Are you trying to figure out whether electrical engineering or bioengineering is the right field for you?
If so, you have come to the right place. In this article, we compare the two courses and what they entail to help you make an informed choice.
What Is Bioengineering?
Bioengineering (also known as biomedical engineering) is a multidisciplinary STEM field that involves the application of engineering concepts and designs in the field of medicine.
The combination of engineering principles and problem-solving techniques with biological knowledge has given rise to an array of medical concepts including dialysis, advanced prosthetics, artificial organs, and surgical robots.
Despite being a relatively new field, bioengineering has a wide scope of knowledge covering numerous areas such as Biomedical Electronics, Bionanotechnology, Medical Imaging, Computational Biology, and Orthopedic Bioengineering.
What Is The Relation Between Bioengineering And Electrical Engineering?
Biomedical engineering is closely related to electrical engineering since most areas in bioengineering deal with electrical devices such as neural interfaces and prosthetics.
As such, biomedical engineering students learn how to work with electronic components just like electrical engineers do.
Likewise, both biomedical engineering and electrical engineering programs explore the application of scientific and engineering principles such as signal processing, electromagnetic waves, and quantitative analysis.
Given the close relationship between these two courses, many students choose to pursue an undergraduate in electrical engineering before specializing in biomedical engineering.
If you intend to become a biomedical engineer, you can also take an undergraduate in another related field like Physics or Mechanical Engineering then pursue your interest in bioengineering by selecting relevant modules where possible.
A background in Chemistry is also useful if you wish to build a career in bioengineering, particularly in developing drugs.
Can An Electrical Engineer Become A Biomedical Engineer?
Yes. The field of electrical engineering today encompasses more than just electrical concepts and electricity.
Electrical engineers today can apply the principles of this field in the biomedical industry to develop life-saving technologies such as imaging machines, prosthetics, and surgical robots.
Is Mechanical Or Electrical Engineering Better For Biomedical?
Both mechanical and electrical engineering are good entry points if you wish to pursue a career in biomedical engineering.
However, depending on your interests, either of these courses might be a better fit. For instance, if you are looking to build a career in developing surgical robots or prosthetics design, pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering might be the best option.
On the other hand, if you would like to venture into the fields of medical imaging and sensors, then electrical engineering is a better fit for you.
You may also want to learn more about Electrical Engineering vs. Nuclear Engineering.
Is Bioengineering Actually Engineering?
Yes. Bioengineering is a type of engineering that applies engineering and scientific concepts to the field of medicine and biology to design and create medical equipment and devices.
Can Electrical Engineers Work In The Medical Field?
Yes. For decades, electrical engineers have made revolutionary contributions in the field of medicine by developing technologies and working collaboratively with researchers to devise solutions in the healthcare industry.
Some of the ways in which electrical engineers are advancing the medical field include:
- Creating Medical-Related Apps
Electrical engineers are responsible for creating numerous useful apps which doctors can use in the course of their work to diagnose patients. This has made the process of medical service delivery more efficient and quick.
- Developing Regenerative Tissues
Electrical engineers working in the field of regenerative medicine work to develop materials that can repair and correct themselves.
Through innovations such as artificial muscles and stem cells, engineers can design and create technologies that improve the lives of patients suffering from a wide range of conditions.
- Building Early Detection Tools
Early detection tools designed and built by electrical engineers use optical technologies and techniques such as partial wave spectroscopy to scan cells for the presence of cancer.
Is Bioengineering A Good Career?
With the increased demand for quality health care globally, medical-related careers have become highly sought after, and bioengineering is no exception. According to statistics from Career Explorer, the bioengineering job market in the United States is expected to grow by 7 percent by 2026.
Given the high demand for bioengineers, students who pursue a career in this field can expect a good salary. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of professionals working in this field is $92,620 per year, with the salaries for entry-level professionals starting at $56,590 and top professionals earning up to $149,440.
In terms of job satisfaction, biomedical engineers have been reported to exhibit average levels of happiness with their careers. In a survey conducted by Career Explorer, bioengineers rate their career satisfaction at 3.4 out of 5 stars. Incidentally, this rating is higher than those given by Biochemists and Biostatisticians.
What Problems Do Bioengineers Solve?
Biomedical engineers mainly work in conjunction with doctors to develop devices, systems, and software that help solve clinical problems and improve the lives of patients. In a sense, the role of bioengineers is to bridge the gap between engineering and medicine.
By combining biological knowledge with engineering concepts, bioengineers help advance the field of medicine and healthcare by designing and building life-saving devices such as pacemakers, MRIs, kidney dialysis machines, and surgical robots.
You can also read about Electrical Engineering Vs. Robotics Engineering to find out which discipline matches your interests.
Does Bioengineering Use Chemistry?
While knowledge of chemistry is not necessary for most areas of bioengineering, it can be invaluable in certain areas. For instance, some bioengineers apply their knowledge in chemistry to develop new drug therapies.
Is A Bioengineering Degree Worth It?
Yes. With rapid advances in technology and the growing demand for healthcare in today’s world, the field of bioengineering is set to grow exponentially over the next couple of years.
As such, students pursuing degrees in bioengineering can expect plenty of job opportunities with good salaries upon completion.
While bioengineering is still a relatively new field, it is already showing great potential in revolutionizing modern medicine by developing technologies that are responsible for saving the lives of patients.
If you’ve been wondering what field of engineering to venture into, bioengineering is worth pursuing.