Germany and Electrical Engineering
Germany’s globally recognized technical success is the result of advanced work in mechanical and electrical engineering. Today, the reason why Germany is a country with a current account surplus is its leading export capacity and capability in these fields. I think Germany’s renowned engineering education system is the main support in this regard. As such, the question “Which universities are the best to study electrical engineering in Germany” has become one of the most common questions.
As I always say: Although I can guarantee that you will not find a bad school in Germany, it is natural that some schools stand out. Some schools are very well known internationally. Their engineering education is globally experienced and recognized. When I list the schools for you, I feel like I am repeating the same things over and over again. For this reason, when it comes to electrical engineering, the list is almost the same with one or two changes in the ranking. (See Best Universities to Study Informatics in Germany 2023)
There are no bad engineering schools in Germany. Likewise, a bad engineer has no chance of graduating. Some of them are legendary Technical Universities (RWTH, Munich, Berlin, Darmstadt, Dresden, etc.) and some of them are old and some of them are relatively new, but they have proven their quality all over the world (Stuttgart, KIT, Braunschweig, Dortmund, etc.), all of them are schools that train excellent engineers. However, it is important to know that Electrical Engineering is one of the most difficult programs (see: Which programs are more difficult in Germany?)
As I have written before, since the “rankings of university rating agencies”, which you can find open-source on the internet, are focused on the intensity of academic outputs, the rankings can be important especially for doctoral and maybe a little master’s education. (I think if you are going to do more doctorate, look at these lists)
It does not help undergraduate or graduate students if schools have elite professors who “do a lot of research, publish a lot in academic journals, but don’t attend classes“. The right people to measure the quality of education are the employers who employ engineers after graduation.
For this reason, I think that surveys of human resources managers of large employers in Germany give a more realistic picture of the rankings. These statistics are published every year (Wirtschaftswoche).
Here is the 2023 list of the most preferred universities by German employers in Electrical Engineering:
Technical University of Munich ranks first
The school’s Electrical engineering programs are extremely popular with prospective students from all over the world. Engineering education in Germany is closely linked to the German automotive, machine development and energy industries. The wealthy state of Bavaria and the support of industry giants bring additional opportunities for the school. All programs at the school are challenging, but it has to be said that electrical engineering is extra hard. But it also offers excellent career opportunities. Please also take a look at my article “Studying in Munich“.
The Technical University of Berlin retains its previous 2nd place.
In fact, if you search a bit on the forums, you will find many negative articles about TU Berlin. When it comes to engineering, students have a misconception that TU Munich, RWTH or KIT are the best choice. The prejudice that TU Berlin is located in the capital and far away from industry is a common mistake. You can understand why this is a mistake by looking at the tables. In general, the motivation of engineering students who prefer this school is the city of Berlin. If you ask me, this is enough, but employers think even more. TU Berlin graduates are preferred by German employers in the top three in almost every field. I think it is a bit pointless to say that such a popular school provides bad education. You can also read my article about being a student in Berlin.
Something is happening to RWTH Aachen. Two places down to 3rd place
Electrical engineering has always been RWTH Aachen‘s frontrunner in recent years, but in 2023 TU Berlin and TU Munich seem to have overtaken it. In fact, we see this underperformance in other engineering programs as well. Nevertheless, thanks to its successful teaching and research, the school is one of the most renowned universities in this field in Germany and Europe. The school not only teaches technical skills, but also a methodical approach to problem solving (an engineer’s perspective).
TU Darmstadt is one of Germany’s most respected and well-established engineering schools, and this is recognized by employers.
Located 20 minutes from Frankfurt, this school is particularly known for its very successful engineering degrees. Ranked 6th by German employers, this school established the country’s first chair in “Electromechanics” and graduated the first female engineer. It is unnecessary to discuss the quality of the electrical engineering programs of a school with such a tradition. Employers also appreciate this and they maintain their 4th place. For more details, please see my articles about the city and the school.
Technical University of Dresden, East Germany’s star engineering school
In Germany’s most touristic city (see my impressions of Dresden) and allegedly the most xenophobic city, it is a school with extremely modern and extensive facilities. In fact, it is one of the cities where you can live most comfortably as a student. First of all, it is cheap. There is no xenophobia as exaggerated. And the school is one of the best schools in Germany. What more can you ask for. It is a bit far from the big cities, but you have the chance to fly to arround the world via Leipzig after a 1-hour journey.
The Technical University of Dortmund is a well-known engineering school.
A city known worldwide for its soccer team as well as its university. It actually has a very good engineering school. The school specializes in “Materials Science” and is also noteworthy when it comes to “Mechanical” or “Electrical Engineering”. German employers give the school a lot of credit and it is ranked 6th. For more details, you can read my impressions of Dortmund.
The University of Karlsruhe (KIT) is, as usual, one of the leaders.
One of Germany’s best-known technical schools. In other words, one of the schools that cemented Germany’s international reputation in engineering. It is known all over the world as a highly respected technical school. Home to Europe’s largest research institute, it is very popular with both German and foreign students. German employers also confirm this. The only disadvantage for us is that the school is located in the state of Baden Württemberg. The school charges foreign students 1500 Euros per semester. You can find my article about Student Life in Karlsruhe here.
The University of Stuttgart offers one of the best electrical engineering education with the support of the Real Sector.
When it comes to electrical engineering and home to companies such as Mercedes-Benz Group, Porsche, Robert Bosch GmbH, McKesson Europe, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sika AG, it would be absurd not to have Stuttgart University on the list. The school has an electrical engineering department that is ranked 8th most preferred by German employers. Stuttgard Uni is also famous for electrical engineering, although not as much as automotive engineering. Similar to KIT, the school charges 1500 Euros per semester for foreign students because it is located in the state of Baden Württemberg.
The Technical University of Braunschweig is also a leading school for electrical engineering
TU Braunschweig is my favorite school because of its well-established and traditional education, which students often complain about. Students complain, but employers like the quality of the education. Thanks to the proximity of Braunschweig to Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg and the company’s support for the school, the school stands out in electrical engineering as well as mechanical engineering.
Technical University Kaiserslautern
Although the school is relatively young, it has brought a new perspective to technical education with its interdisciplinary approach. Despite the disadvantage of being located in a slightly out-of-the-way city (2 hours from Frankfurt), the quality of the education it provides ranks in the top 10 for German employers.
In addition to universities in Germany, I have already mentioned the so-called “Universities of Applied Sciences” (Fachhochschule), whose curricula are more focused on practice. Those who have not read my articles “What is a Fachhochschule?” and “University or Technical University or Fachhochschule?” can read them. Since these schools maintain close cooperation with industrial organizations and business circles during their education, their graduates are more preferred than some university graduates.
2023 list of the most preferred Fachhochschule in electrical engineering by German employers
When you look at the list given above, you will notice that the Fachhochschules in the cities where the universities in the top 10 in the first table are located are on the list. The main reason for this is that universities in Germany are in close cooperation with the industry and the real sector, and Fachhochschules are shaped in line with the needs of the industry and the real sector in the region. Therefore, schools in cities with high employment in the automotive industry and energy systems stand out in these fields.
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