Engineers make a difference—they’re problem solvers, leaders, team players, innovators, critical thinkers, and designers. Electrical and computer engineers research new ideas; develop, design, and implement new products and equipment; and lead teams of engineers to manufacture new devices and improve existing devices and systems (See the Dream Jobs link for specific examples). Electrical and computer engineering covers one of the broadest spectra of work among the engineering disciplines. They apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop solutions to technical problems in the areas of communications, power and electronics — just to name a few.
Electrical engineering underpins many other engineering disciplines, encompassing biomedical devices technology, microelectronics, information systems, wireless communications and signal processing, power systems, lasers and optics, electronic devices, computer software-hardware integration, and control systems. Electrical engineers conduct research in addition to designing, developing, testing and managing the development of electronic systems and the manufacturing of electrical and electronic equipment and devices. From the global positioning system that can continuously provide the location of a vehicle to giant electric power generators, electrical and electronics engineers are responsible for a wide range of technologies. Electrical engineering students at Clemson conduct research in the areas of power, systems controls, communications, automotive electronics, artificial intelligence and aerial vehicle design.
Computer engineering involves the fusion of electrical engineering, computer science, and mathematical analysis for the design, development, testing, and evaluation of computer-vision systems, robots, microprocessors, supercomputers, MP3 players, security/cryptographic systems, and network protocols. Computer engineers often find themselves focusing on problems or challenges that integrate computer capabilities, resulting in new, state-of-the-art products. They work on the design, planning, development, testing and even the supervision of manufacturing computer hardware — including everything from chips to device controllers. At Clemson, computer engineering students have the opportunity to gain experience in the areas of robotics, image processing, software engineering, virtual reality, systems architecture and parallel processing.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for electrical engineers, computer engineers and electronics engineers will continue to grow for the next 10 years. Electrical and computer engineers will be needed to develop the advanced electric power technology to meet society’s increasing need for low-cost, renewable energy. Our increasing use of communications systems — cellular phones, the Internet and wireless networks — will also require the expertise of electrical and computer engineering professionals. Electrical engineering and computer engineering are also rewarding professions; in 2011, the average starting salary for all new bachelor's graduates in computer engineering was $64,499, and the average starting salary for electrical engineering graduates was $61,021. (Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers). To see statistics on Clemson bachelor's and master's graduates, visit the Michelin Career Center's salary survey page.
Electronics is one of the largest manufacturing industries, and is often lauded as one of the most important industries in the 21st century because it impacts so many economic and social issues. Current technological forecasts predict a total investment of $2.6 trillion in utilities over the next 20 years, and electrical and computer engineers will be needed to develop the advanced electric power technology to meet society’s increasing need for low-cost energy. Our increasing use of communications systems—cellular phones, the Internet, and wireless networks—will also require the expertise of electrical and computer engineering professionals.
The ECE program at Clemson prepares its students for careers in this industry by providing a strong engineering foundation, hands-on research and design projects, and the opportunity to delve into study in specialized technical depth areas. Clemson University knows that preparing students for a career in the 21st century means providing much more than specialized technical knowledge. Electrical and computer engineers must also understand the social and business implications of their work, and they must be able to communicate their ideas to a wide range of people, work effectively in teams and, above all, be willing and able to provide leadership in solving society’s problems. emphasis on teamwork and collaboration begins freshman year. Our students learn to solve real-world problems, often providing valuable solutions for industrial partners while dealing with economic, ethical and environmental issues in the process. In addition, many of our students bridge the gap between the academic community and the world of work by participating in the Cooperative Education Program.