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Degree · 1-4 Years
A circuit is a closed path used in electronics equipment to enable the conduction of electrical current to travel. An electric circuit allows for the flow of electricity from one point to another. Circuits are the pathway on which an electrical current can flow. This path begins and ends at the same point, thus making a circuit, or a loop.
There are two main types of circuits—power circuits and electronic circuits. Power circuits are used in home and office lighting systems, heating systems, and wiring systems. Electronic circuits are used to move and manage major electrical currents. In power circuits, generators start the current, and the current runs through the circuit to an office or home heating and lighting systems and appliances.
To understand how a circuit works, think of a flashlight. The circuit is open when the flashlight is switched off. This means that an electrical current will not flow from the enclosed batteries to the flashlight's light bulb. When the flashlight's switch gets turned on, there is a small metal piece inside the flashlight that physically closes the circuit gap. Thus, the flashlight then lights up, as electricity from the batteries flows to the light bulb.
When you learn about circuits, you gain knowledge of how our world is powered through electrical means. Electronic circuits work to process and transmit electrical current information in our computers, TVs, radios, and mobile devices. Integrated circuits help manage power in our mobile devices. These are known as power management integrated circuits (PMICs) and are used mainly in mobile devices to lessen the required amount of space.
Learning about circuits will help you understand how to analyze circuits that use direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) voltage. You will learn about open, closed, and short circuits. Anyone who wants to become an electrician, or work in a public utility for electricity will need to know the foundational elements of circuits, resistors, capacitors, and inductors and how they work.
When you learn circuits and electrical circuitry, you can find career opportunities in electrical work in many fields, as there is a widespread demand for trained electrical technicians. The careers you can start or continue include an apprentice electrician or journeyman electrician. In a power utility or electrical facility, you may learn more about circuits in jobs like distribution engineer, public utilities specialist, and electric instrumentation technician. In these jobs, you likely will need certification as a maintenance electrician or an instrument and control repairman.
Taking online courses to learn circuits will teach you how electricity is conducted, how it's used in our homes and offices, and why the demands for more electricity will be likely in the future. The knowledge you gain in online courses will also show you how much we rely on electrical demands for our electronic devices.