What can I do with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering?
Electrical and electronic engineering involves the generation, storage and use of electricity, and also the transmission and transformation of information using computers and communication networks. Electrical and electronic engineers create and design new electrical, electronic and computer products, and also analyse, manage and redesign existing systems.
Electrical and electronic engineers have played a major role in the development of technological advances such as personal computing, electric heating and lighting, nationwide electrical power, mobile phones, digital television, fly-by-wire aircraft, medical imaging systems, hybrid cars, and robotic space exploration.
Through their Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree graduates develop valuable skills such as:
- Creativity and innovation
- Practical application of engineering technology and science
- Technical knowledge of electronic and electrical systems
- Programming software for embedded (smart) systems
- Coping with rapid technological changes
- Analytical and problem solving skills
- Logical and quantitative thinking.
Applied learning is an important part of your degree, through work placements, consulting projects and fieldtrips. These experiences can deepen your skillset, awareness of others, working knowledge and employability.
Graduates are found in many industries such as:
- Electric power
- Renewable/power engineering
- Biomedical engineering.
Recent UC graduates have found roles in :
Information, media and telecommunications
eg, Tait Communications, Google, IBM, Apple, Vodafone New Zealand, Telogis, Assurity, Bloomberg, Spark, Alcatel-Lucent
eg, Dynamic Controls, Carter Holt Harvey, SALCOM, ABB, Agilent Technologies, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
Electricity and energy services
eg, Meridian, Transpower NZ, Orion, Northpower, Electra, Marlborough Lines, Delta Utilities, Beca, AECOM, Electrix, Connetics, Transfield Services, Unison Networks, EDFEnergy, Ergo Consulting, Mainpower, Vector Limited, Trustpower, Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team, Contact Energy
Professional, scientific and technical services
eg, Trimble Navigation, Opus International, Allied Telesis, Dynamic Controls, Dental and Medical Equipment, Telogis, UL International NZ, 2CLight, Rodin Cars, Aurecon, Martin Aircraft, IBM, Rocket Lab, Tekron International, Scott Technology,Airways NZ
eg, universities or their subsidiaries in New Zealand, Philippines, Malaysia, UK, Australia, Scotland, Tonga, USA, United Arab Emirates.
Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduates are well prepared to join the technological revolution — see some examples of career options below.
Note: Some of the jobs listed may require postgraduate study. See the ‘Further study’ section
Electrical engineer, graduate electrical engineer
- Designs systems to generate, distribute and manage electricity
- Tests electricity systems and resolves problems
- Researches, develops and designs electronic equipment and systems eg, circuits and software for medical devices, mobile phones, automated control systems, navigation systems
Power engineer, power systems engineer, power electrical engineer
- Plans and develops systems that supply power
- Tests and maintains these power systems
- Researches alternative sources of power
Software engineer, graduate software engineer
- Analyses customer needs, evaluates computer software and researches new technologies
- Identifies solutions and develops software programs for new products
- Manages software development projects
- Designs and develops software for improved, more reliable communications
- Designs new communications data algorithms
- Designs the physical parts of computer systems
- Researches and tests hardware components
- Considers the costs of hardware to end users
- Evaluates and develops new systems and equipment in the electronics industry
- Makes recommendations to resolve problems
- Supports general organisational operations
- Develops electrical and electronics systems for improved healthcare
- Designs new algorithms for medical imaging
Electrical / electronic technician
- Interprets instructions from an engineer
- Ensures these are implemented correctly
- Installs and maintains power-using equipment
Test analyst, validation tester
- Designs tests to check software/systems
- Identifies defects and bugs, and suggests fixes
- Records issues and tracks solution results
Network engineer, network assets engineer
- Develops computer networks that allow phone calls, internet access, TV and radio broadcast
- Designs infrastructure and systems to support it
- Ensures designs are implemented correctly
Project engineer, project manager
- Manages project plan, times, costs, compliance
- Manages procurement, purchasing, contracts
- Liaises with project staff and clients
Design engineer, junior design engineer
- Uses software/technology to develop new ideas
- Designs and tests prototype components
- Liaises with suppliers and manufacturers
Radio frequency engineer
- Forecasts future traffic resources needed
- Plans radio network changes and improvements
- Integrates front-end RF systems into other systems like aviation or aerospace
Tertiary lecturer / tutor
- Prepares and gives lectures and tutorials
- Sets and marks assignments and exams
- Conducts research, writes and publishes articles
Entrepreneur and CEO
- Develops an idea to form their own business
- Offers their services as a consultant
Get started with Entrepreneurship here
As they progress, students and graduates often join professional bodies or organisations relevant to their area of interest. These organisations can provide regular communications and offer the chance to network.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
- Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand
- Electricity Engineers’ Association
- The Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand Inc.
- Electrical Workers Registration Board
Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues to keep upto-date with industry knowledge, networking opportunities, events and job vacancies.