The field of engineering is more exciting than ever. Engineers are not only specialists in technical developments, but also future leaders and innovators. It is not surprising to see those with an engineering background filling strategic roles in multiple corporations. The natural problem-solving skill that engineers have is incredibly useful in various industries.
If you are thinking about pursuing an electrical and computer engineering degree, you are not alone. There is a spike in demand for capable engineers in these fields. The career options to choose from are appealing too, especially with roles like big data engineers becoming available. Here are the top eight career paths you can take with an electrical and computer engineering degree.
1. Blockchain Engineer
Blockchain is more than just an industry buzzword. While the utilization of blockchain was limited a few years ago, more and more industries are taking advantage of its characteristics to achieve business objectives. The financial industry, for instance, uses blockchain to decentralize their ledgers and improve security at the same time.
As a blockchain engineer, you are required to develop infrastructure and software that supports a wide network of nodes. This is where expertise in subjects such as enterprise information system models and project management come in handy. You will be able to organize the development of a robust blockchain network within the company.
It is also worth noting that blockchain development now combines hardware and software in a more seamless way. Physical keys and other electronic devices are key components in modern blockchain networks, so having a degree in electrical and computer engineering is a huge plus. You can lead the development of future solutions.
A career in robotics is another thing you should explore if you are pursuing a degree in electrical and computer engineering. The degree itself is designed to produce experts in combining computer engineering with hardware and electronic development, making it the perfect degree to have if you want to enter the field of robotics.
The application of robotics is also wider than ever. The healthcare industry now relies on robotics to deliver better care to patients. The manufacturing industry has long leveraged robotics to boost output without significantly increasing overheads. The same is true with other industries, including the creative industry.
Robotics is expanding as a field thanks to the introduction of capable artificial intelligence or AI. New technologies like machine learning and computer vision allow robots to be smarter and more autonomous. There are more hardware and tools to utilize and technologies like rapid prototyping certainly make building future robots a lot more fun.
3. Autonomous Vehicle Engineering
It is really difficult to talk about career paths for electrical and computer engineering degree holders without talking about autonomous vehicle engineering. This field has been growing rapidly this past couple of years, especially with more companies developing their own autonomous vehicles. Tesla’s autopilot feature certainly sparked a lot of interest in this field.
Autonomous vehicle engineering is a subject that gets a lot of attention in top electrical and computer engineering programs. Universities like Kettering University are updating their curriculum to prepare graduates for this growing industry. If you take a look at the syllabus from Kettering University here, you will see that the development of advanced mobility applications is one of the key focus subjects.
As mentioned earlier, Tesla is not the only company investing in autonomous vehicles. Sony recently announced the result of their own R&D program. Car manufacturers like Ford and GM are also investing in the technology. Even AI companies are researching the use of artificial intelligence in powering self-driving vehicles.
4. Aeronautical Engineering
You may think that pursuing a career as an aeronautical engineer requires a specific degree in this field, but that is far from the case. In fact, the majority of engineers in this field rely on their electrical, computer, mechanical, and even manufacturing engineering backgrounds to succeed. After all, aeronautical engineering is a wide field.
Even better, there is a growing demand for electrical and computer engineers in this industry. Top names like Boeing and Airbus are competing to produce better, more advanced airplanes. At the same time, you have government bodies like NASA and JAXA actively recruiting engineers to power their space programs.
Even the military has a spot for top engineers in this field. The possibilities are endless, and a degree in electrical and computer engineering is the perfect starting point if you want to pursue a career in this field. It is worth noting that this career path is among the most rewarding for engineers in today’s competitive market.
5. Software Development
A career in software development may seem traditional compared to the other options we have discussed so far, but it is still a career path worth considering. More specifically, you want to get into the development and utilization of software for specific hardware. Software-hardware hybrid solutions are making more things possible in various industries.
A good example is the development of predictive maintenance systems for manufacturing lines. Rather than relying simply on sensors, newer systems now integrate machine learning and continuous monitoring. The combination allows AI to predict required maintenance schedules with immense accuracy, allowing for manufacturing businesses to minimize downtime.
Another good example is how more companies are entering the smart appliances market. The design of smart hubs and smart appliances requires deep understanding of both hardware and software, and an electrical and computer engineering course is the perfect way to master the two and how they can be integrated.
6. Computer Network Architect
Everything is connected these days. The high adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) and the release of new, smarter appliances certainly make the demand for better computer networks higher. Computer networking can no longer be about connecting multiple devices. It also needs to be about network performance, security, and scalability.
This is where a capable computer network architect can contribute so much. Pursuing a career in this field means filling strategic roles and making sure that the right network supports business operations. Many network architects actually work with top management and CTOs, particularly in large and complex organizations.
As a network architect, your task isn’t just building the network and maintaining its operations. You also have to design the right networking infrastructure based on the specific requirements of the organization. Among the many tasks you have to complete are predicting growth in traffic and scaling up the network to cope with that growth.
7. AI Engineer
Artificial intelligence is everywhere. From the smart features in our phones to the self-driving vehicles of the future, AI will soon power technologies that make our lives more enjoyable. We’re seeing smart cities and large organizations utilizing AI to improve quality of lives and promote better efficiency in general. You can be part of that massive shift too.
Becoming an AI engineer starts with acquiring a deep understanding of AI and machine learning. These are subjects that get covered in electrical and computer engineering programs. The ability to create advanced machine learning algorithms is a huge plus if you want to take this career path, since you will be able to adapt to the needs of different organizations easily.
Of course, you also need to master the basics. You cannot develop complex AI entities without deep understanding of the neural network, basic computer science, hardware utilization, and data structures. Rather than specializing in data science, for instance, you can master more of the basic and advanced skills with an electrical and computer engineering degree.
8. Information Security
Last but certainly not least, we have a career in information security. This is perhaps the fastest growing field in IT right now, particularly since more and more companies take information security seriously. Attacks threatening information stored digitally are only getting more sophisticated, so experts in information security are in high demand.
In the old days, information security was limited to adding firewalls and utilizing software solutions. That is no longer the case today. Hardware solutions are just as handy. There are tools that monitor traffic for anomalies and possible hacks. More solutions are being developed to enable the use of physical keys to access information.
It is an exciting field. An information security career requires you to stay up to date and continuously learn about new attack vectors and threats. If you love facing changing problems and solving them using unusual methods, then this is the field for you. Electrical and computer engineering prowess will help you be one or two steps ahead of threat sources.
Which of these career paths are the best? There is more good news for you: they are all very rewarding, financially and emotionally. Engineers are leading the way to a better future in every field, so a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering is one of the most valuable degrees you can earn today. Take the right course, earn the degree, and give your career a significant boost immediately. You have endless opportunities to explore and the skills – and expertise – to make it in any industry.