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Best Online Master’s Degrees in: Electrical Engineering

Editor’s Picks: Online Schools for Electrical Engineering

Value
Stanford University won our award for best value of schools that offer online master’s degrees in electrical engineering. The university has an annual return on investment (ROI) of 10.4%, according to PayScale.com. An ROI is the amount a student pays in tuition compared to the amount they earn back from their degree in a lifetime. Factoring in financial aid, Stanford’s ROI increases to 14%.

Flexibility
Stanford University claimed our award for flexibility. The school was ranked No. 10 on College Prowler’s list of colleges with the most flexible curricula. College Prowler considers the degree to which a student can study what they want and still get the degree they’re after. Schools whose curricula were less predetermined performed better on the list.

Career Support
DeVry University earned our award for best career support of colleges that offer online master’s degrees in electrical engineering. College Prowler gave DeVry University’s career services an A-, which is determined by the quality of the career center, services available to students and alumni, and strength of the alumni network. DeVry University’s career services, HireDeVry, is an interactive tool that enables students and alumni to connect with employers and obtain other job leads. About 90% of graduates in the job market were employed in career-related positions within six months of graduating, according to DeVry University’s website.

Financial Support
Clemson University won our award for financial support, as 85% of its students receive some type of financial aid, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The university’s financial aid office helps students pursue the funds they need to pursue their educational goals through the implementation of federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs. Students can access the university’s financial aid website learn the school’s policies and guidelines for applying for aid and information on grants, scholarships, loans, and other programs.

Technology Support
Arizona State University earned our top award for technology support. The university ranked No. 2 on the U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of student services and technology of the top online graduate engineering programs. According to the U.S. News, Arizona State University offers its online students live technical support 24 hour a day, seven days a week, as well as a smartphone application for its courses, and live streaming video.

Student Engagement
Polytechnic Institute of New York University claimed our award for student engagement. The U.S. News & World Report placed the institute No. 5 in its list of student engagement and accreditation of the top online graduate engineering programs. Students of the institutes online electrical engineering program can expect a response from a professor within 48 hours, and professors have four weekly office hours.

Learning Support
Michigan Technological University took home our award for best learning support. According to the U.S. News & World Report, Michigan Technological University offers its online students live tutoring, a smartphone application, and live streaming video. The U.S. News placed the university No. 15 in its ranking of student services and technology of the top online graduate engineering programs.

Faculty Credentials
Clemson University also claimed our award for faculty credentials. The U.S. News & World Report placed Clemson University No. 6 in its faculty credentials and training ranking of the top online graduate engineering programs. Professors are required to undergo online instructor training, which the school finances.

Faculty Accessibility
Stanford University earned our award for faculty accessibility and involvement. College Prowler gave the university an A+ for academics, which indicates that professors are knowledgeable, accessible, and care about how the students are doing in their classes. Other factors that affect the grade are how well professors communicate, how engaging the classes are, and the size of the classes. Stanford University boasts a low student-to-faculty ratio of 10 to one, according to the NCES.

Alumni Engagement
Purdue University claimed our award for alumni engagement for the bevy of services it extends to its alumni. This includes discounts on long-term, life, home, dental, and disability income insurance, as well as discounts at the university book store and certain hotels and restaurants. Graduates can also join local Purdue alumni clubs, which provide a link back to the university regardless of location.

New Online Student Orientation
Iowa State University claimed our award for new student orientation. The university provides an online student tutorial video that includes information on the recommended computer system, additional setup, software including Quicktime and engineering programs, accessing the remote desktop server, using Blackboard, and technical support. The video gives a thorough overview of how the online engineering program works and how to contact support if necessary.

Explore a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering professionals who get their master’s degree in electrical engineering will see their careers flourish as they become leaders in the electrical engineering industry. Students get the chance to choose a specialized area of study to deepen their knowledge of that particular subject. Examples of specialization areas are integrated circuits, and electrical energy and power systems.

More generally, students will gain deeper insight into the world of electrical engineering, learning skills that will empower them to design, construct, experiment with, and evaluate electronic systems. The average time it takes to obtain this master’s degree is between two to three years full-time; though that time depends on your school’s curriculum requirements, whether you opt to study part-time, and if you transfer electrical engineering classes from another master’s program.

Class Curriculum

Courses will center on the components of electrical systems, as well as the methods, techniques, and tools used to successfully design and build them in differing contexts. Curriculum can vary widely among students and schools because of the numerous concentrations offered with master’s electrical engineering degrees. A few classes students may take are:

  • Power Electronics. In a power electronics course, students will be taught the basics of electrical energy processing circuits. Such a class introduces students to the methodology behind designing and controlling AC and DC power conversions alongside other themes, such as power converters and harmonics.
  • Digital Signal Processing. Those whose electrical engineering concentration lies in signal processing and communications might take a digital signals course. In it, students learn the procedure by which digital signals are processed; this is accomplished through an understanding of the various systems, sequences, functions, properties, and techniques inherent in or necessary for the processing of digital signals.
  • Probability. Students are familiarized with the concepts of probability and experimentation, along with the various theories and principles that accompany such concepts. Upon completion of this course, students will also have a basic knowledge of the tools and computer programs used to generate simulations of events based on probability.

An online master’s degree in electrical engineering will call for students to read complex scientific and technological books, papers, and theories. Projects in which students must demonstrate design methodologies, for example, may also be included in the degree’s curriculum. Some schools expect students to pass a final exam, project, thesis, or a combination of these modules in order for a student to graduate.

Building a Career

The advanced electrical knowledge as well as competency designing and building electrical systems will leave master’s electrical engineering graduates with a competitive edge in their given area of expertise. Graduates are well-suited for careers as computer hardware engineers and electrical engineers. Computer hardware engineers design and test new computer hardware. Such a career involves the designing and repeated redesigning after test analysis demonstrates areas of necessary improvement in a new design. Generally, some experience with computer programming is needed for such a career. Computer hardware engineers earned a 2010 median pay of $98,810 according to statistics generated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Graduates also typically go into careers as electrical engineers. Electrical engineering is a very broad term that encompasses a variety of engineering occupations; to name a few, there are design, test, power electronics, and process control engineers. More generally, electrical engineers may take on some or all of the duties involved with manufacturing a new electrical systems and equipment, such as designing, testing, and developing. According to BLS figures, electrical engineers are compensated $87,180 yearly. However, it is worth noting that because salary is determined by such factors as experience and job demand, that no reported salaries are definitive.

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