online engineering degree

What Can You Do with an Online Engineering Degree

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Are you interested in earning your degree in engineering? Are you perusing the vast array of schools offering engineering degrees, but want to pick a program to fit your schedule and budget? In the age of technology and the internet, distance learning methods and online engineering degree programs have risen in popularity as the new way to receive an exceptional learning experience tailored to your personal needs. The field of engineering is one that offers considerable opportunities for advancement and excellent wages, making it of great interest to individuals from an array of backgrounds and fields.

What Is an Online Engineering Degree?


Professionals in the field of engineering create and implement products and designs that form the foundation of our modern world, like computer programs, software packages, and architectural works. An online engineering degree allows you to obtain your educational credentials in the engineering sector of your choice from the comfort of your home, favorite coffee shop, the library, or wherever you can find a solid internet connection and a quiet space to work.

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Online engineering degree programs are not so different from the regular classroom experience, other than the environment you learn in. When earning your online engineering degree, you use a virtual portal where you access pre-recorded lectures, live lectures, informational videos, instructor notes, discussion boards, assignments, tests, quizzes, and other course materials.

After you have been accepted into an online program, you will receive an identification number or other login credentials to access the learning intranet. There, you will view all your course materials, student account, and your student email with correspondence from your teachers and other classmates.

You will receive a syllabus for each course so you know what topics are covered every week and which assignments will be due. Your professors will also post your assignments on the online blackboard. When earning your online engineering degree, you can work at your own pace and as your schedule dictates as long as you meet course deadlines. You are usually only required to log in at strict times if you have a test or a live lecture.

As with other degree programs, there are admissions requirements for your online engineering degree. These will vary somewhat based on the institution you plan to attend. Typically, online requirements are less stringent than on-campus degree programs. With an engineering degree, there will probably be some required prerequisites, including coursework and head knowledge in subjects like science and math.

If you are interested in obtaining your master’s degree in engineering online, you must have your bachelor’s degree in engineering already completed as you would need to with an on-campus program. However, online master’s programs in engineering may not mandate that you create a thesis or project to graduate as you would if completing your degree in person.

Educational Process

Regarding admissions conditions, you will need to check the educational institution you are interested in to ensure you meet all relevant requirements. You will take varied course offerings when earning your degree in engineering online, with heavy emphasis on science, math, and other classes within your area of focus.

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For instance, if you are specializing in computer engineering, you might have additional coursework in subjects like digital system design and microprocessor architecture. Students with a mechanical engineering emphasis will probably study subjects like materials science, thermodynamics, and fluid mechanics. Most online engineering degree specializations focus on computer, software, mechanical, or electrical engineering.

While a good deal of online engineering degree programs are completely online, some have you go to on-campus labs and other locations to complete certain assignments. Most online engineering degrees include online coursework coupled with an internship or a similar program to gain experience in the field. You will usually start with the online section of your degree and undergo your internship later on in the last few semesters of your program.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in engineering and are completing your master’s online, most of your studies will be virtual since you will have finished much of the hands-on portion when earning your first degree.

Online Engineering Degree Options 

For online engineering students who choose computer engineering programs, you can expect to study software, network, and program engineering in depth. You can pick from many specialties within the computer engineering umbrella. With electrical engineering degree programs, much of the focus is on core electricity concepts and implementation. Classes often cover subjects like electrical design and grids, such as for buildings or neighborhoods.

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Mechanical engineering degree programs comprise classes regarding robotics, mechanisms, and other technological devices and how they interact, along with a focus on physics and design elements. Most online civil engineering degrees are master’s programs only and are an excellent option if you are working on your Professional Engineer license or recently passed the required exam.

If you pursue a degree in industrial engineering online, you can expect an emphasis on problem analysis and solutions in organizational structures and industry. Industrial engineers help to make a business operate efficiently, so subjects like Applied Deterministic Operations Research Models and regression analysis will be covered. An online engineering degree in aerospace engineering is a multi-faceted program, covering an array of classes on physics and electronics as they pertain to the aerospace sector.

The Benefits of Going to College Online

Tailor Your Learning Experience 

One of the primary benefits of going to college online is the ability to tailor your learning experience to meet your needs. If you are working full-time but do not want to sacrifice your educational aspirations, online learning offers an effective way to gain the knowledge you need in your own time. Many classes allow you to work at your own pace or ahead as needed as long as you adhere to general guidelines and deadlines. This means that if you want to work a week ahead to lighten your load for the next, you can do it.

If you are working a full day at the office and want to come home, put on your pajamas, and study with coffee in hand on the evenings and weekends you can. The nature of online learning is such that you can read assignments and re-watch lectures repeatedly. If your learning style is not as compatible with the pace of an on-campus classroom experience, an online engineering degree might be perfect for you.

Keep Costs Down 

Another huge perk of going to school online is that you can keep your educational costs down. Going to college in person can put a significant strain on your bank account, but online programs usually come at a much lower cost. For obvious reasons, educational institutions do not bear as many costs for virtual learning programs, which reflects in the tuition the student is expected to pay.

There is a set rate for forming online classes and creating educational videos, so the money saved by the university and by you is significant. Your tuition costs will vary based on your degree choice, the school, and whether you are a resident in the state in which the university is located. Be sure to inquire with any universities you are considering by getting an overview of their total program costs.

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What Can You Do With an Online Engineering Degree?

Career Outlook and Opportunities 

Some areas of specialization within the field of engineering are more competitive and have greater career mobility than others. For instance, the sector of petroleum engineering is projected to grow as much as 15 percent by the year 2026, while electrical and mechanical engineering professionals should see jobs grow between around 7 and 9 percent by the same year.

However, as a whole, a career in engineering is lucrative and offers plenty of opportunities for growth. The field of engineering in its entirety was projected to increase by 21 percent in the decade between 2012 and 2022, which is astounding when compared to other industries. After earning your online engineering degree, you will have a plethora of work environment options to choose from, depending on your specialization.

For example, petroleum engineers usually work for gas and oil extraction entities while mechanical engineers are primarily employed by manufacturing firms. Graduates with an online engineering degree also work for the government, at computer design and systems companies, for telecommunication firms, and at architectural and engineering businesses.

Salary Expectations 

The salary you can expect to earn as an engineer varies based on your educational credentials, training, location, and area of specialty. Most engineers earn around $90,000 on average per year, with many earning below this number and others far above. For example, architectural engineers earn around $80,000 per year, while petroleum engineers may bring home as much as $150,000 or above annually.

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Earning your online engineering degree is an exceptional option if you want to learn in a self-paced, tailor-made, and cost effective environment. You can choose the specialty you desire and receive your education according to your study preferences and needs. Whether you struggle in an on-campus setting, do not want to commute to in-person classes, or are working full-time, getting your degree online is the powerful learning medium of the future.

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