What do Electrical Engineers do?
According to the US Department of Labor, Electrical Engineers "design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment." For more details, visit the electrical engineering pages of Occupational Outlook Handbook, Sloan Cornerstone Career Center and the Electrical Engineering department web site, which has a video on EE careers.
Where do they work?
Electrical engineers work in industries as diverse as telecommunications, energy and electric power, semiconductors, aerospace, bioengineering, manufacturing, education and research, transportation and automotive, according to the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers. Examples of job responsibilities include:
- Expanding satellite communications for mobile telephone users (telecommunications)
- Developing electronics and power equipment for aircraft and spacecraft (aerospace)
- Designing life support systems (bioengineering)
- Designing and evaluating manufacturing techniques (manufacturing)
- Developing new amusement park rides (service industry)
- Teaching college or university courses related to electrical and electronics engineering (academia and research)
What are some employers in the field?
Top employers in the field include: Alcatel Lucent ● AMD ● Analog Devices ● Apple ● GLOBALFOUNDRIES ● Hewlett Packard ● Intel ● Philips ● Samsung ● Texas Instruments. You can also check out attendees to CCE's career fairs in the employer profile books and use the employer directory tab in LionSHARE to see other employers who have posted at Columbia. Sloan Cornerstone Career Center features a list of other employers to explore.
What resources can I look into for more information and to gain experience?
Center for Career Education Resources: For a full list of resources and services, visit our home page.
- LionSHARE: CCE’s database of internships and full time jobs for students and alumni
- Science Technology Engineering Internship Program (STEP) and other CCE sponsored international and national internship programs
- CCE Career Fairs, employer information sessions, site visits, panels, workshops, and alumni events (see CCE's calendar of events regularly for updates)
- List of Leadership Development and Rotational Programs
- Vault & WetFeet guides: profiles industries, companies, and careers including: Vault Career Guide to Electrical Engineering, Industries and Careers for Engineers, Vault Guide to the Top Manufacturing Employers, Vault Guide to the Top Tech Employers
- Webshops and webinars covering a wide array of topics
- LinkedIn.com Columbia Groups: Columbia Career Connections & Columbia Alumni Association Network to find alumni working in the field
Student Clubs & Pre-Professional Associations: Student clubs often have direct links with employers and are excellent ways to learn about careers in the field. Many are even linked to regional or national professional associations that have web resources and host conferences and career fairs.
- Columbia Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the professional association Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- Association for Computing Machinery
- Other Professional Associations: Use the low student membership rates in professional associations to gain career guidance and information about scholarships, networking opportunities, job postings, conferences and workshops, and access to job fairs.
Research, Other Opportunities, and Resources:
- Electrical Engineering Department Web site
- Student Research Involvement Program
- SEAS Global Initiatives – Intern/Study Abroad Web Site
- Information on the FE Exam (Students should find out from their academic advisor whether their desired career path requires EIT/PE certification)
- Fellowships for CC/SEAS, GS, and GSAS
- Mentornet, an online mentoring community in which Columbia University participates
Internship/Job Posting Websites
- Pathways to Science: To find programs such as undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions, as well as resources and materials pertaining to recruitment, retention, and mentoring
- National Science Foundation REU Sites: The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation
- American Academy for Advancement of Science: A resource list of AAAS career development programs
- Engineering Jobs – Electrical: A broad online compilation of jobs for electrical engineers across the US
- Adafruit: Job board for designers, makers, programmers, artists and engineers
- 37 Signals: Industry leaders like Apple, Facebook, The New York Times, and American Express (among others) use this database to post job opportunities
- Developers.net: Over 40,000 full-time technology-related career postings
- Dice: A leading career site for technology and engineering professionals
- ElectricalEngineer.com: This site features job listings from employers from small business to the US Government, and far and wide between
- Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE): The well-reputed job site of the IEEE
- ACECNY: A proactive coalition of more than 270 firms representing every discipline of engineering related to the built environment - civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, geotechnical - and affiliated companies. A listing of consulting engineering firms from
across New York State. Use membership directory to identify local companies and check their job boards for postings
- Research Gate: A network dedicated to science and research. Connect, collaborate and discover scientific publications, jobs and conferences
- Engineering Central: Lists engineering positions and resumes across all engineering disciplines
- Engineer.net: A broad-scale engineering job-search engine that many companies use to find new talent
- All Engineering links from CCE
Professional Journals: Keep up to date on trends in the field, identify potential employers, and find out about new opportunities. Your access to the Columbia library system gives you extensive exposure to important information in the field today.