Electrical engineering and information technology are two exciting degrees for aspiring professionals. They both have lucrative career prospects with numerous opportunities for growth and progression.
While these degrees might be somewhat interrelated, they have major differences.
Understanding these differences and knowing what to expect can help you make the right decision as you embark on your career journey.
What is Electrical Engineering?
Electrical engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with designing, producing, testing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems and electronics.
Electrical engineers work around the clock to ensure electrical systems and components are functioning optimally.
Electrical engineering uses a multidisciplinary approach since it revolves around numerous subdisciplines.
For this reason, an electrical engineer can work in various industries such as automotive, manufacturing, academia, telecommunication, power generation, research, and public works.
What is Information Technology
Information Technology or IT is a broad term that often refers to using computers, computing systems, and smart devices to create, process, store, retrieve, and share data and information.
IT professionals use technology to convert electronic data into meaningful information before transferring it across relevant networks.
Ever since the advent of the first computer, the world has transformed, with many countries embracing the idea of using IT to drive their economies.
Nearly every aspect of life now revolves around information technology. For this reason, pursuing a degree in IT sounds like a more logical idea.
|Electrical Engineering||Information Technology|
|Average Pay||$90,275||$71,626 – $132,526|
|Ease of finding a job||Easy||Very Easy|
|Types of jobs you can qualify for||Control EngineerProject EngineerAutomotive Engineer|
Systems EngineerElectronics EngineerElectrical DesignerElectrical TechnicianSubstation Technician
|Data ScientistCyber Security AnalystInformation Systems ManagerDatabase ManagerIT Support OfficerIT ConsultantNetwork AdministratorIT Project ManagerFreelancer|
|The difficulty of the major||Hard||Moderate|
|Key things to note||Can work in a wide range of fields|
The average salary is lucrative
Relatively difficult and stressful major to pursue
|Has more career prospects|
World economies are built around IT
IT is a less stressful degree, making it fun and exciting
Electrical Engineering Curriculum
Electrical engineering is a broad degree program with several courses that you must complete before graduating. Here’s a list of classes you should expect to take during the program:
- Electronic circuits
- Digital signal processing
- Solid-state electronics
- Control systems
- Bio imaging
- Artificial intelligence
- Lasers and optics
Also read: Electrical Engineering vs. Telecommunication Engineering
Information Technology Curriculum
Information technology is equally broad with lots of courses and elective subjects. Here’s a list of classes you should expect to take while pursuing your IT major:
- IT fundamentals
- Operating systems
- Communications technology
- Communications skills
- Data structures and algorithms
- Data communication
- Computer architecture
- Data analysis
- Software development
Also read: Do Engineering Students Need an iPad?
Key Skills in Electrical Engineering
To pursue a career in electrical engineering, you need solid technical and problem-solving skills.
Electrical engineers think “outside the box,” which means they must be creative and critical thinkers to find various solutions to industry problems.
Given the precise nature of electrical systems and electronics, you must possess advanced math skills to handle these intricate devices.
Other key skills you need to become an electrical engineer include:
- Basic circuit knowledge
- Communication skills
- Organizational skills
- Electronic troubleshooting
Key Skills in Information Technology
Graduating with a degree in Information Technology isn’t a walk in the park, as many people may assume. You require solid analytical and technical skills and a strong understanding of how information systems work for you to manage and process data accordingly.
Important skills for a career in IT include:
- Research skills
- Communication skills
- Organizational skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Critical thinking
- Coding skills
- Project management
Reasons to Pursue Electrical Engineering
Electrical engineering is one of the most lucrative careers. However, that’s not the only benefit of studying this program. Here are more reasons to pursue electrical engineering:
- Multidisciplinary advantage: electrical engineering entails multiple subdisciplines, allowing engineers to work in a broad range of industries.
- High starting salaries: the starting salary of an electrical engineer is usually high and you do not have to wait or climb the career ladder to earn more.
- Soaring global demand: electrical engineers are in great demand globally, especially in developing countries.
Reasons to Pursue Information Technology
We live in a digital era, which makes pursuing a degree in information technology a sensible decision. Here are the top reasons to study Information Technology:
- Growing career field: IT is a growing field with a strong trajectory in the job market for graduating students.
- Numerous work opportunities: an IT professional can work in nearly any industry ranging from academia to healthcare
- Room for innovation: Information Technology has significant room for innovation with new technology emerging everyday.
- High earning potential: Even though the starting salary for most professionals is low, IT has a high earning potential. You can earn up to $132,000 per year as you climb the career ladder.
Which one is expected to have a better future?
Many people foresee information technology to have a better future. After all, the world is moving towards a digital era, with economies being driven by information science and technology.
However, this doesn’t mean electrical engineering has no future. Electrical engineers are here to stay since no machine can perform better than a human.
Engineers play a critical role in designing and developing solutions for various industries, ranging from telecommunications to manufacturing.
Is electrical engineering better than information technology?
Electrical engineering is not better than information technology since each profession has its fair share of upsides and downsides.
Is information technology related to electrical engineering?
Information technology is somewhat related to electrical engineering. Electrical engineering deals with the development of computers and information systems while IT involves using these systems to manage and process data.
In some institutions, IT students have to learn the principles of electrical engineering as part of their degree program.
Not everyone can become an engineer or an IT professional. When choosing between Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, consider your strongest skills and goals to help you make the right decision.
If you like electronics and want to take on tough challenges, a degree in Electrical Engineering could be ideal for you. If you prefer to analyze data and you have a keen eye for details, IT would be a good choice.