a bit more money than electrical majors. If electronics is harder, is it worth those extra hours of studying? and how are the job prospects between them (2014)?</p>

<p>I will most likely attend Cal Poly SLO. However, USC and UCSB are choices too. (All are majors in EE)</p>

<p>I've never heard of an "electronics" major. There is electrical engineering, and some schools have an "electrical engineering technology" program. "Engineering technology" degrees are very different from true engineering degrees, they are heavier on existing technology and prepare you for a career as a technician, whereas engineering degrees are heavier on math, theory, science, and prepare you to be an engineer. Engineering technology graduates will work on technology, but engineering majors will <em>invent</em> tomorrow's technology.</p>

<p>I have occasionally seen "electronics engineering technology," this too is an engineering technology degree. Electrical engineering (and just about any true engineering program) is much harder than an engineering technology program, and they also make more money.</p>

<p>Whatever your program, make sure it's ABET-accredited. This will matter to employers.</p>

<p>Can you reference what specific program you're talking about? Is this about concentration within EE? "Electronic" refers to (semiconductor) devices so it points to fields like circuit design, VLSI, solid state, etc. "Electrical" most often refers to conduction in metals so probably something to do with power distribution. But I have not seen a program separate these two and it's meaningless to some concentrations like control theory, signal processing, communications/information theory, etc. so it's a pretty dumb thing to do, IMO.</p>

<p>I've seen "Electronics Engineering" used as a synonym for Computer Engineering.</p>

<p>To clarify, I'm talking about an "Electronics Engineering" and "Electrical Engineering."</p>

<p>There are job posts that emphasize on certain concentrations within majors so thats one place where you will see it. Electronics engineering jobs consist of working on integrated circuits and hardware in general. I had an interview for such a position and they basically test you on SMD knowledge and other related theory that a person comes around while working on such devices. They use tools such as PSpice to analyze circuits and their behavior under different conditions( current, number of capacitors,heat factor....)</p>

<p>Electrical engineering is a broad major and it branches off in many directions. Control engineering is another name for those who study a lot of feedback systems. Similarly power engineers focus on generation, distribution and transmission of electric power.</p>

<p>You should not be concerned with salary at this point. Go with what interests you.</p>

<p>Is it ABET accredited?</p>

<p>TomServo, several of my professors think that the ABET is useless and get quite angry when it is bought up. For example, the computer science, materials science and engineering, and biomedical engineering majors at my school are not ABET accredited, but it does not stop graduates from these programs from doing extremely well in the job market. I really don't think ABET accreditation is as important as you make it out to be so long as the program is respected by employers.</p>

<p>I would not go to a school for a mainstream engineering major (mechanical, electrical, civil, etc) at a school that didn't have an ABET accredited program. The simple reason is you can't get a professional engineering license if you don't go to an ABET accredited program in many states.</p>

<p>I thought I could do it without saying the school but it kind of makes a difference since they also address the point you brought up there. I go to Stanford and several of the professors, even the ones in mainstream areas, will openly admit that they do not have professional engineering licenses. From what I understand the only real exception to this is civil. Is there something to what they are saying, or is it that you have a different experience once you get an MIT/Berkeley/Stanford Ph.D. and no one is really going to question whether or not you are a qualified engineer after that?</p>

<p>From a place like Stanford, no it probably doesn't matter. But from a place like Nonamecity Technical College, it probably matters a lot.</p>

<p>Yeah, ABET accreditation functions as a brand name, it allows consumers (in this case employers and students) to economize on scarce knowledge. You don't have to know the school, if you know it's ABET-accredited you know they went through a competent program.</p>

<p>Stanford, Caltech, MIT, Cornell, these places don't need accreditation. Same reason you feel confident buying an Asus motherboard rather than a generic Asian import--which may be just as good but you have no way of knowing.</p>

<p>Hey, if they get mad at that, ask your humanities professors how they like the Hoover Institute being on campus, hehehe....</p>

<p>^ No, they have come to terms with that, or at least I have never seen them get upset over the Hoover Institute. Also, I think they are smart enough to see the hypocrisy in getting upset with the Hoover Institute. They are supposedly "open minded" liberals, so they are not going to openly denounce the Hoover Institute. Although, if they were king of the campus, they would defiantly give it the ax.</p>

<p>On a side note, I have also had some humanities professors who have also made some surprisingly conservative comments, or at least anti liberal ones. One professor expressed discontent with how you need to espouse liberal ideals if you want to get anywhere in the humanities, and the other was a philosophy professor who said, in reference to Obama, "It will take more than a Harvard law degree to convince me that you know what is prudentially good for me better than me". He is essentially espousing the corner stone of conservative ideology. He was also being kind of elitist since he has a Princeton Ph.D.</p>

<p>What really gets under the humanities professors' skin is when you imply that the sciences and engineering are more valuable than the humanities.</p>

<p>Yeah, pointing out the obvious can make humanities people really mad. Be careful though, you don't want to **** off the next Amy Bishop.</p>

<p>ABET accreditation is important if one plans on obtaining a Professional Engineer's license. Many states require these licenses if one is going to design, build, invent, etc. things that will be used by the general public (think of a civil engineer working on bridge construction; you want that person to be highly qualified and certified by a legitimate, reputable organization as a competent engineer). It's good remembering that ABET is owned by many of the major scientific and engineering societies in the US (AlChe, ANS, ASME, IEEE, etc).</p>

<p>Some employers might request it, others might not. From my research, many people recommend ABET accreditation just to be on the safe side.</p>