Should I study electronics?
Electrical engineering degree
Table of Contents
Why study electrical engineering?
During an electrical engineering degree, you will deal with the exciting world of electricity and, for example, investigate the question of how the performance of electric motors can be improved.
Electrical engineering and information technology is a key technology for technical progress and opens up a wide range of activities for you. A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering offers you excellent career prospects.
What study options do I have?
Around 200 universities in Germany offer electrical engineering courses. You can study electrical engineering not only at universities and technical colleges, but also at private universities, distance learning, dual studies or abroad. The following list shows you popular electrical engineering courses:
At universities, the focus of electrical engineering studies is on research and development. A university course is therefore usually more theory-heavy than a technical college course, but it also prepares you for the profession of engineer. Since only universities in Germany have the right to award doctorates, you can only start a doctoral program here.
University of Applied Sciences
Universities of applied sciences attach great importance to the practical experience of their graduates. Therefore, the electrical engineering course there is more application-oriented than at universities. Not only do you take numerous practical courses, but you can also apply your knowledge within a compulsory internship. As a result, your studies at the FH often take a semester longer than at the university, namely 7 instead of 6 semesters.
Many private universities offer a degree in electrical engineering. In addition to good personal support and modern equipment, practical relevance and learning in small groups are particularly advantageous. But this service also has its price: On average, students at a private university pay € 500 per semester.
You can complete a distance learning electrical engineering course while working from home. You will receive the study documents, fill them out and send them back to the university. After correcting the study letters, you will receive feedback with your results. Online platforms, chats with fellow students and lecturers as well as study centers in your area offer you support with your distance learning.
You can also become an electrical engineer as part of a dual study program. The dual course of study combines in-company training with a scientific university course and has several advantages: Your employer usually pays the costs for the course and you can apply your theoretical knowledge directly in the company. After graduation, you will not only have a bachelor's degree, but also a completed apprenticeship. In addition, many companies take on their graduates after they graduate.
You can also study electrical engineering abroad under the title "Electrical Engineering". Various universities, for example, offer courses in electrical engineering leading to a Bachelor of Science degree. In addition, you can take the internationally oriented degree program Electrical Engineering at certain universities in Germany, in which you spend at least one semester at a university abroad.
Am I suitable for studying electrical engineering?
If you want to study electrical engineering, in addition to knowledge of mathematics, physics and computer science, you should above all be interested in technology. In addition, there are some formal and technical requirements that you have to observe for admission, such as a numerus clausus.
Formal and professional requirements
Basically, you need a university entrance qualification to start studying electrical engineering. Under certain conditions, some universities also open their courses to applicants without a high school diploma. Some universities and technical colleges limit the electrical engineering studies with a numerus clausus. Depending on the university, the NC in electrical engineering is currently between 3.3 at the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences and 2.1 at the Kiel University of Applied Sciences. For admission, you sometimes need a pre-study internship lasting several weeks.
The electrical engineering degree requires creativity and a sense of responsibility. Technical understanding and analytical thinking skills are basic requirements for studying electrical engineering. In addition, you should also like to plan and organize and be interested in commercial issues, since as an electrical engineer you can also be responsible for project management and budget administration. Furthermore, you should be familiar with the mathematical, physical and chemical basics. Sound computer skills and command of the English language complete your profile for an electrical engineering degree.
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What can I expect from the electrical engineering degree?
As with any bachelor's degree, you will take modules and collect credit points during your electrical engineering degree. In the first semesters in particular, your electrical engineering degree includes lectures and exercises in the basic subjects of mathematics, physics and computer science. You finish your studies with your bachelor thesis.
Many universities offer preparatory courses in mathematics or physics before starting to study electrical engineering. These subjects form the basics of electrical engineering, which is why confident mastery is indispensable for studying electrical engineering. In the first semesters you will take courses that teach you the general basics of electrical engineering, such as:
- Computer science and higher programming languages
- Technical English
- Business administration
In the further course of your electrical engineering studies, you can choose from the following areas of focus:
- Power electronics
- Electrical Power Engineering
- Control engineering, control engineering
- Electric motors
- Software engineering
- Optics, laser technology, chemistry
- Information technology
- Automation technology
- Energy industry
In addition to theory, the universities attach great importance to the practical application of what you have learned: As an electrical engineering student, you work on smaller projects, carry out experiments in the laboratory and go on excursions. In addition, you usually complete an industrial internship in the 5th or 6th semester of your electrical engineering studies.
The electrical engineering course is so extensive that you mainly complete a general basic course as part of the bachelor’s degree. In a subsequent master’s degree, you will specialize in certain areas of electrical engineering. These include, for example, communications technology, communication technology, high frequency technology, energy technology, renewable energies, microelectronics, microsystem technology, medical technology or automation technology. Often you can also take electrical engineering in combination with information technology.
Which degrees can I get?
You finish your bachelor's degree in electrical engineering with a bachelor's thesis in which you scientifically work on an electrical engineering problem and solve it independently. This may also require work in the laboratory. You can complete your bachelor's degree in electrical engineering with either a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.). Universities often award the Bachelor of Science, universities of applied sciences in the same subject usually award the Bachelor of Engineering. You will then either start your professional life straight away or you will complete a postgraduate master’s degree with a Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) Degree. Both master’s degrees entitle you to take up a doctorate. Few universities still award the diploma degree. You can also study electrical engineering as part of a teacher training course for vocational colleges and obtain a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree.
After studying electrical engineering
In principle, the path to the professional world is open to you with a bachelor's degree. You will find fields of work, for example, with energy suppliers, in aerospace technology or the automotive industry. However, if you are striving for a management position or would like to work in science and research, a master’s degree will make your career start easier.
Which professional fields are suitable for me after graduation?
Electrical engineers have a wide range of professional activities. It ranges from development and production through commissioning and testing to the sale of electrical components, devices and systems. Graduates of the electrical engineering degree find job opportunities in these industries:
- Automotive industry
- Energy supplier
- Aerospace Engineering
- Medical technology manufacturer
- Telecommunications provider
- Science and Research
Electrical engineers can also be found in management, quality assurance and leadership positions. Another option is a job as a vocational school teacher for electrical engineering or a job in the public service.
How do you start your career?
As a rule, entry into the engineering profession takes place by applying directly for an advertised position. Alternatively, you can complete a trainee program. As a junior employee, you will be systematically introduced to your future tasks and will go through several departments to get to know the company. In principle, you do not start your career directly as a project manager after completing your electrical engineering degree. As a project employee, you will first get to know the practical application of electrical engineering and the peculiarities of the company. Only then will you be given personnel and project responsibility in the course of your career.
What career prospects do I have?
In the meantime, one can no longer speak of a general shortage of skilled workers in engineering. In the western federal states in particular, however, many companies are desperately looking for qualified university graduates. According to the Federal Employment Agency, electrical engineers are the least likely of all academic groups to be threatened with unemployment.
A study by the Verband der Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik e. V. (VDE) recently showed that electrical engineering graduates have good career prospects. Four out of five university graduates therefore need fewer than ten letters of application. Only one in three people had three or more interviews before they had an employment contract in their pocket. More than 50% of the graduates had commitments from two or more companies.
What salary do I earn?
The average gross salary of an electrical engineer when starting his career is € 3,600 per month. Your personal qualifications, the field of activity, the industry and the place of work determine the amount of your engineering salary. Furthermore, factors such as the field of study, length of study and additional qualifications such as stays abroad or language skills and the exam grades also play a role. Therefore, the starting salaries can vary widely. The starting salaries for electrical engineers with a master’s degree are slightly higher at an average of € 3,683 than for graduates with a bachelor’s degree (€ 3,541). Electrical engineers with a doctorate even achieve significantly higher starting salaries with around 25% more. In the automotive and energy industries, annual salaries are slightly higher than in the electronics industry, for example.
|Branch||Average starting salary *|
|construction industry||3.386 €|
|Electrical engineering||3.680 €|
|power supply||3.585 €|
|vehicle construction||3.833 €|
*) in gross / monthly
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