So you want to become an electrical engineer? It’s a great choice – but is it the right one for you? Electrical engineering can be a challenging field to study, but with the right preparation and advice, you can make it through.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what studying electrical engineering involves, the challenges you might face, and whether or not it’s hard to study electrical engineering in the US. We’ll also provide some tips for making the most of your studies.
Let’s get started!
What does studying electrical engineering involve?
Electrical engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design and application of electrical systems and circuits. Electrical engineers are responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of electrical systems and equipment, from power generation and transmission to communication and control systems.
In order to become an electrical engineer, you’ll need to complete a degree in electrical engineering at a recognized university. The curriculum will cover a range of topics, including circuit analysis, electronic devices, microelectronics, signal processing, and electromagnetism.
You’ll also learn how to design and build electrical systems, test and troubleshoot equipment, and work safely with hazardous materials. Furthermore, you will need computer skills, as a large proportion of your work will be done using computers.
Is electrical engineering hard to study?
The answer really depends on your individual strengths and abilities. If you’re someone who enjoys maths and science, and you enjoy solving problems, then you’ll probably find electrical engineering relatively easy to study.
However, if you’re not particularly interested in these subjects, or if you find them difficult, then electrical engineering may not be the right choice for you. Let’s dive into the challenges and expectations that students studying electrical engineering will face.
The challenges of studying electrical engineering
One of the most important things to be aware of is coursework is extremely demanding. You’ll need to be prepared to put in a lot of hard work if you want to succeed as an electrical engineer.
Another thing that makes electrical engineering difficult is that it covers a wide range of topics such as mathematics, science, and engineering. As a result, you’ll need to be well-rounded and have a good understanding of all these subjects if you want to do well in your studies.
Some electrical engineering students may find that it is a career-oriented discipline. This means that you’ll need to spend a lot of time in the lab, working on projects and solving problems. You’ll need to be able to balance theory with practice – too much focus on the former at the expense of the latter will likely lead you to struggle with it. Textbooks and lectures can only teach you so much – you’ll need to get your hands dirty if you want to be a successful electrical engineer.
Any engineering major like civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering… including electrical engineering will be difficult if you dislike mathematics and science (particularly physics or chemistry), lack an aptitude for them, or simply don’t enjoy them. With electrical engineering, in particular, you will take different classes in calculus, physics (especially electricity and magnetism), digital design, power electronics, power systems, and microelectronics. Depending on the students’ skills, some may struggle and others may thrive in these courses.
Although electrical engineering programs require a solid foundation in mathematics and science topics, you don’t need to be an expert. Many courses will begin with some basic modules to ensure that your prior knowledge is up to par.
It is not unusual for leading institutions to request top grades. Many engineering programs have GPA requirements for applicants, though the range will vary. Most colleges require a high school GPA of at least 3.0 or evidence that the applicant was in the top 25% of their graduating high school class. 
For engineering schools, the use of standardized testing is also very prevalent. Many institutions demand the SAT or ACT as well as subject test scores in math and/or science. 
Finally, one of the most difficult tasks for students is collaborating in teams. Electrical engineering is a team-based profession, therefore working well with others will be important. This entails being able to collaborate effectively as part of a greater group while also communicating effectively with members of your team that work throughout the design, construction, and management process.
Is electrical engineering harder to study in the US than in other countries?
Again, this really depends on your individual circumstances. In general, though, the curriculum for electrical engineering bachelor’s degrees is likely to be more comprehensive in the US than in other countries. This is because electrical engineering is a foundational discipline in the US, and universities want to ensure that students have a strong understanding of the topic before they graduate.
That said, many universities around the world offer excellent programs in electrical engineering, so it’s important to do your research and find the school that’s best for you.
Tips for studying an electrical engineering degree
So, if you’re thinking of studying electrical engineering, here are some tips to help you succeed:
- Make sure you have a strong maths and science foundation. Electrical engineering is a maths and science-based field, so it’s important to have a good grounding in these subjects.
- Develop engineering mindset and problem-solving skills. Electrical engineering is all about solving problems, so it’s important to be able to think logically and creatively when tackling challenges.
- Get as much hands-on experience as possible. The best way to learn is by doing, so try to get involved in extracurricular activities and projects that will allow you to apply what you’re learning in the classroom.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest technologies. Technology evolves rapidly in the engineering world, so it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and developments.
- Don’t just memorize theory, learn concepts. Electrical engineering theory is important, but you’ll also need to be able to apply it in practice. So, try not to focus too much on memorizing formulas and equations, and instead focus on understanding the concepts behind them.
- Develop soft skills. A professional engineer needs to be able to work effectively in teams, so it’s important to develop strong communication and collaboration skills.
- Stay motivated and don’t give up. Studying for an electrical engineering degree can be challenging, but it’s important to keep your spirits high and stay motivated.
If you’re looking at it from the standpoint of other engineering disciplines, then yes, it may be a bit harder. However, if you’re willing to put in the extra effort, electrical engineering can be an extremely rewarding field. With so many exciting career opportunities available, don’t let the challenge scare you away! Instead, use it as motivation to succeed. Good luck!