Why Get a Masters in Electrical Engineering Degree

Earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering will offer you an excellent foundation in theory and application in this rapidly growing field. Professionals with a master of science or similar degree in electrical engineering will be prepared to excel  in many types of companies and industries across the world.

With this advanced degree, you will be qualified to assume a leading role in implementing infrastructure on virtually any scale – from the biggest industrial complexes to the smallest and most intricate of applications. You could be employed by a large company as a lead electrical engineer, or you may be a lead engineer working for a contracting organization. This type of job is becoming more prevalent today, and it will allow you to work on projects in many intriguing and growing industries.

As technology is continuing to develop at such a rapid pace, possessing advanced technical proficiencies with an electrical engineering degree will offer you many exciting career opportunities. Some of the fields in which you can work with this degree include:

  • Automotive
  • Telecommunications
  • Chemical
  • Manufacturing
  • Consumer electronics
  • Bioengineering
  • Power generation/distribution
  • R&D
  • Military and defense
  • Aerospace

Holders of this master’s degree can work in these jobs:

  • Electrical engineer: These engineers test, design, develop and supervise how electrical equipment is manufactured. These can include electric motors, navigation systems, radar, communication systems, and power generation equipment. These engineers also design electrical systems for aircraft and automobiles. An electrical engineer also may develop and design many types of electronic equipment, which can include portable music players and GPS systems.
  • Architectural and engineering manager: These engineering professionals direct, plan and coordinate many activities in engineering and architectural companies. They use their extensive knowledge of engineering to direct and coordinate operations, production, quality assurance, testing or possibly maintenance at a job site or industrial plant.
  • Materials engineer: Develop, process and test many types of materials that are used to create many different products, such as computer chips, aircraft wings, biomedical devices and more. They must study the structure and properties of metals, plastics, electronics and composites to create viable materials that meet strict requirements.

Why Earn a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering?

There is a strong need for many types of engineers in the US today. Many of those jobs are very well paying. Forbes magazine reports that 1.6 million engineering positions in America pay a median wage of $42 per hour.

The magazine also notes that the most numbers engineering jobs in the country are found in industrial, electrical and civil engineering. Further, it is anticipated that engineering jobs will increase in demand by at least 10% in the next several years.

The most concentrated city in the US for engineers is Huntsville, Alabama, which is the home of a flight center run by NASA and also many aerospace and military companies. Other cities that have a high number of engineers and high job demand include:

  • San Jose, California
  • Titusville, Florida
  • Detroit, Michigan

It also should be noted that the engineering field is one with some of the oldest workers in America. More than 25% of all engineers are 55 or older, so you can expect that there will be strong demand for electrical engineers as many current engineers retire.

Admission Requirements

It is a competitive process to be admitted into a master of science in electrical engineering program. You will need to meet standards similar to those at the University of California-Los Angeles:

  • GRE scores required in the top 20 percentile
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • 0 undergraduate GPA minimum
  • Resume and several years of engineering experience
  • Complete transcripts
  • Engineering bachelor’s required

Curriculum and Courses

Villanova University offers an excellent Master of Science in Electrical Engineering that will help you to advance your electrical engineering career to new heights. This program offers five different concentrations:

  • Signal Processing and Communications
  • High Frequency Systems
  • Electrical Energy Systems
  • Systems Dynamics and Controls
  • Microelectronics and VLSI

Required courses in this electrical engineering program include:

  • ECE 8007 – Matrix Theory
  • ECE 8231 – Digital Signal Process
  • ECE 8405 – Computer Organ & Design
  • ECE 8410 – Trusted Computing
  • ECE 8440 – Hardware Sys Des & Modeling
  • ECE 8448 – Embedded Systems Architecture
  • ECE 8480 – Intro. to Cloud Computing
  • ECE 8484 – Cybersec. Threats and Defense
  • ECE 8492 – Secure Software Development
  • ECE 8485 – Control Systems Security
  • ECE 8486 – Ethical Hacking
  • ECE 8489 – Malware Analysis and Defense
  • ECE 8490 – Th. and Prac. of Comput. Appl.

You will need to earn a minimum of 30 semester hours, which is 10 classes. At least 21 credits are from courses and up to nine credits can be from research. You can do either a thesis or non thesis option. If you do a thesis, you will need to submit a research proposal, and receive a recommendation and approval from your research advisor.

Career Outcomes and Job Titles

You can expect to have these types of job titles once you graduate from this master’s program:

  • Lead electrical engineer
  • Junior electrical engineer
  • Director of engineering
  • Engineering manager
  • Chief engineer
  • Field engineer

Job and Salary Outlook

  • Electrical Engineer — This profession is expected to show little growth overall in the next several years. It is believed that growth is being slowed as many manufacturing sectors are declining, which is leading to fewer opportunities for several types of engineers. However, there is an uptick of demand for engineers who work at engineering service companies. More companies are hiring contractor engineers because it is less expensive. The median salary is $93,000 per year.
  • Material Engineer — Overall the demand for material engineer profession will show little growth by 2024. However, there will be a need for material engineers to design new uses for innovative materials in aerospace manufacturing, and also industries that are focused on breakthrough medical and scientific products. The median salary is $91,300.
  • Architectural and Engineering Manager — This field is expected to grow by 2% by 2024, which is slower than average. Still, it is expected that the growth of engineering manager job demand will be 12% in 2024 in the engineering services industry. This field is growing fast because companies are hiring contractors to do essential electrical engineering tasks. The median salary is $132,000.

Scholarships and Grants

If you want assistance in paying for your graduate education in engineering, consider these scholarships:

  • IEEE Scholarships: This organization offers electrical engineering scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students. The purpose of these scholarships is to increase interest in careers in electrical, power and energy engineering. Scholarships are available up to $5000 per year.
  • University of Houston: There are many scholarships available for students who are coming into the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Some of these include the Betty Barr Scholarship, the Omron Foundation Scholarship and the General Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Scholarships.

Additional Resources

Interested in an engineering career? Review these resources:

  • Duke University: This leading university in North Carolina has an extensive library available for new and existing students in electrical engineering. It also has extensive resources available about patents, industry standards, programming and languages and more.
  • National Society of Professional Engineers: This association of engineers has been in existence since 1934. Today this is the only society of professional engineers that is dedicated to addressing all of the professional concerns of professional engineers in all disciplines across the world.