Getting a master’s degree in electrical engineering can help you stand out in this competitive and in-demand field. A master’s degree in electrical engineering will further your knowledge and skill set.
A master’s degree in electrical engineering is designed to prepare students to perform technical job roles. Electrical engineering is a field of study that studies the theories and principles behind electricity and electrical technology. Compared to an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, a master’s degree in electrical engineering will go deeper into the science and principles of electrical engineering.
Master’s In Electrical Engineering
There are many reasons people want to get a master’s degree in electrical engineering. Engineers looking to expand their knowledge and increase their value may opt to pursue a master’s degree. Students who have just started careers could develop a specialty to further them.
The value of a master’s degree in electrical engineering is significant for students who are looking for job opportunities in certain fields that require well-trained professionals with a broad set of electrical engineering knowledge and skills. Many of these job opportunities require either a master’s degree or a certain amount of experience.
A person looking for a career change may want to pursue a master’s degree in electrical engineering. A student could gain access to new job opportunities that were not feasible without a master’s degree in electrical engineering.
Understanding what an electrical engineering master’s program is like can help you decide whether or not getting the degree is right for you.
Electrical Engineering Master’s Courses
Students in a master’s degree program will take intensive graduate-level courses. These courses will dive into advanced electrical engineering theories. Students will need a great deal of mathematics and science skills to complete this level of education. Some of the possible courses that electrical engineering master’s students will take include:
- Fundamentals of Radar Signal Processing
- Semiconductor Materials
- Wearable and Implantable Sensors
- High-Voltage Engineering
Electrical Engineering Master’s Program Specializations
Students getting their master’s degree in electrical engineering can typically choose a subdiscipline. These subdisciplines have certain course requirements that give students proper knowledge to specialize in a particular area of electrical engineering. Some of the most common electrical engineering subdivisions include:
- Signal Processing
- Magnetic Resonance Engineering
- Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Cybernetics
- Space Systems Engineering
Choosing a highly sought-after sub-discipline in certain industries can be a great way to break into a certain field. Some students may have multiple job offers depending on their chosen sub-discipline.
Students studying for their master’s degree in electrical engineering will have ample opportunities to apply their course knowledge to situations in the real world. These opportunities can boost their knowledge and experience in a way that learning in a classroom environment cannot. Students can apply to internships, which is a great way to gain electrical engineering experience.
Many programs will introduce students to organizations in their local area for internships. Veteran engineers can help guide students through projects and assignments. Many students often get hired at the business that they were interning at. Students can work with professors in their lab to test theories and push the boundaries of electrical engineering knowledge. This research could be part of a student’s master’s thesis.
Electrical Engineering Master’s Prerequisites
Students looking to apply to a master’s degree program should know some of the basic prerequisites for acceptance into the program. Requirements vary from school to school, but there are some basic requirements.
Typically, most students need an undergraduate degree in engineering to be accepted into an electrical engineering master’s program. The undergraduate engineering degree typically needs to be from an accredited college or university. Students will have a more difficult time finding a master’s degree program if their college or university is not accredited.
Students who received their undergraduate degrees in other disciplines, such as mathematics or physics, are strong candidates. Students who did not receive their degree in a relevant field could be considered if they have the right work experience. For example, a computer engineer who worked in the semiconductor industry for multiple years would have a strong case for admittance into various electrical engineering master’s programs.
Grade point average is another key prerequisite for getting into most electrical engineering master’s programs. Most electrical engineering master’s degree programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0. Some programs require a GPA of at least 3.4. Students who have a lower GPA than 3.0 may get into a master’s degree program if they have work experience or other achievements.
Standardized test scores
Certain programs require students to take the GRE and submit their scores as part of their application. Some schools will waive the GRE requirement if a student has a high GPA or relevant work experience. If a student is not fluent in English, they may have to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). This test is designed to measure the English language proficiency of potential students.
Online Electrical Engineering Master’s Degree Programs
Colleges and universities have embraced the digital revolution. Many top universities are now offering online courses and master’s degree programs. Instead of taking classes in person, these programs allow students to take online classes. This has both advantages and disadvantages for students thinking about getting their master’s degree in electrical engineering.
Students have access to more colleges and universities now than ever. Degree candidates can attend colleges and universities from all around the world with online master’s degree programs. Students can receive degrees from schools that they would not have been able to attend otherwise.
Many students may find that some of their costs are lower when taking online courses. Commuting costs will be less, as students will no longer have to pay for expenses, such as gas or public transportation. Students can also enjoy increased flexibility and the freedom to take their classes from anywhere in the world.
Some students may struggle with online classes. Students could struggle to stay focused when they are not in the classroom. Networking can often be a benefit to attending classes in person. Students may struggle to network and bond with other students in online classes. Professors and students may not be able to form the same type of bond.
Potential technology issues can be a roadblock to success. Students who do not have a steady online connection may struggle to attend classes online. Professors who do not have experience working with technology may struggle to teach online classes. Keeping focused while taking online classes can also be difficult for some students.
Some programs offer a hybrid mix where students can take classes online, while others are in person. There are some programs where students attend classes virtually in the fall and spring and then come in person for a summer session of classes. This could be an excellent fit for students who live elsewhere but still want to connect with other students and professors.
Electrical Engineering Master’s Tuition
Tuition costs for electrical engineering master’s degree programs vary widely depending on many factors. Students who attend classes in person or online generally pay the same tuition. Some programs may offer significant discounts for students that attend classes online. Students attending an out-of-state institution may have to pay more than a student who lives in the state.
Private institutions will typically charge more than public institutions. Students can expect to pay somewhere between $15,000 and $49,000 in tuition for the duration of their master’s program. The average tuition for an engineering master’s program is around $23,136. That translates to somewhere between $500 and $1,470 per credit. Financial aid, fellowships, and scholarships can all bring down the cost of tuition.
If an employee is looking to obtain a master’s degree, the business they are employed by may pay for some or all of the tuition costs. This is an excellent path for someone looking to obtain a master’s degree in electrical engineering without student loans. The employee may have to stay with the organization for many years after completing their degree to pay their employer.
Career and Salary Outlook
Receiving a master’s degree in electrical engineering can help accelerate your career earnings and wage potential. The job platform, Monster, found that electrical engineers with a master’s degree had a median salary of $130,000. Electrical engineers with a master’s degree are more employable than electrical engineers with just a bachelor’s degree. The unemployment rate for people with a master’s degree is lower than people with a bachelor’s degree.
The career opportunities for electrical engineers with a master’s degree are wide. You will be able to choose from various job roles, depending on your interest. Some of the most common job roles for electrical engineers with a master’s degree are:
- Instrumentation and Electrical Reliability Engineer
- Power Systems and Smart Grid Engineer
- Microelectronics Engineer
- Telecommunications Engineer
Pairing a master’s degree in electrical engineering with a master’s in business administration is a powerful combination. Engineers with these degrees will have insight into both the technical and business aspects of electrical engineering. Management and executive roles are typically much easier to obtain when an engineer has an MBA.
Electrical Engineering Master’s FAQs
This largely depends on the college or university. Most master’s programs require somewhere between 30-33 credits to graduate. Students who attend the program full-time can typically finish the requirements for graduation in one to two years. Students trying to complete the program part-time could take two to three years, depending on the course load.
Yes! Electrical engineering master’s students don’t necessarily need an engineering undergraduate degree. An undergraduate degree with a strong focus on mathematics or science can be a potential substitute for an undergraduate degree in engineering. Additionally, students with relevant work experience can also be accepted into an electrical engineering master’s program.
You do not need a master’s degree in electrical engineering to pursue a Ph.D. If you are interested in obtaining a Ph.D., many colleges and universities recommend applying directly to the Ph.D. program.
No, most programs do not require students to have professional experience to start their program. Professional experience can help less qualified students get accepted into certain programs.