University of Minnesota
Institute of Technology
myU OneStop

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering?
          • Consistently ranked among the top 20 programs in the nation (U.S. News and World Reports)

          • Committed to undergraduate and graduate education as evidence by the number of teaching awards held
             by our faculty members including Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teachers Awards, G.W. Taylor Awards for
             Distinguished Teaching, Institute of Technology Distinguished Professor awards and Quality of Mentorship
             Award recipients 

          • Committed to research excellence as evidenced by the number of major awards held by our faculty members
            (EPRI, Microsoft, IBM, EURASIP, NSF, OSA, INSIC, McKnight, ONR and the National Academy of Engineering)

          • Committed to creation and dissemination of knowledge worldwide as evidenced through the financial support
             and partnerships we have with industries, government, and foundations

          • Committed to real-life learning experiences for students by offering opportunities to become involved in
            cutting-edge research and design through collaborations with business, industry and government in fully
            equipped laboratories

Why major in electrical or computer engineering?
Do you enjoy learning how things work? Are you an excellent problem solver? Do you like and get good grades in math and science?
          • Electronics is one of the largest manufacturing industries in the world. It’s economic and social impact
            makes it the most important industry in the 21st century.

          • Electrical and Computer Engineers continue to provide the key building blocks of the information
            technology revolution, from improved data storage devices and faster computer chips to advanced data
            compression methods and telecommunications.

          • Electrical and Computer Engineers are designing a radically new communications infrastructure for
            the 21st century.

          • Electrical power industry is moving rapidly towards global competition which will lead to a total utility
            investment of nearly $2.6 trillion (US$) during the next 20 years.

          • Firms will continue to demand computer professionals who are knowledgeable about hardware
            and software and can apply this knowledge to meet the efficiency and effectiveness needs of business
            and society.

How much money could I make when I graduate?
Currently, a starting salary for an electrical engineer

         with a BS is $55,292;

         with a MS is $66,309 and

         with a PhD is $75,982.

A starting salary for a computer engineer

         with a BS is $56,201; and

         with a MS is $60,080; and

         with a PhD is $92,500. 

(National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2007)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (May, 2008) states the mean Electrical Engineer salary is $85,350 and the mean Computer Engineer salary is $100,180

What are the prospects in this field?
The career potential in electrical and computer engineering is excellent. The need for engineers is growing.
In a recent article, it reports the need for engineers is very high; employers do not have enough candidates to fill all the open jobs for the second year in a row. Because of federal stimulus programs that support rebuilding of America's highways, bridges and tunnels and refitting of buildings, the increasing demand for the development of sustainable energy sources, and the retirement of large numbers of current experienced engineers, the need for new engineers continues to grow.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers' 2009 Salary Survey reports that the average starting salary for BS engineering graduates overall is $58,438 (up 2.3 percent from 2008). The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in their Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition reports the mean salary for electrical engineers as $85,350 and for computer engineers as $100,180.

Is Financial Aid available?
Yes, many of our Electrical and Computer Engineering students use Financial Aid to supplement their education. Go to University of Minnesota Web Site’s One Stop for more information.