100% of 1 Students
I studied electrical engineering, switched to Computer Engineering (a lot of overlap there), and now have a job in software. I don't know the day to day of a Professional Electrical Engineer, but I can give you an idea of what we did in class and where I think that could lead.
Of course when you study Electrical Engineering, you'll mostly be studying circuits. You will build by hand the most basic circuits, and analyze them to prove they behave a certain way. By the second or third year, you realize you can start putting all these individual circuits together to make more and more cool and complicated things, like radios, cameras, solar panels, screens, and eventually, computers. You'll study basic circuits in the beginning, and then there are a few ways to go for your upper division electives.
Here are a few of the main ones in depth, but there are so many! Almost any modern engineering project will require an electrical engineer somewhere along the way.
The most obvious is power electronics, which is the field of delivering power over a distance. If you followed this path to a career, the most obvious place to end up would be at an electrical utility, and I assume you'd help design, manage and maintain the power transportation infrastructure. Another possibility would be to go work for private industry. I can see getting a position at tesla filling all their new batteries, or maybe you'd go work for solar city, and design the systems that collect and transport power from solar panels.
Another area is logic circuits. These are the most basic form of what is running in your computer. If you wanted to focus on this, you might be better off in Computer Engineering, but it's really a subset of EE. With these skills you could go to work for Apple, FoxConn, AMD, Intel, and a million others, and you would design their computer chips for them. Designing chips these days is usually done with special CAD software and simulations, and once a design is ready, you send it to a factory to be produced.
Signal Processing is another big subject. This involves the transmission and reception of signals through a (in our case electrical) medium. Ok, what does that mean? It means anything from phone lines to modern cell phone networks, to radar (radio), sonar (sound, not strictly EE but it applies), lidar(laser), and any other dar. Without going too deep, if you have a medium, say, light, and you can change the medium, and someone else can 'see' that change, you can send some information. Jobs in this area would be designing LTE or Wifi antennas for cell phones and computers, or creating a secret device for the CIA to use so they can talk without other nations listening in.
Probably the most common outcome is to work alongside mechanical, civil, environmental, aerospace, computer, sound, or biotech engineers on just about any project. This could include cars, electric vehicles, planes, buildings, power plants, amusement park rides, environmental projects, home appliances, satellites, lighting or sound for concerts, heart implants, prosthetics, drones,... really almost anything you can think of; if it involves electricity, it involves an electrical engineer.
Ok, so, moving away from the generalities, I remember a number of companies I saw at career fairs looking for EEs. A few were for signal processing, they made little chips and antennas for computers to talk to one another. One was a contractor for a power company. Another was working on robots, and another was working on powered prosthetics. I'd recommend going to the next career fair and just looking around for who is hiring EEs.
So, after all that rambling, my big conclusion is this: If you can, sign up for the very first circuits class (it was literally EE 101 at my school). If that class doesn't dissuade you from becoming an EE, then it might just be for you. There is really no better way for you to understand what its like to work in an EE lab then for you to just dive in and do it. If you like 101, then maybe its time to talk to someone about switching majors.
Hope that helps, feel free to contact me with more questions.
100% of 1 Students