Electrical and Computer Engineering

The College of Engineering provides its students a firm grounding in scientific and mathematical fundamentals; experience in analysis, synthesis and design of engineering systems, and exposure to current engineering practice and cutting edge engineering research and technology. A spirit of entrepreneurship pervades the College of Engineering–in education, scholarship, and participation in engineering practice.

UCSB’s College of Engineering has achieved national recognition in areas such as solid state electronics, materials, and high-performance computing. With state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, UCSB offers undergraduates the finest in engineering education. All undergraduate programs have met the rigorous standards of and been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET or, in the case of Computer Science, the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Such accreditation adds weight to the degree when students apply for graduate study and professional positions.

General Major Information

How Can I Tell If I Would Like Engineering?

An engineering student excels in mathematics and many aspects of science. The student has good reasoning, analytical and leadership qualities. Hobbies may include computers, conducting experiments and reading. Individuals with an aptitude toward mathematics and sciences and who would like to understand the technological systems we use every day would enjoy engineering.

What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?
Computer Engineering: The Computer Engineering major's objective is to educate broadly based engineers with an understanding of digital electronics, computer architecture, system software and integrated circuit design. These topics bridge traditional electrical engineering and computer science curricula.

Electrical Engineering: The undergraduate curriculum in electrical engineering is designed to provide students with a solid background in mathematics, physical sciences, and traditional electrical engineering topics. A wide range of program options are offered, including: wireless and optical communications; semiconductor device physics and fabrication; high-frequency RF/microwave circuits and antennas; high-speed analog, digital, and mixed-signal IC design; solid-state lighting and optoelectronics; micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS); digital signal and image processing; control systems and robotics.

To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:

- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.

- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.

What Can I Do To Make My Major More Marketable?

  • Pursue relevant work, internship, volunteer, and/or research experience.
  • Choose a complementary minor.
  • Specialize in an area; take courses in related fields.
  • Develop your computer skills.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Study abroad.
  • Join professional associations.
  • Get involved in student clubs.
  • Participate in community organizations.
  • Seek out leadership positions.
  • Research specific prerequisites for different positions.
  • Network with others in fields that interest you.

General Career Information

What Are Some Possible Career Options?

Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be.  The following list provides only a handful of possibilities. Engineering majors with strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in many fields. Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study options include: applied research, design, management, operations, manufacturing, and consulting.

Computer Engineering majors can find careers in areas such as biomedical system development, computer chip design and manufacturing, computational science, computer software, computer networks, computer systems, embedded systems, robotics, VLSO, and bioinformatics.

Electrical Engineering majors may specialize in computer engineering, solid state electronics, microwaves and communications electronics, signals and systems, bioelectronics, digital systems, and power and energy.

To learn more about these and other occupations, please visit:
O*Net Online

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Come visit the Career Resource Room to see our vast collection of career books and resources.

And, see what other UCSB alumni are doing with their major on LinkedIn

Additional sites and resources

Computer Science v. Computer Engineering
Not sure of the difference?  This article explains it clearly and succinctly.

Sloan Career Cornerstone Center
SCCC is a comprehensive resource center for those interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics which includes the following electrical & computer engineering information: overview, preparation, earnings, employment, industries, career path forecast, profiles, professional development & organization along with presentations & podcasts.

Your Career in the Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Engineering Fields
Information about a career as an electrical engineer - written by an Apollo astronaut for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Career Opportunities in Electrical Engineering
A nice, general handout by our colleagues at Rutgers.

California Occupational Guide
Info on labor market, job duties, working conditions, and employment outlook for electrical engineers in California.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
Good, basic information about the nature of the work, employment, job outlook, earnings.

Focus 2
Check out “What Can I do with a major in…?” under Focus 2.


Graduate and Professional Schools

Electrical Engineering Rankings provided by Phds.org
Enter your criteria and get a list rank ordered to your preferences.

Accredited Engineering Program Search
These lists show the programs accredited by ABET.

US News and World Reports
Listing of the best graduate schools in chemistry, biochemistry and other scientific fields.  As with all rankings, make sure that you take them with a grain of salt.

This is a comprehensive website that provides information about where graduate programs are offered throughout the nation.

This is a database to help find where graduate programs are offered throughout the U.S.

Experience Search Strategies

Get Experience (Internship/Lab/Research)

Career Services Internship Resources
Build your qualifications by exploring various opportunities to get experience in your field of interest. Click on the link above!

UCSB College of Engineering Undergraduate Research Opportunities
There are many research opportunities for undergraduate students, including those through educational programs, undergraduate courses, and connections with faculty in your department.

Job/Internship Search Sites

UCSB Career Services “Job Links” section
Check out job links in the following categories: Local/CA, National, International, Industry Specific, UCSB Careers By Majors and Diversity.

These are engineering jobs listed by employers seeking qualified engineers. Engineer.net™ lists engineering jobs and resumes for aerospace, chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, manufacturing, mechanical, or software engineering.

IEEE Job Site
Search for entry level (and higher) jobs here.

Engineer.info searches for engineering jobs from all job sites, newspapers, associations, and company career pages. at one site

Think Energy
Energy jobs in the United States.

Lists engineering jobs in more than 750 U.S. cities and around the world.

Engineering Central
EE jobs posted to Engineering Central.

Dice is the leading career site for technology and engineering professionals.
Lab Support, a division of On Assignment, is an international leader in placing science and engineering professionals in contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire opportunities.
As one of the largest U.S. providers of engineering and technical staffing, we can help you find engineering jobs that match your skills. Our professional recruiters work with top companies, giving you access to some of the most desirable positions available.

When you join LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.

Professional Associations

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

University Electrical Engineering Programs, student resources, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Inc.


The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

ACM, the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, delivers resources that advance computing as a science and a profession. ACM provides the computing field's premier Digital Library and serves its members and the computing profession with leading-edge publications, conferences, and career resources.

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
A national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community.

Society of Women Engineers
SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and be recognized for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders.

Engineers Without Borders
EWB-USA is a non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life. This partnership involves the implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while involving and training internationally responsible engineers and engineering students.

UCSB Resources