If you’re a working adult considering an accelerated engineering degree, you’ll be confronted with the choice between a bachelor’s in engineering or engineering technology. By evaluating engineering technology vs engineering, you will have a clear idea of the program that fits your long-term goals for your career. Comparing a bachelor of engineering vs bachelor of science in engineering technology starts with identifying the key elements that set an engineering degree apart. The first consideration is the goal of the degree. An engineering student learns to innovate and create new solutions to complicated and open-ended problems. Engineering technology focuses on implementing current knowledge and solutions.
While there are some online Bachelor of Engineering programs, the most common – and fastest – choice will be the Engineering Technology bachelor’s. Engineering Technology degree completion programs tend to use all available methods to make the process quick and relatively painless, including transfer credits, credits for work experience, accelerated course schedules, and more. For working adults who want to increase their credentials and make more money soon, accelerated engineering degrees are the way to go, shortening the process to two years or less.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Accelerated Engineering Degree Online
The Bachelor’s Degree Center ranking of the best accelerated engineering degree programs online begins the same way as every ranking – with accredited, reputable institutions that offer an online or hybrid program in engineering or engineering technology. In addition, programs had to offer students a way to complete their degree in a year or less. But speed isn’t everything, so programs that met the criteria were also ranked according to their alumni salary, cost, graduation rate, job placement rate, and student satisfaction, using data from IPEDS, College Scorecard, and Niche.
1. University of Maine
When you are looking for accelerated engineering programs, the University of Maine offers a program to help with your goals. The Bachelor of Science in Surveying Engineering Technology allows students to transfer credits from a community college or other universities as long as students complete at least 30 credit hours at the university.
A key way the University of Maine stands out from other programs is the focus on physical science and the combination of skills designed for students who enjoy outdoor activities. Since the degree program focuses on surveying and the use of engineering technology in surveying, students are encouraged to engage in outdoor activities to keep up with the practical skills associated with their degree. The University of Maine is ABET-accredited for its online BS in Surveying Engineering Technology and meets the high standards for accreditation.
Program: BS in Surveying Engineering Technology
2. Old Dominion University
When you want an accelerated engineering degree online, Old Dominion University offers programs that meet your standards. The online programs at the university are designed to work with students who transfer into the college. That means you can work around your previous education and still complete your degree without wasting time.
The online programs for engineering technology at Old Dominion University stand out by allowing students to accelerate their degree and finish a program in a short amount of time. The school only requires students to complete 30 credit hours at the university to qualify for graduation. That means you can work on your degree at other colleges and universities and save time when you finish up your degree through the online format. Students who attend a plusODU partnership college or university are guaranteed admission into the online programs at Old Dominion University.
Program: Civil Engineering Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology
3. National University
When you are looking for accelerated engineering degree programs, National University offers a solution for your goals. The school offers four-week classes to students in one of their two online engineering programs. Since the classes are only four weeks long, it allows students to work at a fast pace and complete their online degree in a short amount of time when compared to traditional degree programs.
A key way National University stands out from other engineering programs is the focus on technical curriculum combined with the opportunity to gain a degree fully online. Students are not required to go to a college campus to work on a portion of their engineering classes, which allows students to work on their degree at a time and place that fits their situation and schedule. National University is ranked at number one in San Diego for private nonprofit universities.
Program: BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering or Manufacturing Design Engineering
4. Tarleton State University
Students who want to pursue an accelerated engineering degree online may benefit from taking the online BAAS in Manufacturing and Industrial Management from Tarleton State University. The online degree program teaches students the leadership skills they need to work in manufacturing and industrial management, as well as the technical skills associated with engineering and engineering technology.
Tarleton State University is SACSCOC-accredited and it meets the standards set by the association for accreditation. Students can feel confident that they will have a high-quality education when obtaining an online degree from the university. The degree program is fully online and allows students to work at a pace that fits their situation and learning style. Tarleton State University allows students to transfer up to 84 credits from other colleges and universities to accelerate the process of obtaining a degree.
Program: BAAS in Manufacturing and Industrial Management
5. American Public University
American Public University offers a BS in Electrical Engineering that allows students to develop their critical thinking skills and their ability to solve problems. The degree program recognizes that engineers play a critical role in developing new innovations for technology and electricity, and it ensures that students are able to apply their skills and knowledge to accomplish specific goals for their long-term plans.
A key way American Public University stands out from other programs is the focus on hands-on experience. The school builds on your skills by offering labs that help you develop your skills and apply your knowledge in a safe environment. It recognizes that you need practice to work as an electrical engineer and take on the challenges of your career. The labs help you develop your skills through practical experience. American Public University allows you to transfer 90 credits from other schools and programs to accelerate the process of obtaining your degree.
Program: BS in Electrical Engineering
6. Eastern Kentucky University
When you want to pursue accelerated engineering programs, Eastern Kentucky University offers an online degree in fire protection and safety engineering technology that gives you a chance to improve your skills. The online degree allows you to transfer up to 90 credits into the program to accelerate the process of obtaining your degree. It also enhances your knowledge of fire safety with a comprehensive program that focuses on developing your skills.
A key way Eastern Kentucky University stands out from other programs is the options to enhance your degree with certifications. The online program allows you to add certifications to your degree to improve your knowledge of specialized skills and information. It also enhances your knowledge of specific areas of engineering and fire safety to ensure that you have the strong foundation you need for your goals. Eastern Kentucky University offers tuition discounts to active-duty members of the military who want to pursue an online engineering degree while working for the military.
Program: BS in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology
7. Thomas Edison State University
Thomas Edison State University offers accelerated engineering degree programs that help students accomplish their goals in a timely fashion. The school allows students to transfer up to 80 credits from other colleges and universities. That helps accelerate the process of obtaining a bachelor’s degree by cutting out the excess time required for general studies.
A key way Thomas Edison State stands out from other programs is through the focus on Nuclear Engineering Technology and Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology. While the school also offers a degree in Electronics Systems Engineering Technology, it focuses on the use of nuclear energy and the technology associated with nuclear energy. That allows students to prepare for careers in energy technology and the application of nuclear energy. The engineering degrees at Thomas Edison State are ABET-accredited and meet high standards for excellence.
Program: Electronics Systems Engineering Technology, Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology, Nuclear Engineering Technology
8. Regent University
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Regent University is an accelerated online program that allows students to complete their degree in a short amount of time. The degree program allows you to transfer up to 90 credits and it offers eight-week courses for accelerated classes. The focus on helping you finish your degree in a short amount of time prepares you for the rigors and challenges of working in engineering and meeting deadlines for your work.
A key reason Regent University stands apart from other programs is the focus on developing your skills in hardware and software as it applies to modern technology. The degree program recognizes the relationship between hardware and software and helps students learn to work with both aspects of technology to accomplish goals. It also works on developing your practical skills as a computer engineer to prepare you to innovate technology and improve on existing systems. Regent University takes a Christian approach to engineering studies and evaluates computer engineering as it relates to Biblical principles.
Program: BS in Computer Engineering
9. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University offers a BS in Computer Science with a focus on Software Engineering that prepares you for a career as a software engineer. The degree program allows you to transfer 90 credits into the software engineering program to help accelerate the process of obtaining your degree. As an online program, you are also able to work at your own pace and work around your schedule to complete your classes at a fast pace.
Southern New Hampshire University stands out from other programs by providing students with a strong foundation in software languages like Java and C++ as well as modern software testing tools like Eclipse and OpenGL. By ensuring that you have the knowledge required to keep up with software development and to test out software, you will have the opportunity to reach your career goals as a software engineer. It gives you the tools you need to innovate and create new software for improved technology. Southern New Hampshire University allows you to earn up to six credits in math by taking assessments of your knowledge and skills. That helps save time on your degree by allowing you to avoid math classes you do not need.
Program: BS in Computer Science – Software Engineering
10. Grantham University
Grantham University offers three online degrees in engineering technology. You can study Computer Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology, or Engineering Management Technology. The accelerated online degree programs prepare you for a career in engineering that focuses on practical skills and the application of your skills. It also recognizes that you will need innovative skills to keep up with modern technology and the rapid growth of technology.
A key way Grantham University stands apart from other programs is the focus on comprehensive knowledge and skills. The degree programs give students a well-rounded view of engineering technology and how it applies to a specialized concentration. That allows students to prepare for the complexities and rigors of a career as an engineer in a technical field. Grantham University allows students to transfer up to 75 percent of their credits into the school. That accelerates the process of obtaining a degree and allows students to finish a degree in a short amount of time.
Program: Computer Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology, Engineering Management Technology
What’s the Difference Between Engineering Technology Salary vs Engineering?
When it comes to engineering technology salary vs engineering, the position in a company impacts the exact rates you can expect. In general, you can expect comparable salaries for many entry-level positions. Due to the variation in career opportunities with more advanced degrees, long-term salary expectations will depend on an employer, your location, and your level of education, as well as your experience in your career.
Careers in engineering differ from careers in engineering technology. An engineer works in research and design with a focus on developing new solutions to existing problems. Engineering technology opens doors for hands-on laboratory work, testing, and in-the-field positions. It also offers opportunities to focus on advanced degree programs in a variety of different fields and areas of study.
What Can I Do With a Degree in Engineering Besides Be an Engineer?
What can you do with an engineering degree besides engineering? It depends on your area of interest and your long-term goals. By evaluating non-traditional career options for an engineer, you can determine the best way to focus on your goals.
Non-traditional engineering jobs give you a place to start when you are looking into career opportunities. If you want to work in a writing career, then you may find that taking on the role of a technical writer offers opportunities for your long-term plans. A technical writer acts as a middle-man between engineers and the public. Your role as a technical writer is to break down the jargon used by engineers to explain how something works to the average person. You may also work with science writers for a broad area of expertise within your writing. In some cases, technical writers work with engineering companies to write publications for the company.
Research positions also offer opportunities to engineers who do not want to work in a traditional role. By working in research, you may focus on obtaining grants for a college or university with a focus on using your degree to evaluate and research a specific area of science or building. Research positions may also open up new opportunities to work as a professor or teacher.
Teaching positions are not the obvious choice for an engineer, but it is an opportunity when you decide to pursue academics and focus on teaching the next generation of engineers. Keep in mind that teaching positions may focus on different areas of engineering or may require experience in the field. You will want to evaluate the standards set by an educational institution to determine if you qualify for a position.
Opportunities in the fashion industry also allow engineers to take a step back from the traditional roles associated with their education. A fashion engineer is a professional who works with fashion designers to bring an item to life by using mathematics and science to accomplish a goal. For example, you may work with fashion designers to create a show that is light-weight and durable. Alternatively, you may work in the make-up industry to create products that are safe for the skin, but also breathable and appropriate for wearing over an extended period. The role of an engineer in the fashion industry may vary based on the company and its goals.
What Will I Learn in an Accelerated Engineering Degree Program?
The decision to pursue an engineering bachelor’s degree program requires some understanding of the classes you will take over the course of the program. The requirements for engineering degree programs start with the basics. College classes for engineering focus on mathematics and science. For example, you can expect to take advanced mathematics courses like calculus, geometry, and algebra. You can also expect to take physics and science courses throughout your education.
Engineering bachelor degree requirements may also break down into specialized courses as you advance in your degree. For example, you may study chemistry when you focus on chemical engineering or you may focus on technology when you plan to work in a technical field. The degree program may also focus on teaching students cross-disciplinary studies with a focus on addressing specific goals within robotics, technical development, or related subjects. The exact role of an engineer depends on the goals of a company; however, your degree will prepare you to handle a variety of industries and goals. You can expect your degree to offer advanced studies in mathematics, technology, and science that you need to work in multiple industries and fields of study.
Beyond the fundamentals, may also be able to earn a specialization with coursework in the engineering field like:
- mechanical engineering
- industrial engineering
- aerospace engineering
- engineering design
- information technology and computer hardware
With an internship or electives you can also learn skills like project management
Ann online bachelor’s degree can make a big difference in your career, with lower tuition rates than on-campus programs and the same cost for out-of-state students as in-state. Online schools can also prepare you for graduate programs, which are ideal for working adult learners. Engineering schools are offering online graduate degree options more and more for those already in engineering careers to step up. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that engineering with an online master make much more than those with an associate degree or bachelor’s. You can get a full-time accelerated degree, or study online courses part-time for affordability.