Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering careers

Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineers are employed in a wide range of fields from designing the very large machines and equipment used to generate electrical energy and transmit it throughout the country, to the design of the electrical equipment and systems that use this energy in almost every sphere of the economy: mining and industry, rail transportation, automated production lines, and the lighting and heating of homes and shopping malls.

To make these things happen electrical engineers must not only understand the principles of operation of electric machinery such as generators, motors and transformers, but also must know how to combine these machines into large and complex systems capable of operating efficiently. Due to the complexity of modern electrical machines and technology, computers are increasingly used by electrical engineers, both as tools for designing and analysing electrical systems and for automation and control of the systems themselves once they go into operation. Computers and IT are therefore very much a part of electrical engineering.

There are many large and small organisations, which depend upon a steady stream of new engineers to meet their needs. If you decide to be an Electrical Engineer you could be employed by companies such as: Eskom, Spoornet, Sasol, AECI, CSIR, Mittal or Highveld Steel, Mondi or Sappi, Hulett or Illovo Sugar, mining companies, municipalities, processing industries, consulting firms. Many electrical engineers are self employed as consultants.

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Electronic Engineering

Electronic Engineers are responsible for the design, management and specification of an almost endless list of hi-tech appliances, equipment and systems. Some examples of these would be: cellular and land-line telephones and networks, satellite transmitters and receivers, global positioning systems, CD and DVD players, Hi-Fi equipment, computers and software, high speed fibre optic communications links as well as television and radio transmitters and receivers. In fact one would be hard pressed to find a device today that has not been improved by some electronic engineering innovation.

Almost all electronic design and evaluation work will be completed using computers and as with all engineering a significant amount of time will involve the use and programming of computers.

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Computer Engineering

Computer Engineers design and manage computer systems from small LANs to networks that span the world, connected via cables, optical fibres and radio and satellite links. Computer networks are the backbone on which our economy is based.

The work of a Computer Engineer is very similar to that of an electronic engineer, but the computer engineer specialises in all aspects of computing such as operating systems, software engineering, computer hardware, computer and network security and network design. The strong foundation on subjects such as software engineering, network and computer security, design and analysis of complex systems, Internet engineering and e-commerce are what provides the computing specialisation.

Electronic equipment today relies very heavily on computer technology and so the two types of engineers work together to design and manufacture electronic equipment which requires both hardware and software design.

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The above-mentioned engineers are employed by a wide range of companies such as:
  • Telkom, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C
  • SABC, Orbicom, Sentech
  • CSIR, SABS, Armscor 
  • mines, defence industry, electronic manufacturing industries, computer companies, software houses, consulting firms or
  • You could be self-employed running your own business in many of these fields

Engineering careers booklet

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