Who is an electrical & electronics engineer?
An electrical & electronics engineer is a professional with qualifications in electrical & electronics engineering or closely related field. Electrical and electronics engineering is a branch of engineering which deals with the applications of electricity, electronics as well as electromagnetism with an objective of designing, developing, testing and maintenance of electrical and electronics components for various uses.
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The work of electrical & electronics engineers entails the design and development of electrical and electronics components and associated products. These engineers design and supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical and electronics components such as; power generation equipment, communications systems, radar and navigation systems, electric motors, construction/ building electrical & electronics systems, broadcast and communications systems among other electrical and electronics components.
What is electrical & electronics engineer’s work environment?
Electrical & electronics engineers generally work in offices. However, these professionals may occasionally visit worksites to supervise projects.
What are some electrical & electronics engineer’s career opportunities?
Electrical & electronics engineers are employed by Government, academia, the private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations among other areas.
Typical areas of employment include; Government ministries, electronics companies, IT firms, power companies (electric power generation, transmission and distribution firms), electronic component manufacturing firms, transportation firms, building and construction firms, telecommunication firms, consulting engineering companies, research and development, academic institutions, aviation sector, agricultural companies, petroleum companies among other areas.
With sufficient industry experience, these engineers can also use their skills and creativity to start their own businesses/ self-employment.
How to become an electrical & electronics engineer in Kenya
High school subject selection
To pursue a career as an electrical & electronics engineer, you will require good performance in the following cluster subjects.
- SUBJECT 1: MAT A,
- SUBJECT 2: PHY,
- SUBJECT 3: CHE,
- SUBJECT 4: BIO or any GROUP III or any GROUP IV or any GROUP (source; JAB/ Kuccps).
Education and Training Routes
If you work hard and score good grades in the above subject’s combination with an overall, KCSE mean grade C+ (plus) and above, you can pursue this career directly in the university (academic route).
However, if you do not qualify for direct university admission for this career option, you can still pursue it through a different route (technical route). Under the technical route, you will pursue a diploma course that can help or enable you further your education and become an electrical & electronics engineer.
So what course(s) can you pursue in either route and eventually become an electrical & electronics engineer?
Bachelor of science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering or related course(s)
An approved diploma in any of the following fields;
- Electrical & Electronics Engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Agricultural Engineering
- Civil engineering among other relevant qualifications
These diploma courses require at least KCSE mean grade C- (minus) and above.
It is worthy to note that, with a diploma in any of the above fields, you can either choose to get a job in line with your training or further your education to your desired career option.
Important skills to have
To work successfully as an electrical & electronics engineer, you will be required to possess important skills some of which are listed below;
- Math skills
- Concentration skills.
- Technical skills.
- Problem-solving skills.
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Presentation skills
- Computer skills among others
Throughout your education and training, you will be able to develop these skills. However, it’s your responsibility to make sure before you enter the job market; you possess much of the skills required in the job market.
How to Join College and or university
There are two ways you can follow to join training institution(s) in pursuit of your career of choice. The majority way is applying through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps). This is a state owned agency that admits/ places government sponsored students to colleges and universities. One of the advantages of applying through Kuccps is that, upon successful placement, you will pay subsidized fee as a government sponsored student.
To be placed through Kuccps you must have attained a certain pass mark required for various education levels for (degrees/diplomas/certificates etc.) For more details on placement criteria, visit Kuccps website. The second approach is applying directly to training institution of your choice. Students who opt to apply this way do not get government fee subsidy and are therefore self-sponsored.
How to fund your post-secondary education.
If you are a needy student, upon application, you can get education loan from Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), a state owned institution that gives education loans to students joining technical colleges and universities. You can also access education bursaries from your local Member of Parliament (MP) or the County Government among other sources.