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MCLA Poised to Add Electrical Engineering Program


Elec eng girlThey design the hardware that turns science fiction into reality, and literally create every piece of technology that all of us have grown to depend so heavily upon – from smart phone to super computers, toaster ovens to entertainment systems, and from robots to space shuttles. Electrical engineers – now, more than ever –are in demand to fill positions across the United States.

Beginning in January 2018, MCLA’s Department of Computer Science will offer a new concentration in electrical engineering. According to Dr. Mike Dalton, chair of MCLA’s Computer Science Department, the College is dedicated to supporting the needs of the Commonwealth and the country, including in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. Students in this program will help to fill the STEM pipeline in the Berkshires, Massachusetts, and beyond.

According to Dalton – who holds a Ph.D in electrical engineering –MCLA looked to its strengths when the College decided to add the new program.

Elec eng girls“We have some awesome STEM programs that are the perfect support for this new concentration,” Dalton explained, “Given our programs in computer science, physics, math, chemistry, and biology, we also already offer most of the courses required for an electrical engineering program. This new program will include coverage of Electrical Circuit Design, Advanced Circuit Design, Electronic Fabrication, Control Systems, Communications, and Computer Organization. 

“Electrical engineers design the hardware that turns science fiction into reality.  In addition, they create – literally – every piece of technology that we depend upon; from smart phones to super computers, from toaster ovens to DVD players, from robots to space shuttles,” he added.

According to Engineering and Technology (E&T), the World Economic Forum predicts that by 2020 two million jobs will be created worldwide that fall under the STEM umbrella. While traditional engineering roles will stay to the fore, there will also be growth for engineers in a widening variety of sectors. In addition, a recent Global Information Security Workforce study identified the need for an estimated 1.5 million more qualified people working in security by 2020 – highlighting the rapid growth of the industry. 

Because of a large skills gap, E&T stated, engineering apprentices, students, and graduates with the right knowledge and abilities, can expect to remain sought after around the world. 

Monica Joslin, dean of academic affairs, added that students who opt to concentrate in electrical engineering at MCLA will have a big advantage over others from other institutions: “Employers look for graduates who are well rounded, such as those with a liberal arts education, which includes having strong written and oral communication skills.”