Subject modules & entry requirements
Electronic engineering is one of the most fascinating sub-fields of core engineering studies. For a long time, electronic and electrical engineering were combined together. It is only in the past decade or so that electronic engineering as a separate subject stream has come into prominence.
This subject guide will introduce you to the various postgraduate programme options in Electronic Engineering, duration of the programmes, course modules, admissions and entry requirements, average costs, subject specialisations and the career options available for electronic engineers.
Postgraduate programme options
The postgraduate degree is known by different names in various countries. The popular postgraduate degrees in Electronic Engineering are:
- MS in Electronic Engineering
- ME / MEng in Electronic Engineering
- MSc in Electronic Engineering
View the list of institutions offering a postgraduate programme in Electronic Engineering.
How long will you study?
The duration of a postgraduate programme in Electronic Engineering varies based on the country and institution where you are studying. From full-time one-year degree courses and courses that run for 16 months, 18 months, two years and three years; a number of options are available. Some universities offer the programme with a mandatory work/project module incorporated within the programme. This could be as short as three weeks or go up to a six-month intensive project. A new trend is the integrated MEng programmes wherein students complete both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in Electronic Engineering within four or five years.
What will you study?
Based on the analysis of course descriptions of some of the most popular postgraduate Electronic Engineering programmes, we have listed some of the most commonly taught course modules.
- Electronics Systems
- Analog Integrated Circuits
- Advanced Digital Design
- Communications Systems Engineering
- VLSI Systems Design
- Research Methods
Typical entry requirements
A Tier-1 university which attracts more applicants will have stricter entry requirements when compared to a smaller university. All applicants should have a relevant undergraduate degree in Engineering with a good academic score. Some universities also accept graduates of Physics and Computer Science onto their Electronic Engineering programmes based on the academic score.
A good score on the GRE is mandatory for admissions to universities in the USA and Canada. GRE scores are dependent on the institution and students are advised to prepare well in advance and with full focus before writing the GRE. Applicants are advised to verify the GRE scores stipulated by the university where they plan to study before they submit an application.The GRE exam structure and scoring patterns have changed considerably and the focus is now on getting answers to the tougher questions right, which offer greater leverage to students. A GRE score of 333 or above assures admission into the top-most universities in the USA. GRE scores in the range of 320 to 330 form the bulk of admissions.
English language proficiency
A score of 6.5 on the IELTS or 79 on the TOEFL is usually considered to be fair enough for admission into a postgraduate Electronic Engineering programme. Some institutions may require a higher score of 7.0 on the IELTS.
FeesFees can range from INR 10 lakhs to INR 40 lakhs based on the institution and study abroad destination. The critical factor to consider here is the availability of scholarships and if the institution receives government funding. A public university is definitely going to be less expensive than a private institution. Students need to earmark funds for accommodation and living costs as well. Part-time work opportunities will provide just a small amount of funds that would help support entertainment and travel expenses. The availability of scholarships varies from institution to institution and students are advised to explore all possible options.
The availability of scholarships varies from institution to institution and students are advised to explore all possible options.
The subject specialisations that are offered as a part of postgraduate Electronic Engineering degrees are listed below. The most popular specialisations among Indian students are linked to help you view institutions offering programmes in these specialisations.
Very Large Scale Integration - VLSI
This is an extremely popular specialisation and impacts every industry that has an electronic chip connected to it. So whether it is your high-value online stock-trading platforms or the latest mobile phones, VLSI has a big role to play.
Computer Aided Electronic Design
This blends the creative use of computing and intelligent electronic product design and offers students the chance to design cutting edge electronic products using CAD.
Miniaturisation is the order of the day as we keep looking for smaller and easy to handle products. Microelectronics is the study of the design and creation of small electronic components.
There are two aspects to do this field. One is the control and transmission of power through solid state electronics.The second is the design, development and integration of electronic systems.
This field focuses on the design and development of digital electronics products across industries.
Mechatronics is the study of the integration of mechanics, electronics, control theory, and computer science within product design and manufacturing to optimise the performance and functionality of a product.
The focus is on various aspects of Signal Processing and Transmission. Modules from Wireless Communications are also included.
Wireless & Wired Communication
This is another popular specialisation. In India many colleges offer Electronics and Communication Engineering as a dedicated engineering degree. Students looking to find work in the telecommunications industry can opt for this specialisation.
This specialisation blends Physics, Semiconductor research and Electronics and is a growing field of study.
In a digital world we still need a bit of analog systems and its applications. This field focuses on the optimized usage of analog electronics products.
Also known as Control Systems Engineering this field focuses on the application of control theory and electronics to create a product that can be controlled as desired. Applications of control systems are diverse, ranging from space shuttles and underground trains to oil drilling rigs and medical apparatus.
Ever since Isaac Asimov postulated the “Three Laws of Robotics”, we have been fascinated with the possibilities of modern science. Japan leads the robotics race and robot servants that wash clothes, clean the house and act as surveillance units are sold for a premium price. Robotics is a fascinating field with a lot of career potential.
Fibre Optics Technology
Most of our communication facilities run on fibre optic cable networks. This specialisation prepares the technical engineers who handle these networks. Career options are aplenty as all telecommunication and internet service providers need skilled service and technical engineers.
Superconductors form an interesting subset of science and engineering. A fair bit of students opt for this specialisation.
From massive motherboards to the sleek and simple Raspberry-Pi, embedded systems play a major role in every computing device. This too is a popular electronic engineering specialisation.
Many institutions also offer specialisations in Engineering Management. This is useful for those who are looking at a career in building and managingengineering firms.
Electronic engineering is a subject that offers students the chance to specialise in a wide variety of areas. This diversity helps electronic engineers find jobs in industries as varied as mobile communications, construction, automobile and aircraft design, biomedical engineering, defence, computing and the government.Electronic engineers develop equipment for various industrial purposes;use in hospitals and in radio and television stations.
Skilled electronic engineers supervise the design and production of electronic equipment, which are used in products as diverse as hand-held gaming consoles and control panels used in space shuttles. Other options include venturing into consulting, sales and research and development.Many electronic engineers also find joy in teaching and work as professors in universities and colleges.
The two infographics listed below have been sourced from Payscale. The average salaries for electronic engineers in India and the USA are listed.
The cost of living is definitely higher in the USA when compared to India but accounting for every expense it still makes good sense to study abroad and find a job there.
It is an interesting point to note that some of India’s biggest entrepreneurs and doyens of industry have an engineering background. Narayana Murthy and Nandan Nilekani the brains behind Infosys, India’s most respected IT firm studied electrical engineering. Raghuram Rajan who heads the Reserve Bank of India and is a respected economist actually studied electrical engineering.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the flagship professional association of electrical and electronics engineers. Based out of the USA the IEEE has chapter offices in leading countries around the world. With over 400,000 members around the world it is one of the largest professional bodies of its kind.
The Universal Association of Computer and Electronics Engineers - UACEE is a part of the Institute of Research Engineers and Doctors IRED and is based out of New York. UACEE promotes scholarly activities and research in the areas of Computer Science, Electronics and Electrical Engineering and Technology and connects talented individuals together globally.