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Department of Electronic Engineering
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Undergraduate Programme > FAQ
for undergraduate students
Question: What is the difference between Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering?

"Electrical" refers to the "heavy current" and "traditional" part of the discipline, while "Electronic" is more on the "light current" and "modern" part. In Electrical Engineering, students will learn all aspects of the electrical network and the related components. Core contents include electricity generation systems, electricity distribution/transmission networks, electrical machines, transformers, control theory, energy transfer and thermodynamics. On the other hand, the main topics covered by Electronic Engineering may include semiconductor physics/devices, electronic/integrated circuits, computing hardware/software, communication systems and signal processing.

Question: What is the difference between IE, CSE and EE?

You are highly encouraged to use online application. Online application for PhD study can be done atIE, which stands for "Information Engineering", tends to emphasize more on processing, transmission and retrieval of "information" or "messages". These commodities are becoming increasingly more important in modern societies. CSE, as the title "Computer Science and Engineering" describes, is more specialized on the design and application of hardware and software systems surrounding modern computers. Finally "EE", which of course refers to "Electronic Engineering", has the flavour of broadness. One gets a bit of everything, computers, information systems, semiconductors, circuits etc. We put emphasis on IC design, wireless technology, fibre optic communication, semiconductor device and biomedical engineering. The aim is make sure that students are well aware of every aspect surrounding all kinds of electronic devices and systems.

Question: What are the challenges in the field of Electronic Engineering?

The world of electronics is advancing rapidly. Although the fundamental physics behind modern electronic appliances has not changed much over the years, electronic engineers are not only required to master the basic principles behind electronic circuits and components, they are also expected to be very adaptable to new technologies. Unlike engineers working in other disciplines, electronic engineers have to constantly renew their skills. This is the challenge! For those who are keen to get involved in technological innovations, a career in electronic engineering will certainly keep their mind busy.

Question: What is the job prospect of EE?

The broad spectrum of topics covered by EE aim to prepare graduates to fit into a wide range of career opportunities in the field of telecommunication, computer, semiconductors, manufacturing, R&D, customer services, sales etc. Modern technologies are largely driven by advancements in electronics. In the ever expanding market for electronic products, EE graduates with good command of problem-solving and communication skills are always in great demand. More importantly, we should also recognize that the key to success does not solely depend only on the relevance of our education, but rather more on our attitude and commitment towards our career goals.

Question: Do we need to work in a factory in future?

Yes and No. Some of the students might end up working in close relation to production lines as product or design engineers. Others might take up completely different jobs in the financial market, civil services etc. It all depends on what career goal the student has set for himself/herself. In this department we have a personal mentoring scheme in which academic staff members are always available to give advices and counselling to students on various matters including those on career.