I came in to USC as an Undeclared Engineer, and at first I felt overwhelmed by the number of engineering options there were. Through advice from friends, Professors, and alumni (who I met through the Engineering Spotlight series at Viterbi), I declared Electrical Engineering (EE) in the beginning of my sophomore year.
Now that I’ve been studying EE for two and a half years, I know a little more about EE than when I first came to USC as a freshmen. Electrical Engineering is a very broad subject. Think about it – how many devices use electricity? There are big power systems, like the electrical grid that we use to power all of our devices at home and at work every day. But there are also smaller electrical systems in our phones and watches. Because there are so many different types of electrical systems we can study, the Electrical Engineering major at USC is split into different areas of emphasis.
There are three general areas of focus: Computer Architecture, Control Systems, and Signal Processing, and Integrated Circuits. The last of those is my area of emphasis. It focuses on the chips that are created in a wide variety of electrical devices to allow it to function correctly. I’m learning how to design and layout circuits that are printed onto small silicone chips and make your computer, your phone, and all kinds of other devices work.
One of my favorite parts of Electrical Engineering is that when I graduate I have the flexibility to work on a huge variety of projects! Almost every tech company needs Electrical Engineers, and so I can work on so many awesome new devices. My Electrical Engineering friends who have graduated are working at software companies, aerospace companies, and biomedical companies. I personally am still thinking about going to graduate school after I graduate from USC, but first I’m going to take a year off and travel the world! When I get back, I’ll decide whether I want to go into industry, or go to graduate school, or maybe even start working at a startup like I did last summer.