Electrical vs. Electronic Engineering

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Occasionally, I will find questions on other forums about various topics sometimes technology or science related questions, and sometimes question about a careers in engineering. One recent question I encountered was asked by a young student on a Facebook group. He was trying to find out what electronic engineers and electrical engineers do. So when I have questions I of course like all of you, twitter them.

  • Question??? Can someone describe to me their understanding of the difference between an electrical engineer and an electronics engineer.

Here are some of the responses below.

  • doesn't one build things on more of a board level and one play with cables?
  • Simple: electrical => power; electronic => digital
  • Best way to say is that Electronics Eng deals with intelligent systems.
  • Actually, by "intelligent" I mean pretty much anything that involves integrated circuits, whereas electrical is more power stuff.
  • Electrical = high power, electronics = low power. It's just that the knowledge required to do them is almost identical these days.
  • Actually I think electrical = power, electronics = signals is a better definition. RF transmitters can be very high powered.
  • I'm an Electronics and Communications Engineering student. Electrical focuses on voltages, power, currents, transformers, etc.
  • Electronics focuses more on devices like ICs, circuits, switches, diodes, computers, gates, digital devices, circuit design, etc

My favorite one from a personal friend.

  • One makes more money! An electronics Engineer deals basically with Electronics, and an Electrical Engineer deals with ANYthing Electrical..And electronics is more hands on...

A great array of responses, no? I personally think they're all correct in some way. I'd like to throw my two cents in and sort of provide an overview of what I've learned from the responses gathered from the twitter and other forums on the internet.

Electrical Engineers deal with the transportation of energy and electronic engineers deal with the transportation of information. If your planning on going to school to be either one you will most likely be taking the same type of fundamental course work. Later, into your junior and senior years is where the course work will begin to become much more specific and students of either major will be begin to branch off into either field.

Way to go twitter for again providing fun and intelligent conversation. Having a twitter community is wonderful, a hardy thank you to all the followers making it possible.

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2 comments:

Troy said...

Europeans seem to be the only ones who differentiate between these two. I graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering with plenty of digital experience in the good ole US and A. We tend to lump everything together here in the states. Good piece on differentiating though, I have been asked before...:-D

Kurf said...

Troy your right, either one can replace the other at least here in the states. The only real difference between the two I've encountered is the way they have been taught. Electrical is much more theory and math based. Electronics is much more practical, learn in lecture, do it in lab. Would you agree?