The choice of career path is extremely crucial and determines the future of all and sundry. So, before going into the tricks of making your job interesting, let us dissect electrical engineering in detail.
What is electrical engineering?
The branch of engineering focusing on the principles and use of electricity, electromagnetism and electronics is known as electrical engineering. In the late 19th century, when commercialization hit the markets and the use of telephone and electronic media became predominant, the field of electrical engineering gained its preponderance.
Today’s world of technology is advancing at a rapid rate and it is largely a contribution by a single community. That is the engineers, they are the ones who come with great ideas and implement it in order to further improve existing technology and develop new ones. They are a group whose demand will be ever-present forever.
Without the work of engineers other lines of work might just fall and crumble down. They are like the backbone of the professional world. So, companies all around the globe has a massive demand for engineers. However, the type of engineers that is in most in demand is electrical engineers.
They are one of the most versatile types of engineers around. As they can work in various fields and sectors and has particular specialisations that are necessary.
Who are electrical engineers?
These are expert professionals who use the principles of physics and mathematics to get their work done. They implement these concepts in order to develop, asses and deign new electric and electronic systems and equipment. The work of an electrical engineer is quite vast as mentioned before. So, they have capability of working in different fields and technology.
They tend to operate with a varying collection of technology inclusive of wiring and lighting systems, household appliances, telecommunications, satellite communications, power transmission and many more.
Now, all these electrical engineers working in such fields have different specialisations. Rather they have to have these unique skill set in order to work in these sectors. Hence, an electrical engineer might have specialities in various fields like microelectronics, power telecommunications, electronics, instrumentation, signal processing and many more.
How can one define the job role of an electrical engineer?
As a professional electrical engineer one might be responsible for variety of work. However, the primary job function of such individuals is to check and supervise the lifecycle of numerous electrical projects. They are assigned to watch over these projects from the very beginning.
Meaning electrical engineers tend to the projects from its initial phase of design to distribution and beyond. However, the specific duties and responsibilities of this job might vary from individual to individual depending on an electrical engineers line of specialisation. Although, the following are some of the few things an electrical engineers job role specifies –
- First-hand communication with existing and potential customers in order to determine the different requirements of each.
- One has to design and develop electrical systems and products on the basis of client briefs.
- Individuals should be able to estimate or determine the timelines and costs of project delivery.
- They must be capable of interpreting numerous design specifications and technical drawings.
- Professionals must create and develop new project models and prototypes with the use of three dimensional designing software.
- Must ensure to have proper communication with different team members at the time of project development and design.
- They must make sure to perform and design tests that will help in determining if a new system or products meets the pre-determined standards.
- One must be able to evaluate and record test data.
- They must have the capabilities of proposing electrical system and product modifications in order to improve efficiency and quality.
What is the work environment like?
Electrical engineers usually tend to operate in numerous research facilities and laboratories, mines, production and industrial plants, factories, office settings and power stations. So, in accordance to where they are located, these engineers might work in places which is cramped, dusty, hot, or has the necessary modern comfort.
However, this is just a part of their work environment. Electrical engineers may also work in places and conditions which can extremely dangerous and hazardous. This is even more prominent if these engineers tend to work around electrical systems and equipment.
These individuals have a very contrasting job nature. As it may so happen that they might spend huge amounts of time developing and designing numerous projects and systems. However, there may be a period where they might have hands-down work and oversee various electricians, meet clients, etc. Now, though travelling is part of this job but is quite uncommon to for an electrical engineer to spend time away from home.
What are the most interesting jobs for electrical engineers?
When it comes to jobs for engineers the demand for them shall be ever present and increasing on a daily basis. This is primarily because engineers are group of people whose work supports the operations of other sectors and fields. Hence, the demand for engineers can only increase per day.
Now, the nature of work an electrical engineer will vary depending on the industry they work in. Some, engineers inculcate their specialisation while working in a particular field while others acquire it before starting off in specific sector. Hence, the following are some of the most interesting jobs around for electrical engineers.
- Engineers in the aerospace industry:
An individual working in this sector will be able to operate with some of the most cutting-edge technology around. They shall work to enhance and introduce power-dense electrical equipment and autonomous products across various sectors. Also, they might have the chance to work in some of the most exciting and emerging projects. Like the working on technologies for electric or hybrid propulsion of aerospace platforms.
- Engineers in the automotive industry:
Professionals in this industry are required to operate on wide range of components. Which might include the likes of power and engine units, exterior and interior lighting, safety systems, air conditioning, seating controls, infotainment systems, braking systems and many more. Moreover, the skill set of these individuals are also of utmost importance for the development and design of autonomous connected electrified vehicles (ACE).
- Engineers in the electronics industry:
Individuals in this industry have to work in a variety of different areas like manufacturing, layout, testing, packaging, field applications and design. They might tend to operate with integrated circuits, chips components like resistors, devices and capacitors which has electricity as their power source.
Now, all this said and done, budding electrical engineer graduated need the necessary the guidance in order to start their career and succeed in their field. The appropriate guidance is of utmost importance as it can make or break an individual’s career. Hence, it is advisable to seek certain professional help before staring one’s career.
Adopting Four New Techniques to Make the Work of an Electrical Engineer Interesting
Types of electrical engineering
Electrical engineering is not only restricted to the study of electricity. It covers a wide area of different disciplines. The different fields that are studied under the broad head of electrical engineering include – power, electronics, control, processing of signals, Nano and microelectronics, telecommunications, computers and instrumentation.
Scope of electrical engineers in the real world
Electrical engineers can opt for both core and technology based job opportunities. While they can concentrate on a career in the power, oil and gas industry; they can equally try out in firms focusing on computer hardware and even opt for service in the defence industry.
Now that we dissected electrical engineering, let me ask all of you a question. Are you happy in your job? Well, we always fantasized about our dream job. But when reality hits, the scenario is not what we pictured growing up. Be it a desk job or a field work, it all becomes stagnant and boring after the initial years. This is main reason to affect the productivity of an employee, be it in any field.
Let us now look at four techniques that an electrical engineer can adopt to make his job interesting.
- Keep learning –
With science and technology progressing every day, and coming up with new discoveries, it is extremely important to be updated. Knowing the new theories and advancements not only keeps you updated with the system, but also makes your job interesting. You can adopt new ways to solve the same problem. Also, the time you devote to study and learn new concepts and theories is the time where you do not do the same old job which you got bored of doing. Learning is not restricted to just theories. One can also attend trainings and develop new skills. Skills which can help you figure out easier ways to troubleshoot and be at the top of your game.
- Create your own projects as per your expertise –
Are you bored of the projects assigned to you? Do you think that they are not utilizing your expertise correctly and this is making you lose interest in work? Well, the solution is to be proactive than reactive. Take up your own projects. Look for opportunities where you can showcase your expertise and create projects depending on that. This way, not only will you be interested in your work, but also become the centre of attention. This is a way of self-motivation that you can practice.
- Choose an alternative career –
Having a degree in electrical engineering necessarily does not mean that one must become an electrician, or work for the power industry. There are innumerable alternating career options that are gaining importance over the years. They are specifically not the work an electrical engineer is used to doing. But they are based on the knowledge of electrical engineering. Among these alternating career options, the most important and interesting ones are that of a consultant in the acoustic field and an aerospace engineer.
It’s not just the options that I mentioned about. People have often gone out of the way and chosen career options never possible for someone with electrical engineering. An electrical engineer can attend law courses while working and later become an expert in generating patents for the same electrical firm they have been working for.
The knowledge of electrical engineering can also be used to successfully organize light emitting diode, popularly known as LED shows.
Continuing with your regular job and trying out new things to inspire and motivate yourself and interlink different subjects that you have knowledge about will help you make your job more interesting.
- Try out artificial intelligence –
The most rising science is artificial intelligence. And it is suggested that artificial intelligence has a huge role to play in electrical engineering – mostly in the areas of electrical machines and power systems. Learning and implementing artificial intelligence approaches to solve problems will not only make you be ahead of your colleagues but also inspire and motivate you in your job. The idea of stagnancy will not arise in your mind and drive your interest towards your job too.
The most important approach to make any job interesting, in that matter, is the continuous learning and implementation of new ideas. The only way to make anything interesting is by implementing new ideas and exploring your grey cells to come up with these ideas. So, even in case of you being stuck at your job as an electrical engineer, the first step towards fixing the issue, is by figuring out your areas of interest. Once that is done, you can enrol yourself for additional trainings and responsibilities out of your job description. Being ahead of your contemporaries and being praised and appreciated will encourage you to be more proactive and love your job rather than complain about it.
It is you and your initiatives that will ultimately make your job interesting. No one else can do that for you. Your preferences and what excites you cannot be judged by others to bestow responsibilities on you. So, take a step and work towards achieving what you want to. In the process of doing so, your job will also become interesting.
Brian Evans is an electrical engineer from Stanford University. He graduated with flying colours and joined a multinational firm. He has an experience of more than six years. Apart from his regular service, he also lends coaching and guidance sessions to students pursuing electrical engineering both offline and online.