Can I Do Electrical Engineering with Maths Literacy?

Navigating Electrical Engineering with Maths Literacy in South Africa:

So, you’ve set your sights on electrical engineering, but there’s a twist in the plot – you’ve got Maths Literacy under your belt. Now, you’re wondering, “Can I make it in the world of electrical engineering with Maths Literacy?” Let’s chat about this in the context of South Africa.


Pursuing electrical engineering with Maths Literacy in South Africa is generally not feasible due to the high level of advanced mathematics required in electrical engineering courses, which goes beyond the scope of Maths Literacy. However, you can consider alternative pathways such as:

  1. Enrolling in bridging courses to raise your mathematics level to meet the requirements for electrical engineering programs.
  2. Exploring diploma programs in electrical engineering technology, which may have different entry requirements more suited to Maths Literacy students.
  3. Considering related technical careers in the electrical field that do not require extensive mathematics.

While Maths Literacy alone is not sufficient for a direct entry into electrical engineering degree programs, there are alternative educational routes and related career paths to explore.

The Straight Talk About Electrical Engineering and Maths Literacy

First things first, electrical engineering is a field deeply rooted in complex mathematical concepts. It’s all about circuits, power systems, and electronics, which rely heavily on advanced mathematics for design, analysis, and problem-solving. Typically, universities in South Africa require Pure Mathematics for admission into electrical engineering programs. Why? Because the course content involves a lot of algebra, calculus, and other advanced maths topics that aren’t covered in Maths Literacy.

But, Is All Hope Lost?

Not exactly! If you’re passionate about electrical engineering and only have Maths Literacy, there are a few routes you can consider:

  1. Bridging Courses: Some tertiary institutions offer bridging courses designed to elevate your maths skills to the level needed for engineering studies. These courses can be intense, but they’re a solid bridge to your dream.
  2. Diploma Programs: Look into colleges that offer diplomas in electrical engineering technology. These programs are often more practical and may have different entry requirements that could accommodate Maths Literacy students.
  3. Related Fields: Consider related fields that don’t require heavy maths. For instance, technical roles in electrical industries, like electrical technician or technologist, might be more accessible and still keep you close to the action.

Making the Dream Work

Here’s what you can do to inch closer to your dream:

  • Research and Reach Out: Check the entry requirements for different institutions. Don’t hesitate to contact admissions offices for advice – they’re there to help!
  • Consider Alternative Education Paths: Vocational training or diploma programs can be a stepping stone into the electrical engineering world.
  • Stay Open to Related Opportunities: Sometimes, a slight shift in focus can open up new, unexpected pathways that are just as rewarding.

The Bottom Line

Directly pursuing electrical engineering with Maths Literacy is a tough nut to crack due to the mathematical demands of the field. However, with determination, exploring alternative pathways, and maybe a bit of extra studying, you can find a way to align your passion for electrical engineering with your academic background. Remember, every challenge is an opportunity in disguise. So, keep your chin up and your mind open to the possibilities!


Can I do electrical engineering without matric in South Africa?

No, you generally cannot pursue electrical engineering without matric in South Africa. Matriculation is usually a fundamental requirement for entry into engineering courses. However, there are alternative pathways, like TVET colleges, where you can start with lower qualifications and work your way up.

What math do you need for electrical engineering: pure maths or maths lit?

For electrical engineering, pure maths is required. Electrical engineering involves complex mathematical concepts and calculations, making the advanced understanding provided by pure maths essential.

What subjects are required to study electrical engineering in high school?

In high school, to prepare for a course in electrical engineering, you should focus on subjects like Mathematics (pure maths), Physical Sciences (Physics), and often English. These subjects provide the foundational knowledge necessary for the complex technical concepts encountered in electrical engineering.

Can I study electrical engineering with Grade 9?

Starting a formal electrical engineering program directly with only Grade 9 is unlikely. However, with a Grade 9 certificate, you can enroll in certain TVET courses related to engineering. These can eventually lead you to a higher qualification in electrical engineering.

Can I study electrical engineering without maths and science in high school?

It’s challenging to study electrical engineering without maths and science, as these subjects form the core foundation of engineering principles. However, there are bridging courses or foundational programs in some institutions that might help you cover these essential subjects if you haven’t studied them in high school.

Which TVET College offers engineering?

Many TVET colleges in South Africa offer engineering courses. For example, colleges like Tshwane North TVET College, West Coast TVET College, and Eastcape Midlands TVET College provide various engineering programs, including electrical engineering. It’s best to check with local TVET colleges in your area for specific courses and entry requirements.

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