Getting Your Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering

masters electrical engineering

Getting Your Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is one of the many branches of engineering and can be a smart career path for those interested in math and science. Electrical engineers are responsible for implementing electrical components into any number of devices that use electricity. They help design and manufacture electrical products of all shapes and sizes. They work with computers, in a variety of settings, and environments.

You can get your associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or a doctorate in electrical engineering. While you can find a decent job with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, going for your master’s degree can bring you to the next level.

Many firms might require a master’s degree for career advancement, and you should be able to make a higher income with a master’s degree, even within the same job title. Overall, having your master’s degree in electrical engineering will open more doors and allow you to go further in your career.

Having an exceptional understanding of science and math, knowing computers inside and out, and being good problem-solvers are important skills to have when going into this degree. Public speaking and writing skills are also very important.

Job growth in electrical engineering is expected to grow by 2% from 2018-2028, which is a bit slower than the average of all occupations. The median annual wage for 2019 was listed as $102,250 per year by BLS.

Online or In-person

When it comes to getting your master’s degree in electrical engineering, you can go to an in-person program or an online one. The benefits of an online program may appeal to working professionals or those looking for a career transition. In-person programs may appeal more for those coming from undergraduate programs or those who simply want that in-person experience.

A Master’s in Electrical Engineering Program

When you are in a master’s of electrical engineering program, depending on your area of focus, you could learn about topics such as power flow, installing and maintaining all types of electrical systems, and learning how to design and assess the performance of linear systems.

Concentrations

Different concentrations will have different types of coursework. Here are some of the most common:

  • Bioengineering- Where students would learn about artificial components in the human body and analyze imagining technologies or prosthetics.
  • Communications and Networking– Where students would focus on communication technologies such as antennas, satellites, wireless devices, and radio.
  • Computer Engineering– Where students would focus on how to make computers faster, more reliable, and more easily transportable.
  • Circuits- Where students would examine the use of circuits in electronic devices such as cars, microwaves, and radiofrequency remote controls.
  • Photonics- Where students would explore the transmission of photons and study the emission, transmission, amplification, and manipulation of light.

Common Classes

  • Engineering Electronics- Which would give students foundational knowledge in electrical engineering, and where they would study the physics of semiconductors, circuits, and amplifiers.
  • Computer Architecture- This class would cover the micro-architecture of computers, processors, software, and hardware. Students would study computers, design, and systems that contribute to basic functions as memory storage.
  • Wireless Communications- This class would examine modern digital communication systems, including phones, internet, video, and radio.
  • Electric Power Systems- This class explores how electric power systems are used in different industries as well as analyzing how technology transfers and transmits energy.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements differ based on the school and program, however, most will require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, to complete an application essay, and submit letters of recommendation.

Some schools might also require professional experience, but even if the school doesn’t, it can help to have that work experience to put on the application. Schools usually also want students to have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

How to Choose a Program

There are many different factors when choosing the right electrical engineering master’s program. Students should look at the length of each program, the course format, available concentrations, and final project requirements. Most programs are two years long, but students might also be able to find an accelerated program and be done in a year. It also might depend on if the student goes full or part-time. Students should also consider the curriculum and the cost.

Accreditation status for each program can also make a difference and can affect future career opportunities. Departments often receive programmatic accreditation from field-specific accrediting bodies. Accreditation will indicate that the program meets set standards of quality for the electrical engineering profession.

Students should look for a program with accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Degrees from an ABET-accredited program are required for licensure examinations.

Top Master’s in Electrical Engineering Programs

There are many different master’s in computer science programs, some are in-person, and some are online.

Top master’s in computer science programs

  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Stanford University
  • Cornell University
  • Columbia University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • The University of California Los Angeles
  • The University of Michigan
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Purdue University
  • The University of Southern California

Top online master’s in computer science programs

  • Stanford University
  • The University of Florida
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • The Georgia Institute of Technology
  • The University of Southern California
  • Columbia University in the City of New York
  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh
  • The University of Virginia
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • The University of Wisconsin at Madison

Jobs With a Master’s Degree in Computer Science

Computer Hardware Engineers

Annual Median Pay in 2019: $117,220 according to BLS.

Computer Hardware Engineers specialize in the design and development of computer components and systems.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Annual Median Pay in 2019: $83,510 according to BLS.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators install and monitor computer systems, networks, as well as hardware and software.

Software Engineers

Annual Median Pay in 2020: $85,707 according to PayScale.

Software Engineers improve the system quality by identifying issues and common patterns as well as identifying issues and common patterns as well as developing standard operating procedures.

Senior Electrical Engineers

Annual Median Pay in 2020: $103,235 according to PayScale.

Senior Electrical Engineers design, develop, upgrade, test, and monitor electrical components and machinery. They will also supervise other engineers, create reports, and mentor apprentices.

Radio Frequency Engineers

Annual Median Pay in 2020: $86,080 according to PayScale.

Radio Frequency Engineers collect data, research radio frequency, and analyze gathered information to improve radar design.

Control Engineers

Annual Median Pay in 2020: $76,734 according to PayScale.

Control Engineers are responsible for designing, developing, installing, managing, and maintaining equipment used to monitor and control engineering systems, machinery, and processes.

Senior Systems Engineer

Annual Median Pay in 2020: $105,412 according to PayScale.

Senior Systems Engineers are responsible for resolving escalated service issues, coaching other engineers, and implementing complex projects.

Scholarships for Students Getting a Master’s in Computer Science

Here are a few scholarships for those getting their master’s in electrical engineering. You can also find our longer list of scholarships for electrical engineering majors at College Recon.

BMW/SAE Engineering Scholarship

This scholarship is provided by BMW in recognition of its commitment to excellence in engineering. Students need to be pursuing an engineering or related science degree through an ABET-accredited program. There will be one winner, and the award will be for $1,500.

Study.com Graduate Engineering Degree Scholarship

This scholarship is from Study.com for a graduate student studying engineering. It is open to most engineering types of degrees. There will be one winner, and the award will be for $500.

The ASCO Engineering Scholarship

This scholarship is funded by Emerson and is to reward exceptional undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a career in manufacturing and processing engineering. Two $5,000 awards will be given to US engineering students that are pursuing careers in industrial automation-related disciplines. The scholarship is merit-based and awarded based on the candidate’s potential for leadership. Recipients might be eligible for an internship. Students must have completed their sophomore year in a bachelor’s program or be enrolled in a graduate program.

Edward D. Hendrickson/SAE Engineering Scholarship

This scholarship is established by Hendrickson International and honors the late Edward D. Hendrickson, who was a pioneer in the commercial vehicle industry. Students will need to be ranked in the 90th percentile in both math and critical reading on SAT I or their composite ACT scores. They also must be pursuing an engineering or related science degree through an ABET-accredited program. There will be one winner, and the award will be for $5,000.

BluePay STEM Scholarship

This scholarship is for undergraduate or graduate students who are majoring in a STEM field of study and who are attending an accredited college or University. There will be one $1,000 scholarship awarded, and two $250 book scholarships awarded. The featured essays may be published in part or entirely on the BluePay blog. The scholarship is for students pursuing degrees in STEM disciplines.

Related Majors

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering
  • Laser and Optical Engineering
  • Telecommunications Engineering
  • Engineering Physics

 

About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.