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fastest online bachelor's in engineering

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. 

This arti­cle was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in May 2023 and was updat­ed in Feb­ru­ary 2024.

Com­par­ing a Bach­e­lor of Engi­neer­ing vs. a 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.

Relat­ed Rankings:

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

Degree at a Glance

Pro­gram: BS in Sur­vey­ing Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy
Tuition: $400-$500 per cred­it hour
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 125 cred­its are required to com­plete the pro­gram
Deliv­ery For­mat: 100% online
ABET-accred­it­ed?: Yes

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.

2. Old Dominion University

Degree at a Glance

Pro­grams: Civ­il Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy, Com­put­er Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy, Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy
Tuition: $393 per cred­it hour
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120 cred­it hours to com­plete the pro­gram and 30 hours at ODU
Deliv­ery For­mat: Some class­es will have live, reg­u­lar online meet­ing times, while oth­ers will not.
ABET-accred­it­ed?: Yes

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.

3. National University

Degree at a Glance

Pro­grams: BS in Elec­tri­cal and Com­put­er Engi­neer­ing or Man­u­fac­tur­ing Design Engi­neer­ing
Tuition: $370 per cred­it hour
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 180 quar­ter units, 76.5 of which must be com­plet­ed at the upper-divi­sion lev­el (45 of which must be tak­en in res­i­dence); 69 units of the Uni­ver­si­ty Gen­er­al Edu­ca­tion require­ments
Deliv­ery For­mat: Online or On-site

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, they allow 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 num­ber one in San Diego for pri­vate non­prof­it universities.

4. Tarleton State University

Degree at a Glance

Pro­gram: BS in Man­u­fac­tur­ing Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy
Tuition: $183.71
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120 cred­it hours: trans­ferred cred­its allowed are based on your GOA
Deliv­ery For­mat: Ful­ly online
ABET-accred­it­ed?: Yes

Relat­ed Degrees Offered:

  • B.S. Mechan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing Technology
  • B.S. Indus­tri­al Technology
  • B.S. in Con­struc­tion Sci­ence and Management
  • B.A.A.S. Man­u­fac­tur­ing and Indus­tri­al Management 

Stu­dents who want to pur­sue an accel­er­at­ed engi­neer­ing degree online may ben­e­fit from tak­ing the online B.S. in Man­u­fac­tur­ing Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy 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.

5. American Public University

Degree at a Glance

Pro­gram: Online Bach­e­lor in Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing
Tuition: $350 per cred­it hour
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 128 cred­it hours; trans­fer up to 90
Deliv­ery For­mat: Ful­ly online; cours­es start month­ly
ABET-accred­it­ed?: Yes!

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 inno­va­tions for tech­nol­o­gy and elec­tric­i­ty, and it ensures that stu­dents can 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.

6. Eastern Kentucky University

Degree at a Glance

Pro­gram: BS in Man­u­fac­tur­ing Tech­nol­o­gy
Tuition: $421 per cred­it hour
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120 cred­it hours; trans­fer up to 90
Deliv­ery For­mat: Online
ABET-accred­it­ed?: Accord­ing to their web­site: “The pro­gram is seek­ing ABET accred­i­ta­tion as soon as eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments have been met. Accred­i­ta­tion is retroac­tive and will extend to pri­or graduates.”

Con­cen­tra­tions offered:

  • Qual­i­ty and Lean Manufacturing
  • Advanced Man­u­fac­tur­ing
  • Indus­tri­al Health and Safety

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 option 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.

7. Thomas Edison State University

Degree at a Glance

Pro­gram: Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Nuclear Ener­gy Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy
Tuition: $419 per cred­it hour
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120 cred­it hours; trans­fer up to 90
Deliv­ery For­mat: 100% Online
ABET-accred­it­ed?: Yes

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.

8. Regent University

Degree at a Glance

Pro­gram: BS in Com­put­er Engi­neer­ing
Tuition: $395 per cred­it hour
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 126 cred­it hours; trans­fer up to 90
Deliv­ery For­mat: 100% Online

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.

9. Southern New Hampshire University

Degree at a Glance

Pro­gram: BS in Com­put­er Sci­ence — Soft­ware Engi­neer­ing
Tuition: $330 per cred­it hour
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120 cred­it hours; trans­fer up to 90
Deliv­ery For­mat: 100% Online
ABET-accred­it­ed?: Yes

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 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.

10. Grantham University

Degree at a Glance

Pro­grams: Com­put­er Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy, Elec­tron­ics Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy, Engi­neer­ing Man­age­ment Tech­nol­o­gy
Tuition: $305 per cred­it hour
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120 cred­it hours; trans­fer up to 90
Deliv­ery For­mat: 100% Online
ABET-accred­it­ed?: Yes!

Grantham Uni­ver­si­ty offers three online degrees in engi­neer­ing 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.

What’s the Difference Between Engineering Technology Salary and 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 Being 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 for 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. 

Technical Writer

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.

Researcher

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.

Engineering 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.

Fashion Engineer

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 light­weight 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’s degree require­ments may also be bro­ken 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
  • Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty
  • Engi­neer­ing Design
  • Infor­ma­tion Technology
  • Com­put­er Hardware

With an intern­ship or elec­tives, you can also learn skills like project management.

An 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.