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Best Online Master’s Degrees in: Engineering Sciences

engineering degree

Explore a Master's Degree in Engineering Sciences

A master's degree in engineering sciences is perfect for practicing engineers who aspire to accelerate their careers' development. There are two different types of master's programs in engineering. The first is a Master's of Science in engineering, a route which usually includes a thesis project, is research-intensive, and makes degree earners eligible to advance to the doctoral academic level. The second is a Master's in Engineering, a professional degree that does not necessarily include a thesis and will not qualify a graduate to pursue a doctorate. The degree type you choose will depend on whether you anticipate getting your doctorate in the future or are simply seeking a degree for professional development.

Students choose a school and engineering program that offers the specialization that will most help them reach their career goals; specialties may include biomedical engineering, engineering management, and electrical engineering, just to name a few. The time it takes to earn this degree depends on whether you choose a full-time or part-time path, or begin a program with transferable credits. In addition, because school's mandatory curriculum can vary, the school you choose could also determine how long it will take to get your master's. Generally speaking, however, full-time students are usually able to complete their degree in about two to three years.

Class Curriculum

Courses will introduce students to the mathematical, methodical, technical, theoretical, and scientific principles employed by professional engineers. After grasping the necessary math and science disciplines used in engineering, students will learn how to apply them in the field. Students will also learn new, and increase their existing knowledge of, computer programs to design and develop solutions to complex problems in engineering systems. Courses will differ on a student-by-student basis as this degree allows for various areas of concentration. Students may study subjects as:

  • Project Management. In such a course, students study engineering techniques and are taught to use tools that will enable them and their teams to successfully finish quality projects. They will also learn management philosophies, and how to plan and approach big projects.
  • Engineering Analysis. In an engineering analysis course, methods used for analysis purposes are established. Students will learn mathematical and statistical equations as well as programs and applications that will aid them in analyzing projects and problems within the industry. Such analysis will allow students to diagnose and solve problems in their careers.
  • Product Development and Design. This course goes in-depth into the product design and development processes. Students will come to understand common issues that arise when developing and designing a product and how to accommodate customer specs.

Students can expect technical reading to encompass much of their studies. They may also be expected combine their self-studying with online lectures, a common educational tool for online master's courses. Projects are another common assignment; students may, for example, complete a mock project plan or design. Those students on the doctoral path will have to complete a thesis. Regardless of whether students are seeking a future doctorate, however, many programs expect students to complete a final exam, field work, or a final project demonstrating a comprehensive knowledge of the required degree curriculum.

Building a Career

Master's graduates will leave with the planning, technical, and scientific skills necessary to efficiently and successfully direct and conduct multifaceted projects. Students may also find their newly acquired skills will enable them to lead engineering teams in the field. Fully prepared, graduates will be apt for various engineering jobs, such a biomedical and electrical engineering. Biomedical engineers plan, design, and develop, as well as solve problems in existing, products and systems for medical industry; their careers relate to both engineering and biology disciplines. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that biomedical engineers make $88,360. The demand for biomedical engineers was predicted to grow at a rate of 62% between 2010 and 2020; this combined with a great income makes this career very attractive to those in the engineering industry.

Electrical engineering is a second profession sought after by master's engineering students. Electrical engineers plan, test, and develop electrical systems and equipment for many industries; for instance, the communications and automotive industries. BLS records show that electrical engineers' annual income is $89,200. Given that employment is forecasted to grow by only 6% over the next few years, this job is less conducive in terms of employment than biomedical engineering. However, a master's degree will certainly make engineers more sought-after in the biomedical job marketplace. Graduates should keep in mind, though, that these salary and job prospects are only averages and are not guaranteed to all who enter the field.