Learn electronics with online courses and programs
Introduction to electronics
It seems impossible to imagine life without electronics. Smartphones, computers, home appliances, security systems, and transit systems all run on electrical circuits. But electronics have a long history predating modern times. In fact, the foundation for modern electronics dates back to 1897, when J.A. Fleming invented the vacuum diode, and later the vacuum triode to amplify electrical signals.Footnote 1
In order to define electronics, it’s important to understand how electricity works at a fundamental level. When electrons travel through a vacuum, gas, or another medium, they produce what we know as electricity. Electronics is a branch of physics focused on the design of circuits and the study of electrons under various conditions. Electrical engineers oversee the design, testing, manufacturing, construction, and monitoring of electrical and electronic devices, machinery, and systems.Footnote 2
As daily life becomes increasingly intertwined with electronic devices, electronics and electrical engineering are particularly relevant fields that can be exciting and fulfilling to explore. These fields deal primarily with the transmission of electrical power, whether it’s going into a computer’s semiconductor or traveling through local power lines.
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Electronics courses and curriculum
An online electronics course is a great way to learn electronics and gain the skills necessary for a successful career in the field. Topics covered in an electronics engineering course often vary from course to course, depending on learners’ skill sets and previous knowledge. Whether you’re interested in learning electronics fundamentals or plan to advance your current skill set, edX offers a variety of courses to help you reach your goals.
For example, introductory electronics courses or a beginner's electronics course may focus on foundational subject matter such as interactions of electrical power, energy and environment, basic electronics engineering, the principles of electronic circuits, and computation structures. Learners interested in gaining a general understanding of electronics principles may opt to enroll in physics courses, which can provide valuable context for future learning.
Specialized intermediate classes may delve into the role of smart grids, data-enabled machine learning, power electronics-control, and data-driven decision-making. Nanotechnology courses may provide learners with a basic background in semiconductor physics and an opportunity to learn how some of the fascinating new discoveries about the flow of electrons at the nanoscale plays out in the context of a practical device.
Careers in electronics
New developments in technology and related fields help to create opportunities within electronics. As a result, new jobs are continually popping up for electronics professionals. Here are a few of the many roles within the electronics field:
Electrical engineers are professionals who specialize in the research, development, installation, and management of electrical equipment and systems. They play a critical role in nearly every industry by solving modern technology problems.
Architectural and engineering managers also use electronics skills daily in their professional roles. They work in offices, research laboratories, construction sites, and industrial production plants to manage architectural engineering plans.Footnote 3
Bioengineers and biomedical engineers combine electronics skills with scientific expertise to develop new devices and medical equipment.Footnote 4
Electronics technicians install, maintain, and repair various types of complex electrical power systems. Many of these professionals work in repair shops or factories and are trained to work with a variety of electrical equipment.Footnote 5
Aerospace engineers use electronics skills to design aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles.Footnote 6 They work primarily in manufacturing, research, analysis, design, development, and federal government roles.
Electronics skills can take you many places, from architecture to medicine to aerospace and beyond. Expand your career possibilities by enrolling in an electronics online course today.
How to find a job in electronics engineering or technology
Electronics professionals have a firm and working knowledge of electrical hardware, various testing methods, as well as problem solving, communication, and collaboration skills.Footnote 7 Typically, you’ll need a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or a related field in order to land a job in electronics.Footnote 8 However, it may be possible to get started learning electronics without a formal education.
Prior to starting a bachelor’s or master's degree in electronics, learners may find it helpful to enroll in a boot camp to gain hands-on experience with relevant analytical or project management skills. Employers may also look for additional practical experience that internships can provide.
Proper electronics training can help to set learners up with the skills needed to succeed in the field. Electronics courses can prepare learners for work as technicians, electrical engineers, and engineering managers. Reading through various job descriptions and skill requirements can help to shape your educational journey into the field.
Today, there are many options to learn electronics online. Electronics engineering courses range from basic electronics programs to higher-level courses for electronics engineers eager to advance their skills in a specific area of electronics. The path you take will depend on your prior experience, current interests, and future goals.