2021 Educator Research Study

Educators represent a direct line to understanding what the next trends in the engineering field will be. They are entrusted with preparing future engineers with the skills and information they need to succeed, which often means that they must stay on top of new trends as a matter of necessity.

By learning more about what educators need and how they behave, we can learn more about how prepared students are when they enter the field. This impacts hiring practices for companies and which resources they may choose to develop to engage with educational institutions.

Kate Smith
All About Circuits


The average EE educator is 44 years old and has 11 years of engineering experience.

74% of respondents expressed interest in utilizing resources from EETech in their classrooms, showing that they value free resources from authoritative sources.

To ensure we know what type of educators are represented in our respondents, we asked which title best describes their job. The most common response was “professor” at 38%, while 11% said they were an “assistant professor.” 25% indicated they would call themselves a “teacher” instead.

This information tells us that nearly half of educator respondents are likely teaching at least at the college level.

Which professional title best describes your job?

Because education standards and methods differ around the globe, we also asked where our educators are employed. 54%, by far the most common response, said they were based in North America. Less represented but still significant were educators from Europe, Asia/Pacific, and the Middle East/Africa.

Where is your permanent place of employment located?

Interestingly, only 78% of respondents reported that their education institution offered curriculum specific to electrical engineering. 35% said their institution offers an EE major whereas only 37% and 17% offered EE electives and an EE minor, respectively.

Does your institution offer curriculum specific to electrical engineering?

Specialties Taught

Educator respondents most commonly said they teach circuit design. Many also reported that they teach or have taught programming, mathematics, control systems, and physics. More specific classes such as mechatronics and microelectronics were less commonly selected.

This makes sense as educators are likely going to be teaching foundational concepts the most often.

What classes do you teach/have you taught?

(Multiple responses)

Best Educational Mediums for Concepts

We asked which educational mediums educators believe to be best for teaching technical concepts to their students. Here, we compare their answers to which mediums the survey’s student respondents preferred.

As you can see, educators were largely in-tune with their students. Both demographics identified face-to-face instruction, hands-on/lab experience, video resources, and tutorials as the top four selections.

15% more of students, however, put specifically lab experience as their top medium over face-to-face instruction. Educators selected both of these options almost equally. This may indicate a slight underestimation among educators about the importance of hands-on work in the classroom.

What educational mediums best help your students understand technical concepts?

(Multiple responses)

Interest in Developing New Resources

EETech provides thousands of free educational resources across our websites. We asked educators if they would be interested in actively working with us to develop new resources that would be available for free. 60% said that they were interested, with another 27% saying they’d like to learn more. Only 13% said they were not interested at all.

Recall that earlier we reported 78% of educator respondents as interested in using EETech’s resources in their classrooms. This additional information tells us that there is significant overlap between educators who find value in these free resources and those who would like to give back to the community to develop more of them.

Would you like to work with the EETech editorial team to develop free educational resources?



Career Pros

A Career Pro is a seasoned electrical engineer with 6 or more years of engineering experience. These engineers represent who leads in the industry today.

When comparing educators to practicing engineers, we can understand how the two demographics differ in their interests and needs.


We asked both groups about their most pressing challenges at work. This information comes from an educational institution environment for educators, where the end product of their work is most commonly student knowledge. For Career Pros, the context is in the professional world where end products may be devices, systems, or designs.

Overall, educators expressed more anxiety about keeping up with new technology, likely due to the pressure to prepare students with the latest information available. They also were more likely to report concern over budgets. Career Pro engineers were more concerned about end-product concerns such as time to market and changing project requirements.

What are the most pressing challenges you face in your current work?

(Multiple responses)

Sources of Info Used Most

When we ask about “sources of information,” we’re asking where respondents look to seek out information. The top source for all respondent demographics, including educators and Career Pros, was search engines.

Educators also prioritized drawing info from manufacturer websites, textbooks, engineering forums/communities, and distributor websites. They were more likely to draw from social media, news sites, maker blogs, and tradeshows than Career Pro respondents were, showing an overall higher diversity in information sources they use.

Which of the following sources of information do you utilize most during the design process?

(Multiple responses)

Types of Info Relied On

“Types of information” indicates what resources respondents reach for once they’ve determined a source of information. The top responses for educators were technical articles and datasheets, leaving textbooks in a slightly surprising third place.

Career Pros, by comparison, showed much more common reliance on datasheets and other product-specific resources like user manuals, app notes, and reference designs. Educators also saw more value in video resources than Career Pros did.

Which types of information do you rely on most for during the designs process?

(Multiple responses)

Desired Info

We also ask survey respondents which type of content they would like to see made more often. This indicates that they see value in these resources, but they may not find as many of them as they need.

Educators put videos at the top of their wish list for new content. This correlates to the value they place on videos as a method of teaching technical concepts to their students. Also in demand are written tutorials and technical articles, which were also selected by Career Pros.

Interestingly, educators placed “historical engineer/tech” pieces as their #4 selection. This is likely due to coverage of the background and inventors of technical concepts as they introduce concepts to students.

What kinds of informational content would you like to see more of?

(Multiple responses)

Open Source

Open-source solutions are those that make their documentation available to the public. These could be software stacks, hardware layout designs, or even educational resources.

58% of educators expressed comfort with open-source solutions and 26% said their answer would depend on circumstances. Only 16% of educators said they would not trust open-source solutions.

Do you use open-source solutions in your projects?

Likely to Recommend

Educators were very likely overall to recommend EETech websites to friends and colleagues, more so than Career Pros.

This may be due to EETech sites’ plethora of educational resources, ranging from introductions to common concepts all the way to in-depth explorations of niche technologies.

How likely is it that you would recommend the following sites to a friend or colleague?

(For each persona, the charts show the percentage of those who said they were “very likely” or “likely” (top 2 ratings) to recommend each site.)

Can’t Get Enough Data?

The data presented here is only the tip of the soldering iron. If you are interested in more data, particular insights, or would just like to use our data in your marketing materials, please reach out to us. We’re happy to share!

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