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  • I'm thinking about being an Electrical Engineer

    I'm about to go off to colllege and I've already got 32 hours under my belt. For Information Technology Networking/Programming. But I'm thinking about being some kind of engineer. Either Electrical Engineer or a Computer Scientist/Engineer. So some of you guys who are either an EE or CS/E let me know your opinions on your work!
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  • #2
    Computer Science = programming
    Electrical Engineering = lots of math, making circuits, more math

    Computer Engineering = Electrical Engineering + Computer Science

    For perspective, I have a business degree in Information Systems (programming + business stuff + systems analysis) and one of the guys I work with is a Computer Engineer while the other has the same degrees as me.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by wizardPC
      Computer Science = programming
      Electrical Engineering = lots of math, making circuits, more math

      Computer Engineering = Electrical Engineering + Computer Science

      For perspective, I have a business degree in Information Systems (programming + business stuff + systems analysis) and one of the guys I work with is a Computer Engineer while the other has the same degrees as me.
      For electrical engineering it is also quite likely you will spend tons of time in the lab, so its not just hypothetical math or making circuits. My 6-month internship last year was 70% lab work. I am an Electrical Engineering student by the way, hopefully will be done in June.

      Computer Science
      If you have no problem with lots of coding on various systems and can actually enjoy it, by all means become a Computer Science Engineer. You better enjoy coding though, I met a lot of people that are good at coding, but just did not like that becoming their life.

      Electrical Engineering
      If you want to be closer to the hardware side, anything from power supplies to microcontrollers, then you should go for Electrical Engineering. Despite what many think, unless you go for pure Analog Design, you will need to know some coding as well. Something like VHDL or Verilog.

      Computer Engineering
      From my experience working with Computer Engineers, they are more or less castrated mix of Electrical Engineering and Comp Sci Engineers. They lack the in-depth knowledge of either area for the most part. However, if you have a good coding background, and will have time to take optional classes for EE, this is a good major if you will be working with something like Embedded Systems. You will need to have decent hardware understanding to implement software on it. As a side note, Embedded Systems would be of great interest for auto market, and particularly with applications that this forum is concerned about.

      Choose wisely, changing major can be a pain in a butt. Good luck.
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      • #4
        I guess by the way that everyone else is describing, it depends on the college. I go to Penn State, and to tell you the truth, if your degree ends in the word Engineer, you might as well, lube up with some really nice KY (regular flavored, or that warming stuff, doesn't really matter) and get ready to take it in the behind.

        I'm in Mechanical Engineering, and I have not seen an actual mechanical system in like 3 years. I know what the differential equation is to do this and do that, but I have no idea what to do with a gear if you jammed it up my nose. (I really do know more than that, but my degree covers nothing of it).

        I know very many Electrical Engineers as well, and to tell you the truth, they do the same thing. Alot of math, no real world work, and lots and lots of math.

        I would much rather be a Mechanical Engineer Technology degree. Its still a Bachelor of Science, but you get a lot more hands on experience.

        But like I said, it may be just my college. I've known other engineers that love school. But I think they may crazy....
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        • #5
          I have an AAS in Electrical Engineering Technology, basically hands-on, non-calc based EE. That was where I learned a get deal about circuits and electricity. I loved the cousrework & once I was done, I landed a sweet *** job at IBM as a server test tech working on mainframes...If you like getting down & dirty, then an ET degree is for your, however if you like doing calculations, then go for the Eng. degree...

          BTW, I never used a single thing I had learned in my AAS program and still don't. I guess it's all about learning how to think.
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          • #6
            As everyone else has alluded to - the word "Engineer" has been [email protected] by educational institutions. I'm a Software Engineer! I haven't engineered a piece of software in my life! I'm a lacky to the corporate politic!

            However, if you plan on going into a programming field, you may want to take a course in foreign languages. Hindi seems to be popular of late.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by rushnrockt
              Computer Engineering
              From my experience working with Computer Engineers, they are more or less castrated mix of Electrical Engineering and Comp Sci Engineers. They lack the in-depth knowledge of either area for the most part.
              At my school, this degree shared core corriculum with the EE and CS degrees but certainly wasn't castrated with respect to the CS side of things. CS and CS&E people took all the same SW and theoretical CS classes. CS&E added to this the core EE classes as well as several upper division digital design classes. As a trade off, a few less liberal arts electives were required.

              IMHO, these are the people companies ought to be hiring for any kind of digital circuit design, embedded systems, device drivers, or anything a CS person would be qualified to do. For any significant amount of analog work, you'd still want an EE in the mix. Unfortunately, most people don't fully understand the role of the CS&E degree and assume it's the castrated mix you mentioned. They go off hiring EEs to work their digital solutions and end up with hacks.
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              • #8
                Thanks for the replies guys!

                So, it sounds like Computer Engineering deals with both Hardware and Software,

                Electrical Engineering is a lot of math + circuits and microprocessors which sounds cool,

                and Computer Sciences is more of a hands-on programming kind of thing.

                So what looks best to companies?

                I would like the flexibility of Computer Engineering, because I like both hardware and software. I'm starting to get more and more interested in electronics, and have always been interested in software. I am pretty decent at writing code.

                Also, are you guys saying that Computer Engineering doesn't get as involved or specific in hardware or software but is more of a general broad view of things?
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                • #9
                  Depends on the school. Some mix up the terms and call electronic engineering electrical engineering. My degree is in Electronic engineering, but there are not a lot of jobs out there unless you want to move to china

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                  • #10
                    .

                    I've got a BA in Computer Science and I'm an IT consultant, I was schooled in both Hardware and Software.. But I have to say I learned more on my own, I'm actually finishing up my last semister and garunteed a job upon my graduation. I get everything from designing a machine to trouble shooting VBA apps to developing my own apps...

                    To be honest, I'm really interested in System designer... Developing computer hardware and software solutions... It's like a cross between Electrical Engineering & Software Engineering..
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                    • #11
                      Well at my little school that recently turned into a 4 year university they don't have CS or CE, only Electrical Engineernig. The other school I want I'm not guaranteed a scholarship at, so I guess I'm stuck with either IT or EE if I don't get the scholarship. But at the one here, I have a tuition and fees paid for.
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                      • #12
                        i like circuits and programming, but math really kills me. i was going for comp engineering for a little bit but i couldnt handle the calc2 stuff. (yea i guess im dumb). right now i make small and highly inefficent database applications for my job, but i dont have an official title and most of my time is spent on google. I definetly cant do this for the rest of my life. IT sucks nads.

                        i learn *much* more on my own (ive done a bunch of small projects on my own with lcds, led displays, PICs, i2c temperature sensors, serial port stuff...i can pick up stuff pretty quick but it NEEDs to be hands on....i need to play with the stuff and see what happens. i learn best from experiencing it, i just wish school wasnt such a *****...
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                        • #13
                          ...and that's another thing wrong with these generalizations. At my school, all 3 of these degrees took the same Math and Physics courses. Actually the CS and CS&E degrees probably took even more math than the EE guys since they had to take finite math (couting theory) and queuing theory (statistics gone mad!).
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                          • #14
                            I went the EE route. I work in a lab and get to work with software and hardware on electrical and mechanical stuff. I think EE is the more flexible route and looks better to companies than computer science. It seems like all of the computer science guys that I graduated with ended up starting out working at a help desk and not programming. Also, a lot of our IT jobs are being outsourced to other countries (India, Sri Lanka, etc.). It's kind or scary, our department used to have ~50 people and now we are down to under 25 and our test load has dropped through the floor because the company doesn't want to spend the money for us to run as many tests.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kiltjim
                              I guess by the way that everyone else is describing, it depends on the college. I go to Penn State, and to tell you the truth, if your degree ends in the word Engineer, you might as well, lube up with some really nice KY (regular flavored, or that warming stuff, doesn't really matter) and get ready to take it in the behind.

                              I'm in Mechanical Engineering, and I have not seen an actual mechanical system in like 3 years. I know what the differential equation is to do this and do that, but I have no idea what to do with a gear if you jammed it up my nose. (I really do know more than that, but my degree covers nothing of it).

                              I know very many Electrical Engineers as well, and to tell you the truth, they do the same thing. Alot of math, no real world work, and lots and lots of math.

                              I would much rather be a Mechanical Engineer Technology degree. Its still a Bachelor of Science, but you get a lot more hands on experience.

                              But like I said, it may be just my college. I've known other engineers that love school. But I think they may crazy....
                              Lol yea very good point put across. I got to WPI (Tech School in Worcester) and all the EEs in their Junior year are about ready to jump off the top of a 3-story building. It's a really challenging carreer path and unelss you REALLY love doing ciruits and complex math you might want to steer away.

                              I'm a Mechanical Engineer myself and actually started off Computer Science. I love working with computers and I've gotten really good at it but I found out quickly that I absoultely HATE programming. Just didn't have the knack for it. Computer Engineering is a good combination of both and atleast at my school you get a lot of hands on work.

                              If you're looking for good work experience while still going to school you may want to look at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. They have a built in co-op program (required 5 year school) so you get money, work experience and a college education at a highly respected university. I recommend co-ops to any college student regardless of their school.

                              kiltjim don't worry, it's not just your school. it's everywhere too. Actually I know someone that goes to your school, she's a sophomore I think now.
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