How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Electrical Engineering
Do you love taking things apart, analyzing how they work, and then putting them back together again? Those who love gadgets and working with their hands will likely love to explore the field of electrical engineering. Getting an associate’s degree in the field is the perfect way to start!
If you’re wondering what it’s like to live a day in the life of an electrical engineer, here it goes. Electrical engineers work with all kinds of electrical devices. They understand the complicated aspects of electricity, and how it can be generated and controlled in electronic equipment.
As an electrical engineer, you may work in a huge power station designing better, more efficient systems and ensuring that things keep running smoothly. On the other hand, you could work for a company that makes GPS units. Here, you may develop new uses for this technology, or implement new and original features that make its use applicable to more people.
There are so many things you can delve into with an electrical engineering degree because it is a diverse and lucrative field.
An associate’s degree in electrical engineering typically takes two years of full-time study to complete. However, if you choose to earn your credential online, you may be able to complete it earlier. Depending on how many classes you can take per quarter/semester, you may be able to finish a lot quicker.
Pursuing an associate’s degree in electrical engineering online is a great choice for students who have busy schedules and need the flexibility for school. It gives students the chance to learn while attending to their personal obligations. If you are a motivated and independent learner, distance learning can work very well for you. It is essential to make sure that the college you choose is accredited so that the credits you earn can be easily transferred to a four-year college should you decide to continue your education. By virtually attending classes online, you will have access to all course materials and participate in class discussions just like you would normally in a traditional classroom setting. The main difference is that you would be able to log into the classroom portal from anywhere and anytime to complete required coursework. Communication between student and professor is conveniently made possible via chat platforms and email.
Common Associate’s in Electrical Engineering Curriculum
The associate’s degree program in electrical engineering is designed to give students a glimpse of the basics in the field. It will allow you to get your foot in the door in a lot of companies. Some common coursework you can expect to see in an electrical engineering degree program include:
- Computer applications
- Analog electronics
- Electrical machines
- DC and AC circuits
Of course, every school will also offer different variations of classes for students to take, but you will be equipped with a solid foundation that will enable you to get an entry-level management position, or allow you to keep going to earn your bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related field.
In addition to engineering-related courses, students will also have general education requirements and electives to complete, which will vary from college to college. These classes are usually not directly engineering related, but will help you develop a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will be useful in helping you understand real-life situations and succeed in whatever career you choose to be in. For example, students may have an introductory course in social sciences, history, language, and fine arts, to name a few.
Associate’s in Electrical Engineering Careers
Electrical engineering graduates fill a multitude of roles across the industry. For example, they can work in dozens of different sectors including the auto industry, aerospace industry, airline industry, national defense, commercial contracting, the private sector, and so much more. With that said, regardless of where your interest lies, the chances of you finding a job you like after earning your associate’s degree in electrical engineering are pretty good.
Generally speaking, those with at least an associate’s degree have better job prospects than those with only a high school diploma. With an associate’s degree, you can find an entry-level job in the field, but you may have more opportunities for advancement and higher pay if you stay in school and get your bachelor’s degree in the industry.
According to Payscale.com, starting salaries for electrical engineers with a bachelor’s degree is around $55,000. Breaking into this field can be a challenge, which is why beginning engineers usually do not earn more. If you stick it out until your fifth year, however, your salary should go up dramatically. On average, electrical engineers with five years of experience earn around $70,000 a year. With that said, it is definitely worthwhile to stick it through the “rough phase.”
Engineering in general is a growing field, and electrical engineers can expect steady job growth through 2016.