Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) graduates are changing the world around us. Electrical and computer engineers design almost everything that is electrical or computer-run. In a car most of the functions of the automobile are developed and designed by an electrical or computer engineer. Proximity sensors, on-board navigation, hands free phones, programmable alarms, lighting controls, sensors, remote locking, and seat and mirror adjusting mechanisms are all made possible by the work of ECE graduates. The demand for our graduates is great, therefore the job market is strong.
The information technology industry has been the single largest wealth creator in the United States and will continue to be so well into the next century. Electrical engineers are responsible for developing new ways of making microchips, developing communications systems, using lasers and robots to solve problems, designing satellite communications, running our nation's electricity distribution, and designing products such as cellular phones.
Computer engineers design programs and computer chips for every contemporary device you can imagine. They combine expertise in both electronic hardware and software design understanding the need to evaluate the trade-offs between hardware and software and provide the best system at the lowest costs. Computer engineers work in research and development, manufacturing, technical sales and teaching.
Electrical and computer engineers enjoy flexibility in career options and many engineering careers turn toward management as they mature. NC State University is known worldwide for providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary in all aspects of Electrical and Computer Engineering. NC State is consistently ranked in the top 30 ECE programs in the United States. We not only teach students the fundamentals of engineering, we give students the ability to expand and develop their own creative capabilities. Our program also strives to develop each student's skills in all aspects of the field. This enables students to broaden their realm of knowledge to include a variety of issues that they will face in their future careers.
North Carolina has been especially rewarding for electrical and computer engineers. Companies in Research Triangle Park and elsewhere in NC offer positions in research development, manufacturing, sales, and operation related to a vast array of products and services. Companies such as IBM, Ericsson, MCI, Cisco Systems, Alcatel, GTE, Nortel, Mitsubishi, BellSouth, AT&T, Andersen Consulting, Carolina Power Light, General Electric, and a host of others hire electrical engineers from NC State. Positions for electrical and computer engineers exist in virtually every state in the country, and there are many opportunities overseas as well. One local IBM manager recently stated that our program produces the best-prepared graduates in the Southeast.
The curricula in electrical and computer engineering are continually updated and refined to incorporate important advances in science and technology. We are constantly improving and incorporating innovation into our program, laboratories, and facilities. We emphasize a hands-on approach and have the computing and laboratory resources to support this teaching style. Classes are taught by our internationally-recognized faculty.
Earning potential for Electrical and Computer Engineers in the twenty-first century is excellent. The average first term co-op (cooperation education) earns approximately $18.00/hour. New BS graduates start out earning an average of $58,000 per year. The new MS graduate earns an average of $71,000 per year. Graduates who acquire a PhD start at average earnings above $80,000 per year. Both degrees are also excellent entry points for careers in patent law, business, management, or medicine. The opportunity to develop new technologies and improve existing ones help to make a career in ECE both challenging and exciting. Our graduates don't just work with tomorrow's technology, they create it.