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Best Online Degrees in: Industrial Technology

Editor’s Picks: Online Schools for Industrial Technology

Value 
When considering return on investment, Old Dominion University earns our recognition. According to PayScale.com, the 30-year net ROI on the school is $142,600, with an annual ROI of 7.4%. Those numbers jump to $154,200 and 8.4% when you factor in financial aid.

Flexibility
Flexibility is why many students initially turn to online education, but at Old Dominion University, they'll have options within options, so they can find the best set-up that works for them, which is why we're awarding them in this category. Types of online learning offered include asynchronous, where they can access and complete materials at their own pace; synchronous video streaming, in which students view a live broadcast of a class at a designated time; and synchronous two-way desktop video conferencing, wherein students participate in class using two-way video and audio. Sometimes, students also may be able to access archived video steamed classes.

Career Support
Old Dominion University is awarded for making sure all of its students, including distance learners, have access to career assistance. Through its Career Management Center, distance learners can find programs designed specifically to meet their needs to help with resume writing, research, and applying for jobs. Career assistance also is available 24/7/365 through email, telephone, chat, or videoconferencing.

Financial Support
Old Dominion University receives this recognition for the percentage of students who receive financial aid and financial aid assistance. According to College Navigator, 76% of full-time beginning undergraduate students receive financial aid in the form of a grant or scholarship. The average amount received is $7,147. Online students who need help navigation their options are also encouraged to contact their distance learning counselor.

Technology Support
This award goes to East Carolina University for its convenient and accessible technology and support, though this isn't the first time the school is being acknowledged in this area. ECU ranked No. 61 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the top online bachelor's programs for student services and technology. Students can find all online tools they need through ECU's Information Technology and Computing Services, including Blackboard, email support, ECU's mobile app, software, and IT help.

Student Engagement
Old Dominion University is one of the top online bachelor's programs in terms of student engagement and assessment, according to U.S. News & World Report. We'd also like to award it for its commitment to keeping its online students engaged. Through student email, discussion boards, Web conferencing tools, and streaming video, students have the opportunity to stay in touch with their fellow students and faculty and feel connected to their school.

Disability Support
Old Dominion University wins this award for its commitment to assist all student with disabilities pursue their education. Its Office of Educational Accessibility advocates for students with disabilities by coordinating faculty accommodation letters and test, electronic textbook, and note-sharing requests.

Library and Research Support
East Carolina University students don't have to be on campus to take advantage of its library resources. The school earns this award thanks to ECU Library Resources, which provides students with access to tens of thousands of journals, e-books, databases, and reference materials. Additionally, students can search the school's libraries' combined online catalog and find research assistance through the Web.

Learning Support
Old Dominion University provides learning resources and assistance for all students – whether they're on campus or online – which is why the school earns this award. Distance learners can receive such academic support as writing tutorial services via Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro, free online tutoring available 24-7 via Blackboard in a range of subjects, and advising.

Faculty Credentials
East Carolina University is awarded for its commitment to high standards, as evidenced by its Office for Faculty Excellence. This unit provides faculty of all stripes – tenured, tenure-track, adjunct, and emerging – with resources and services that support their teaching and research, assessment, distance education training, and provide mentoring.

Faculty Accessibility and Involvement
Old Dominion University earns this award thanks to having manageable class sizes and multiple ways to connect with faculty. According to College Navigator, the student-to-faculty ratio is 21 to 1, which helps teachers and students become more engaged. Additionally, students are able to connect with faculty by email, phone, chat and discussion boards, and social media outlets. Many faculty members also have websites where they provide course information and their research interests.

Alumni Engagement
East Carolina University is receiving this award for providing a wealth of opportunities for graduates to remain a part of their alma mater, as well as still take advantage of its resources. The school's Alumni Association helps students stay connected to the university once they graduate through events like Homecoming and reunions, regional groups, and alumni communications. Graduates can also take advantage of resources through ECU's career center.

Prior Learning Options
Old Dominion University is being awarded for its Experiential Learning Program, which recognizes students' past learning experience so they can get a jumpstart on their education. This programs assesses students' previous work experience, military training and service, volunteer activities, community service, and other nontraditional education so they can receive academic credit for college-level knowledge gained through work or life experience. Students can also gain credit through placement, correspondence, and national testing.

New Online Student Orientation
East Carolina University understands students will have questions about the online learning environment. Through its Distance Education Student Orientation, they can get many of their questions answered, from what kind of computer is needed to how to access library resources. Additionally, new students can find online tutorials that introduce them to many applications they'll use throughout their education, including Blackboard, OneStop, Banner Self Service, and Piratemail. For offering these services to help students get the most out of their online learning experience, we award ECU.

Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Technology

An online bachelor's degree in industrial technology is designed to prepare individuals for a career as a production supervisor, manufacturing engineer, project manager, or a number of other positions as an inventory, procurement, or plant manager. Programs in industrial technology are designed to provide students with practical experience working with CAD systems, and other manufacturing computer systems. In some cases, students learn to use CNC milling machines and metal lathes. Programs are also designed to prepare students to become certified in the industry through organizations like the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE). Depending on the school and program, most students can complete a bachelor's degree in industrial technology in four to five years.

Class Curriculum

Individuals pursuing an online bachelor's degree in industrial technology can expect to take basic level courses in mathematics, English, composition, and several others, before entering the more advanced curricula. Advanced courses in the degree program focus on teaching individuals a specific skillset needed in the industry, such as fundamentals of electronics, industrial safety, job analysis techniques, and more. Some classes you can expect to see are:

  • Total Quality Management. This course provides an analysis and application of total quality management principles to include statistical process control, graphical problem solving techniques, acceptance sampling standards, and six sigma quality.
  • Polymer Processing. A study of processing methods for polymer-based materials, students learn various processing methods, including injection molding, blow molding, thermoforming, compression molding, and more.
  • Industrial Safety. This course focuses on the study of environmental health and safety management as it relates specifically to the manufacturing industry. Students learn about accident theory, hazard identification, safety organizations, environmental stressors, loss control, and risk analysis.

Most online bachelor's degrees in industrial technology allow students to complete coursework at their own pace within a specific time frame for each assignment and class. However, most programs require students to complete an internship, or work study program before graduation.

Building a Career

Graduates holding a bachelor's degree in industrial technology will be able to pursue several different jobs after graduation. Two of the most common jobs are as an industrial production manager, or an industrial engineering technician. Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing companies, or plants. In most cases they coordinate, plan, and oversee all activities involved with the creation of a particular product or process. Individuals can usually gain entry to the field with a bachelor's degree in industrial technology, or a relatable subject. However, certain jobs may require a certain amount of work experience as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income for industrial production managers was $87,160, in May 2010. However, it should be noted that entry-level pay will be considerably less, as the lowest 10% of employees in the field earned less than $52,400, in 2010. The BLS also reports that job growth for the field is expected to be slower than average when compared to all occupations, at 9% through the year 2020.

Individuals interested in a career as an industrial engineering technician can gain entry to the field with a minimum of an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate. They are typically responsible for planning ways for their companies to use personnel, materials, and machines as efficiently as possible. They also assist industrial engineers by helping them prepare for projects preparing machinery and equipment layouts, planning workflow, conducting statistical research, and estimating production costs. According to the BLS, the median annual wage of industrial engineering technicians was $48,210, in May 2010, while job growth is expected to grow slower than average, with only a 4% increase in jobs through 2020.

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