If you have an interest in both electrical engineering and accounting, you might be wondering which would be a better major. This post will show you the advantages and disadvantages of each and help you decide which would be a better major for you.
At a glance:
|Types of jobs|
you can qualify for
Radio frequency engineer
|Difficulty of the|
|Key things to note|
Often necessary to
complete the CPA
exam to progress
into senior positions
and to get the more
lucrative jobs. A
master’s degree will
Lower level bookkeeping
roles are likely to become
Has good overall job prospects.
Can be a path into a number of
different fields including finance
|A very employable|
High average pay.
High job satisfaction.
Average predicted job
growth for the next decade.
Source for electrical engineering major salary and jobs
There are many things to consider when choosing between the two degrees and there are also some important things to be aware of when choosing either of them.
Details about the electrical engineering major
Below are details about the electrical engineering major.
According to Payscale, the average pay of someone with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering is $92,227. This is much higher than the reported pay for most other majors. It is also higher than the average reported pay for accounting which is reported as being $70,762.
According to the BLS, it is reported that the demand for electrical engineers will grow by 5% between 2019 and 2029. This is slightly higher than the average growth across all jobs. They mention that increasing demand for things such as solar arrays, semiconductors and communications technologies will drive demand for electrical engineers. However, they also mention that certain industries are on the decline such as utilities and manufacturing.
Electrical engineering is a major that will qualify you for a lot of jobs that pay well with just a bachelor’s degree. Jobs you can get with a degree in electrical engineering can include:
- Systems engineer
- Radio frequency engineer
- Electrical engineer
- Controls engineer
- Software engineer
Electrical engineering includes a lot of mathematics. The concepts in the electrical engineering classes themselves can also be very difficult. With that being the case, you can expect electrical engineering to be a very difficult major. You can expect electrical engineering to be a lot harder than accounting.
Below are some classes that you can expect to take in electrical engineering:
- Calculus 1, 2, and 3
- Linear algebra
- Differential equations
- Electricity and magnetism
- Circuit analysis
- Control systems
- Signals and systems
- Introduction to electrical engineering
- Introduction to programming
You can look here to see an example degree sequence in electrical engineering.
Things to consider
Some jobs can require a master’s degree and a master’s degree can also help with career progression. It would help to consider what specific type of electrical engineering job you would be most interested in so that you can see whether or not it will also be necessary for you to obtain a master’s degree.
Electrical engineering is a major that will require a lot of work. This will likely mean that you will have to sacrifice a lot of free time. It might be the case that you could major in another high-paying major, such as computer science, that does not require as much effort, which will allow you to focus on other things such as internships and social activities without sacrificing your job opportunities.
Details about a degree in accounting
Below are some details about the accounting major.
According to payscale, the average pay of someone with a bachelor’s degree in accounting is $70,762. This is higher than most other majors but lower than electrical engineering which is one of the best paying majors right now.
Something to consider, is that completing the CPA exam and getting an accounting master’s degree will increase your earnings potential significantly.
A degree in accounting should give you good opportunities with just a bachelor’s degree. This is because the degree can qualify you for a number of accounting roles and it can also qualify you for roles in related fields such as finance and business since accounting knowledge is useful in many business applications.
However, a lot of the more lucrative accounting roles require you to be a CPA and most people that become a CPA also get a master’s degree in accounting.
Jobs that you can qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in accounting can include:
- Account manager
- Financial analyst
- Tax manager
- Financial advisor
Some other jobs that you can get with a master’s degree would include:
- Forensic accountant
- Managerial accountant
- Chief financial officer
An accounting degree can be difficult especially in the junior and senior years when the classes become more specialized. Overall, accounting is generally considered as a moderately difficult degree.
Things to consider
If you are thinking of majoring in accounting, it could also help to minor in finance. This is because many people with accounting degrees end up in finance. Getting a finance minor should help you when looking for jobs within finance. Getting an internship, in the field, could also help a lot.
If you want to go far in accounting, it would help you to complete the CPA exam as soon as you are able to. This is because many of the more desirable jobs require that you have completed the exam.
While accounting is a degree with good job opportunities, it can still be competitive. With that being the case, it would help you a lot to try to get some summer internships while you are completing the degree.
As mentioned above, an electrical engineering degree should qualify you for many jobs that pay well and have high levels of job satisfaction. With that being the case, is among the highest return on investment degrees right now.
While electrical engineering is one of the best paying degrees to get right now, it might still be the case that it might not be for you. It is a degree that involves a decent amount of mathematics including calculus, discrete math, differential equations, and linear algebra. If you are not great at math right now, I would still recommend an electrical engineering major since you can quickly improve your math skills using the website khanacademy.org.
An accounting degree can also qualify you for a number of different jobs and can be a good path towards a stable career.
If you decide to get an accounting degree, it would help a lot to make sure to become a CPA and it would help to also consider getting a master’s degree. Minoring in finance could also be a good way to broaden your job prospects. It would also help a lot to get summer internships while in the major.