Online Engineering Degree Programs

Most entry-level engineering positions require a bachelor degree, and most engineers begin their career with this degree. An undergraduate engineering degree program provides students with a well-rounded education, generally with a specialization in a particular type of engineering. Although students generally specialize in one field within engineering, their degree will often allow them to cross over into other engineering fields. For example, a student who obtains a bachelor degree in marine engineering may also qualify for some mechanical engineering jobs. Students who choose to continue their engineering education at the graduate level often go into research or academia. Read more about online engineering degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006, there were 2,162 associate degrees conferred in engineering, and 30,461 associate degrees in engineering-related technologies. There were also 4,326 bachelor, 1,116 master and 819 doctorate degrees in chemical engineering; 9,090 bachelor, 3,768 master and 750 doctorate degrees in civil engineering; 13,966 bachelor, 8,123 master and 1,860 doctorate degrees in electrical, electronics and communications engineering; and 15,850 bachelor, 4,443 master and 1,096 doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering. (1)

Employment Outlook

Prospects for engineering jobs vary widely between disciplines; however, the field of engineering in general is expected to experience an 11% growth rate between 2006 and 2016, which is equivalent to the average projections across industries. Civil engineering is expected to experience an 18% growth rate; chemical engineering, 8%; environmental engineering, 25%; biomedical engineering, 21%; and industrial engineering, 20%. (2)

Specialties

Students intending to enter the field of engineering can choose from a wide variety of engineering specializations, including marine, aerospace, civil, chemical, environmental, biomedical, electrical and mechanical engineering. The most common specializations for undergraduate degree programs are mechanical, electrical, electronics or civil engineering.

What to Expect

Because most engineers enter the field with a bachelor degree, specialization typically begins in undergraduate degree programs. All undergraduate engineering degree programs will include a strong emphasis on math and science, as well as courses focused on the chosen field. Courses in engineering may include research design and methods, structural design, mechanical engineering and general engineering classes, and will include an emphasis on laboratory work.

The End Result

An undergraduate degree in engineering provides a springboard for a variety of career opportunities. Students who choose to continue their education to obtain a master or doctorate degree will be prepared to transition into higher paying careers in this diverse field. Careers for engineering degree graduates include:

Civil Engineer
Chemical Engineer
Environmental Engineer
Electrical Engineer
Structural Engineer
Mechanical Engineer
Aerospace Engineer
Agricultural Engineer
Biomedical Engineer
Industrial Engineer

People who enjoy discovering how things work and analyzing research for use in practical settings will find the field of engineering a rewarding career choice. Engineers improve the function and efficiency of everyday items, design products and structures to meet the needs of society and improve the world we live in on a daily basis.

(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition

 

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