During Chris Sakowski’s first year at Marlboro High School, Marlboro, he signed up for an elective class in business management. But since he was the only student to register, the school cancelled the class and asked him to choose another. Electronics was his lucky pick. “I immediately fell in love with the class, the teacher, and the subject matter,” recalled Sakowski, now a senior. “And I’ve not lost an ounce of passion since then.”
On May 17, 2008, when Sakowski marches at NJIT’s 2008 Commencement at Prudential’s Rock, he will take his first real steps towards fulfilling his dream of becoming an electrical engineer.
Following graduation, he’ll start his first full-time job from defense/aerospace contractor BAE Systems, Wayne. “I will be a systems engineer in their engineering leadership development program,” he said. Other work experiences while an NJIT undergrad, contributed to landing the plum job, a common situation for NJIT students, who are encouraged to work in their fields while finishing their degrees. A nine-month stint at Panasonic, Secaucus, working in the company’s computer solutions unit numbered among Sakowski’s experiences.
(ATTENTION MEDIA: To interview Sakowski on becoming an electrical engineer at NJIT and the value of an engineering degree in today’s times, contact Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436.)
“Electronics is one of the most thriving sectors in the American economy, particularly in New Jersey,” said Atam Dhawan, PhD, chair, department of electrical engineering at NJIT. Recent surveys say electrical engineering is the most sought-after degree among all engineering disciplines.
“The work of electrical engineers has become pervasive in our society, forming the foundation of computing and information technologies through the development of very large-scale integrated circuits or chips,” said Dhawan. “Almost everything we own and use today is comprised of these circuits including computers, wireless communications and networking, cellular phones, automobiles, satellite entertainment and communication systems, health-care needs and many, many more applications.”
With more than 500 electronics manufacturing facilities, New Jersey ranks among the top five states in electronics enterprises and first in the nation in electronics research and development. New Jersey's electronics industry is projected to grow 30-40 percent annually. The defense industry also provides a large job market for electrical engineers as does the aviation industry.
As for Sakowski, he expects to have no trouble moving to the top of his field thanks to his success on campus. Newark College of Engineering awarded him this past Spring the top academic honor from his department and hopes to graduate with a near-perfect grade-point average of 3.964 as an Albert Dorman Honors College student. In addition, he accumulated six scholarships and memberships in four honor societies.
“Chris has been one of the most dedicated students we’ve seen come through these portals in a long time,” said Dhawan. “We have relied on him to tutor countless physics and electrical engineering classes. And when we need a recruiter, someone to sing the praises of electrical engineering to high school students, he’s our man.”