Online engineering degree programs are increasingly being viewed by engineers and their employers as a valid option for pursuing a higher education, particularly while simultaneously working in a job in the field. According to a recent article by U.S. News & World Report, as long as the degree is from a respected, accredited university, most employers have become accepting of online master’s degrees when considering potential employees.
“The degree at the end of the day is really just a credibility statement,” Dani McDonald, employment agency Kelly Services’ vice president of national engineering recruitment, told the publication. “They’re looking for your experience and what you’ve contributed and what you will contribute to their organization.”
In fact, U.S. News reported that the multitasking skills and self-discipline that you demonstrate while working full or part time in the field while earning your higher degree can show potential employers that you have the ability to succeed in their workplace. It also illustrates your dedication and commitment to the field of engineering, which can be incredibly appealing to an employer.
If you are an engineer looking to pursue a higher degree to further your career in a specialized area of engineering, consider enrolling in an online program through the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering.
UC Riverside online Master of Engineering programs
Engineering is a multi-faceted field that encompasses a number of specializations. To help you tailor your education for the specific career that you want to pursue, UCR offers six different concentrations for the online master’s program:
In the bioengineering program, you will build a foundation based on the solid principles of biological science and engineering, with particular emphasis in quantitative research. Courses in the concentration include topics such as systems engineering, cellular and molecular engineering, the integration of computational and experimental biology and engineering in the global environment. Students will also participate in a project design course that includes a report and literature review. When you graduate from this program, you will be equipped to become a leader in your chosen field. Job opportunities when you have a master’s in bioengineering include performing clinical engineering for the medical industry, working with biomaterials for technology implanted in living things, developing medical imaging equipment and much more.
The growing field of data science is increasingly becoming a hot area of study for engineering students. In this specific concentration, you will increase your knowledge and ability to comprehend, process and analyze large quantities of information. Specific emphasis will be given to equipping you to identify patterns and extract information from these data sets. With multidisciplinary techniques, you will spend time dedicated to mastering the principles of both engineering and higher-level math more specifically related to data. The master’s program involves four core courses and four additional courses that are chosen from eight options. Topics covered in this concentration include statistical computing, machine learning, statistical data mining, systems engineering, data visualization, big data tools, information retrieval and more. Once you have completed your degree, you will be equipped to succeed in a career as a data engineer in a variety of industries.
Electrical Engineering – Power Systems
In modern technology, the storage and management of electricity is a high priority for engineering professionals. In the electrical engineering master’s program, you will receive thorough instructions on the workings and management of the systems and technology that keep modern society running, through coursework focused on power semiconductor devices, smart grid technology and industrial and robotic automation systems. Additionally, the degree takes a closer look at power systems, networks of electrical components that store, transport and use electricity. Courses in the electrical engineering program cover topics such as power systems analysis, power electronics and engineering optimization techniques, as well as power system steady state and market analysis.
Environmental Engineering Systems (Water)
Water may be a resource that many in the U.S. take for granted, but its delivery to communities across the country is far from simple. As an engineer, you can play an important role in providing safe water for residential and industrial use through completing a master’s degree in environmental engineering systems (water) through UCR’s online program. This emphasis will equip you to succeed in a career designing and managing environmental systems, with specific emphasis on those that involve water sources. The degree focuses on topics such as modern water treatment systems, water chemistry and separation processes, through courses on technology innovation and strategy, natural and engineered systems, systems engineering and biological treatment systems.
Materials at the Nanoscale
There is small, and then there is nanoscale small. Working with materials at the nanoscale is no easy task, but it is becoming increasingly applicable in both research and industry, particularly in the field of engineering. In the materials at the nanoscale emphasis, you will study general engineering principles – such as innovation and strategy, engineering management and systems engineering – but also take courses from the interdisciplinary Materials Science and Engineering program through UCR. In these classes, you will study the design, creation and processing of these materials through courses on topics such as thermodynamic foundations of materials, crystal structure and bonding, microelectromechanical systems and nanoscience. Engineers with specialized knowledge at the nanoscale, work in industries as diverse as health care, electronics and aerospace.
The study of mechanical engineering can take many forms. In UCR’s online master’s program, it combines traditional courses on topics such as engineering management and systems with a focus on challenges faced by the engineers of the 21st century, such as sustainability. Through your degree, you will take courses on sustainable product design, the fundamentals of fluid mechanics, plasma-aided manufacturing and materials processing and secure and reliable control systems. With a master’s in this subject, you will be set up to succeed in companies that address a variety of industrial applications, including the manufacturing of computers, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, electronics and more.
Online program details
While employers have become very accepting of online engineering degrees, reputation and accreditation matter. When you earn your master’s through Bourns’ online program, you gain the name recognition of UC Riverside and the confidence and prestige that accompany it. More importantly, the program is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Your online master’s degree from UCR is an investment that you can trust. In any of the Master of Engineering programs, you will complete 36 units over four core courses, four specialized courses and one design project. Each course costs $3,333, for a degree total of $30,000. The programs are designed to be completed in as few as 13 months, but you will be able to take a slower pace if you need to pursue your degree part-time.Career prospectsThe job market for engineers in the U.S. is currently positive across the specialties. While some areas have higher demand than others, you will have a number of options when it comes to deciding on a career after graduation. And engineering in general is a field that pays its employees well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for an engineer in 2015 was $98,150.
If you complete a master’s degree in engineering, your salary prospects will likely be even brighter. The BLS looked at several different engineering jobs and found that there was a 9 to 13 percent increase in the median salaries across the roles for those with a master’s degree, as compared to an employee with only a bachelor’s degree. Investing in your career through a higher degree will pay dividends not only in your job satisfaction, but in your paycheck.
If you are ready to take the next step in a satisfying, financially rewarding career, enroll in an online master’s in engineering degree through UCR today.