Is Electrical Engineering Hard?

Is Electrical Engineering Hard

Electrical engineering is a course that may not be as glamorous as other engineering courses, but it is arguably one of the most important.

Many may not think it is a very difficult course, and they would be wrong. Electrical engineering is in fact considered one of the most difficult majors in the field!

Although it is difficult that doesn’t mean that it isn’t for you. Continue reading to learn more about this very important major,

Electrical Engineering: A Difficult Major

Background on Electrical Engineering

Engineers produce creative solutions to a variety of the world’s problems through the use of mathematics, science, and technology.

Electrical engineering itself is one of the most important branches in the field due to our reliance on electronics in the modern-day.

In spite of its importance in the present day, it is one of the newer branches of engineering, dating back to only the late 19th century.

Electrical engineers focus their work on various components and devices as well as systems. These range from microchips to entire power stations!

They utilize every aspect of engineering from math to science and of course technology.

Ever since the field of electrical engineering began it has constantly grown and branched out into other specialized categories in order to serve and improve our daily lives.

Power generation, transmission systems, motors batteries, control systems… The list goes on! 

Needless to say, electrical engineering also includes electronics themselves, and that itself has branched out into even more subcategories.

Subcategories of electronics encompass radio frequency (RF) systems, telecommunications, remote sensing, signal processing, digital circuits, instrumentation, and audio, as well as video optoelectronics.

What do Electrical Engineers Do?

Electrical engineers do a variety of things, spreading across tons of different specialties. 

They design and develop electrical equipment in addition to testing and supervising their manufacturing.

These equipment include such things as electric motors as well as navigation systems used in various craft like boats and planes. 

Radars, another key piece of equipment for these same craft, also fall under the responsibility of electrical engineers.

From your old school boombox to a modern-day touchscreen phone, electrical engineers truly are involved in a vast majority of activities in our daily lives.

Most devices you can find that use electricity in any way were more than likely created by an electrical engineer.

Not only do electrical engineers play a large role in crafting new electronics, but they may also deal with stress testing particular pieces of electronics.

Testing the performance of electronics, along with their durability and reliability also fall under the umbrella of responsibility of an electrical engineer.

In the modern-day, most electrical engineers will work using simple components when designing electrical devices.

These components range from coils and magnets to batteries and switches, along with many others. All of these small components are key when crafting anything that uses electronics.

Nearly all electrical and electronic devices use this handful of basic components to function.

From the generators at an electric power plant to the microprocessors in your laptop and phone, electrical engineering produced the people who make these things function.

Many electrical engineers are responsible for managing and supervising others in their respective workplaces and projects.

Possible careers that you can find yourself in when majoring in electrical engineering include, of course, electronic engineer among others such as an IT technician, project manager, or power engineer.

What Makes Electrical Engineering Difficult?

So, what exactly makes electrical engineering so difficult?

Well, for starters this specialization involves quite a bit of abstract thinking. Considerably more than any of the other engineering branches. 

Unlike its sister majors, such as civil engineering, electrical engineers cannot physically feel or see what they are designing changing, or building.

Instead, electrical engineers need to imagine what they are constructing or learning all within their minds.

This is due to the fact that a majority of the processes involved in electrical engineering (EE) are purely not visible.

In order for an electrical engineer to build something, the student must have a strong and competent grasp of the fundamental concepts of EE.

How circuits and signals work as well as the ability to think openly and abstractly about various projects and pieces of work.

Not only are electrical engineering students expected to hold mastery over the multiple theories and fundamentals of the discipline, but they will be required to analyze and troubleshoot in real-time.

Understanding theory is obviously a must when taking this course, but even this does not result in a successful application in the lab.

Students will need to adapt and be able to adjust their work to accommodate the various jobs they will be required to perform.

Alongside this work ethic, students will find it a necessity to exercise patience, in addition to test and think about variables that may be the reason for a project not working as planned.

Abstract thinking, as mentioned earlier, also extends over to the math that is involved in the course of electrical engineering.

Like all other branches of engineering, electrical engineering is very heavy on mathematics, and competency in this discipline is a heavy requirement when taking this course.

Partial differential equations are much more common in electrical engineering than other engineering majors.

These partial differential equations are notorious for being abstract and difficult to think about on a conceptual level.

Being used to aid in the solution of physical problems involving functions across several variables, these equations are extremely important but can never truly be solved.

It may drive some students crazy, but these equations are a must in EE, making the course difficult for those who prefer to deal in discrete mathematics.


Electrical engineering is in fact one of the most difficult forms of engineering, and most students will find that the sort of mathematics used in the course is extremely challenging.

Although the course is hard, that should not discourage you from taking a shot at it. Without Electrical engineers the world we live in would not be the way it is today.

Now that you have a background about what makes the course so daunting to most you can properly prepare and ready yourself for a future in electrical engineering.

Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes is a writer for HKS Siblab, an education and business blog. He has a MSc in Cyber Security & Digital Forensics from the University of Hertfordshire and has been working in the cyber security industry since 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing guitar and spending time with his family.

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