The field of electronics engineering is experiencing remarkable growth as technology continues to evolve, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicting a 5% expansion in job opportunities through 2031 — a rate faster than the national average. In an era of rapid technological advancements, electronics engineers are increasingly in demand across many industries, and this trend is unlikely to slow down. Data from BLS also reveals that the median annual wage for electrical engineers in 2022 stood at $104,610, making this profession a lucrative choice for those with the skills and knowledge.
A handful of specific career opportunities are available to graduates of the online Master of Science (M.S.) in Electronics Engineering with a track in Microelectronics and Photonics program at Norfolk State University (NSU). To fulfill any of these roles, though, graduates must have a foundational understanding of the key concepts involved.
What Are Electronics Engineering, Microelectronics and Photonics?
Electronics engineering, at its core, is a branch of electrical engineering that focuses on designing, developing and maintaining electronics systems and components. These systems encompass a wide range of applications, from consumer electronics to industrial machinery. Their creation requires a deep understanding of electromagnetism, mechanical structures and other advanced strategies and processes.
Microelectronics, on the other hand, deals with the miniaturization of electronic components and their integration into small-scale devices. It is the driving force behind developing smaller, more efficient and powerful electronic products. Photonics is the study and application of light-based technologies, encompassing everything from optical communication systems to lasers and sensors.
The online M.S. Electronics Engineering – Microelectronics and Photonics program at NSU combines these areas of expertise, ensuring that graduates are well prepared for the rapidly evolving landscape of electronics engineering.
Electronics Engineering Technology Jobs
Below are five promising career paths that graduates of the program can pursue, along with the roles’ respective job responsibilities and average salaries:
- ASIC/VLSI design engineer. ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) and VLSI (very-large-scale integration) design engineers are responsible for developing custom microchips and integrated circuits. They work on designing the architecture of these chips, optimizing their performance and ensuring they meet the specific needs of a given application. The average salary for this role is $171,472 a year as of October 2023 but varies with experience and location.
- Design integration engineer. Design integration engineers play an important role in bringing various electronics components and systems together into a coherent whole. They ensure different subsystems work seamlessly together, troubleshoot integration issues and oversee the testing and validation of complex electronics systems. The average annual salary for design integration engineers is $103,283 as of September 2023, depending on experience and geographic location.
- Digital design engineer. Digital design engineers focus on creating digital circuits and systems. They work on the logic design of microprocessors, memory units and digital signal processing components. Their role includes simulation, testing and debugging of digital circuits. Digital design engineers earn an average salary of $108,993 a year, with higher figures for those with more experience.
- Microelectronics circuit design engineer. Microelectronics circuit design engineers specialize in creating miniature circuits, which are crucial for developing compact devices such as smartphones, wearables and medical instruments. They design and optimize the layout of circuits, considering factors like power efficiency and signal integrity. The average salary for microelectronics circuit design engineers is $115,244 a year as of October 2023, depending on their level of expertise and location.
- RTL design engineer. RTL (register-transfer level) design engineers focus on developing the low-level hardware description of digital systems. They work on defining the architecture, data flow and control unit of digital circuits and systems. RTL designs are essential for ASIC and FPGA (field-programmable gate arrays) development. RTL design engineers earn an average annual salary of $89,689 as of October 2023, with the potential for higher incomes based on experience and location.
Earn an Electronics Engineering Degree Online
The demand for professionals in these roles is on the rise and driven by the ever-increasing integration of electronic systems in our daily lives and ongoing innovation in microelectronics and photonics. As technology continues to advance, these career paths offer not only job security but also the opportunity to contribute to groundbreaking developments in electronics engineering.
Graduates of NSU’s online M.S. Electronics Engineering – Microelectronics and Photonics program are well equipped to meet this demand and make significant contributions to the field.