Introduction to an Online Education in Engineering

by Doug Schmitt
Students working on a laptop together

When one looks around, almost every item seen has been designed by an engineer. From skyscrapers and bridges to vehicles and household appliances, plans are carefully drawn and drafted before products are created. Many think engineering to be a profession of building bridges, but that is only one specialty. Examples of others are as follows:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering

Students are presented with a number of resources for pursuing an education in engineering online. Engineers must have a bachelor's degree at a bare minimum. As well, all states require engineers to be licensed. Determined by the school of attendance, students may pursue an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree, or a master's degree in their field of concentration.

How an Online Program in Engineering Works

Due to reasons such as tuition costs and scheduling conflicts, traditional education may not be for some students. An online engineering education works differently than traditional education. Some advantages to an online education are listed below:

  • Classes and studies can be completed from the students home, at any time of day or night, thanks to a flexible online environment.
  • Some institutions will custom tailor programs for students to maximize their educational experience.
  • Accelerated programs allow students to complete programs in as little as two years.
  • The online class atmosphere facilitates interaction with other students from around the country and world.
  • Live chat lectures as well as class documents; transcripts, and other training materials are saved online for students to access at a later date.

Schools Offering Online Engineering Programs

Around the world, many institutions of higher education offer online engineering programs. Examples of institutions offering an online engineering education are listed below:

Funding for Online Engineering Education

The cost of education is an important issue for many students. An engineering education online can cost less than traditional education, but it may still be pricey.

Just as with traditional education, financial aid for online education is available. Most institutions offer tuition assistance to students. As well, local and federal government offers financial aid through grants and loans.

Another option for students is scholarships. Several engineering specific scholarships are available, examples of which are listed below:

Employment

Engineering is the second largest profession in the United States, a profession that continues to expand. Engineers, having been a key element to society since pre-historic times, come up with solutions to problems. Not limited to building bridges and skyscrapers, engineers also work on tasks like building "scaffolds" on a cellular level to facilitate tissue growth.

A very popular career in engineering today is that of the electrical engineer. Electrical engineering is a large field, with several focal points including electronics, power, control systems, and telecommunications. Craig Janus, an electrical engineer for Boeing-McDonnell Douglas, says that putting in time and hard work brings the high salary.

There are also other areas of engineering that have a demand for employees. Janus says where there is a demand for more engineers, a degree specific to the field can help to guarantee employment in certain industries. Such industries include aerospace and civil engineering as well as environmental engineering, which is expected to grow significantly through 2012.

Summary

The flexibility and convenience of an online education, coupled with a demand for engineers and their importance in the world, makes an engineering education online a great solution for your educational needs.

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