A career in electrical engineering technology has endless possibilities. It's just like a Choose Your Own Adventure book where the reader gets to make choices and is in charge of their experience. The same goes for electrical engineering technicians since they aren't just limited to one field. Because there are so many paths available to technicians it can be tough to predict specific trends in the field.
But, there are a couple things experts are seeing in electrical engineering technology across the board. Overall it looks like selecting this as a career means there are many exciting opportunities in the future.
IN HIGH DEMAND
Those interested in entering electrical engineering technology are going to be as popular as the Super Bowl and employers will be getting in line to score seats. That's because data shows that STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) employment in the United States has gone up by more than 30 percent since 2000. And, the demand is expected to increase even more by 2018 in terms of IT professionals, engineers and technicians, among other STEM careers.
Since electrical engineering technicians are needed in so many different fields, there are many job options—from working on a wind turbine or solar power grid to repairing a lottery machine. However, a challenge for the industry is the availability of people who have the right degree and skills to do the job.
SMALL BUT POWERFUL
Ten years ago, most industrial processes depended on expensive microprocessor-based devices called programmable logic controllers, or PLCs. While this equipment is still used today, it is becoming more common to use smaller devices, like microcontrollers that are available for less than ten dollars, and are available to consumers. These smaller devices make it possible to automate things on a more local scale rather than a larger scale.
TECHNOLOGY IS ON THE MOVE
The future depicted in shows like The Jetsons or movies like Back to the Future typically included flying or automated cars of some type. Well, that future has finally become reality. Google, Mercedes and Tesla have all developed or are in the process of finalizing automated car models.
Four U.S. states - Nevada, Florida, California, and Michigan - along with Washington, D.C., have successfully enacted laws addressing autonomous vehicles. Control units have gotten so small and so powerful that automation has really taken off. This means more futuristic inventions, like self-driving or flying cars, may become possible.