For many working adults, an online engineering degree is the logical next step in their career. Adults who have been working for some time in fields like technology, construction, and similar areas with just a high school diploma or associate’s degree may find that their career potential is stunted. An online bachelor’s degree in engineering or engineering technology helps them move into higher positions and earn higher pay. But for busy professionals with life and family responsibilities, going back to school is too difficult. That’s what makes online engineering degrees ideal.
A key advantage of obtaining an engineering degree online is the flexibility of the program. An online engineering bachelor degree program allows you to work on your classes from any location as long as you have an Internet connection. You are not required to go to a college campus during specific hours, so you can work on your degree when you have the time. The convenience also stands out when you are evaluating online programs. Since the degree program is through an online format, you can work at any time you need. That allows you to work on your degree at home or when you are on the road or out of town. The convenience allows you to complete tasks without cutting into other obligations.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Engineering Programs
To rank the best engineering and engineering technology degree online programs, Bachelor’s Degree Center began by searching for accredited, reputable institutions offering an online or hybrid engineering or engineering technology program. From our primary list, we ranked programs according to criteria that matter to working adults: Tuition Cost, Student Reviews, Salary Expectations, Job Placement, and Graduation Rate. Data is drawn from College Scorecard, IPEDS, and Niche.
1. Stony Brook University
When you are looking for a degree program to work in engineering, you want to consider the online BS in Electrical Engineering from Stony Brook University. The online degree builds on your knowledge of science and electricity to help you identify potential concerns and find a solution to address the problems. It gives you a strong foundation in innovation and creativity that allows you to accomplish your goals for your career.
Stony Brook University stands apart by focusing on the needs of professionals and working adults. It recognizes that you may have limitations on your time due to your current obligations and it strives to provide a degree program that works around your schedule. The online program gives you the opportunity to finish a bachelor’s degree while you are engaged in a complex schedule and have limited time to study.
What We Like: Stony Brook University informs students when it is available to apply for courses by allowing students to fill out an interest form when classes are in session.
Program: BS in Electrical Engineering
2. Arizona State University
When you are looking for a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering online, Arizona State University offers programs to help with your goals. The school provides several online degree programs for a bachelor of engineering with a focus on specific concentrations. Since you can pursue six different concentrations, including mechanical engineering, you have the opportunity to focus on your area of interest and build on your long-term goals.
Arizona State University gives students the opportunity to pursue several different engineering majors for their undergraduate degree. While the school offers six online programs, it also offers several on-campus programs for students who are planning to develop their skills and improve their long-term plans. By focusing on the online degree programs, students will have the chance to work around their schedule and limitations on their time.
What We Like: Arizona State University offers integrated online programs for students who want to take an accelerated program and pursue a higher level of education in engineering.
Program: BS Engineering — 6 online concentrations
3. University of Alabama
When you want to obtain an online mechanical engineering bachelor degree, the University of Alabama offers an option to fit your needs. The online degree program does not require students to travel or disrupt their work schedule and is designed around the needs of working adults. It recognizes that students may have limitations on their time and allows students to work around a personal schedule.
A key way the University of Alabama stands out is the focus on versatility. The online BS in Mechanical Engineering gives students a broad understanding of engineering that allows them to build on their skills in a variety of industries and fields of study. It gives students a strong foundation in the way machines work and the application of mechanical engineering skills in manufacturing, building, and machine development. The broad focus allows students to pursue a career in several industries and roles.
What We Like: The online engineering degree from the University of Alabama is ABET-accredited and accepts applications from prospective students all year.
Program: BS in Mechanical Engineering
4. University of North Dakota
When you are looking for an online mechanical engineering bachelor degree or a related online degree in engineering, the University of North Dakota offers several options to fit your needs. The school offers six engineering concentrations for undergraduate studies and allows students to work when it fits their current situation. The flexibility of the online degree programs allows students to focus on pursuing their areas of interest and building on their capabilities while they work or keep up with personal obligations.
A key way the University of North Dakota stands apart is the combined programs available for students who want to pursue a higher level of education. Students can obtain an online bachelor’s degree in engineering and follow through with a combined degree program for a master’s degree. That helps accelerate your education and gives you a chance to move forward with your long-term plans for your degree.
What We Like: The University of North Dakota offers certifications and minors that enhance and improve your engineering degree to give you a strong foundation in interdisciplinary studies.
Program: BS in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Geological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering
5. University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Students who want to find an engineering technology degree online will want to consider the program at UNC Charlotte. The online engineering degree program allows students to focus on engineering technology and the application of skills in specific areas of study. The school offers two bachelor’s degree programs in engineering technology: fire safety and electrical engineering. Students can select the program that fits their career goals and long-term plans.
UNC Charlotte stands apart by offering two programs in engineering technology. Since students can focus on one aspect of the degree, they are able to pursue a career in specific industries. That allows you to specialize while you work on your degree from the comfort of home or when you are on-the-go. You have the flexibility to obtain your degree when it fits your schedule.
What We Like: UNC Charlotte gives students hands-on experience when they work on an online engineering technology program.
Program: BS in Engineering Technology — Electrical or Fire Safety
6. Florida International University
Florida International University offers an online degree program for engineering to help students who have limitations on their time. The fully online programs give students a strong foundation in mathematics and science before starting on the specialized skills they need for a computer engineering or electrical engineering career. The degree programs recognize that students will need a strong foundation in mathematics to understand and apply their skills in their career.
A key way Florida International University stands out is the focus on ensuring that students obtain the same education online as they would receive on-campus. The courses are taught by the same faculty and meet the same standards for education as the on-campus programs. The school also recognizes that students may need a flexible schedule, so it works around the needs of students by allowing you to work on your classes when you have time.
What We Like: Students can enhance their undergraduate degree program with certifications to improve specific skills that apply to a career as an engineer.
Program: BS in Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering
7. University of Maine
The University of Maine offers an online degree in engineering for students who want to focus on an engineering career. The school offers a bachelor’s degree in surveying engineering technology that is fully online. Since the program is online, it gives students the flexibility to focus on their degree while working in a professional setting. It also allows students to take their time and work at a pace that fits their learning style through the online program.
A key way the University of Maine stands out is the focus on building up foundational skills in mathematics and physical science. The program recognizes that students need to understand physical science in their career and gives a strong foundation in the skills that apply directly to surveying. That allows students to pursue a career that builds on their skills and uses their understanding of physical science to identify potential risks or concerns on a piece of land before making a suggestion to employers.
What We Like: The University of Maine emphasizes independence and fosters responsibility in students by building on their personal interests as well as their practical knowledge.
Program: BS in Surveying Engineering Technology
8. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers two online bachelor’s programs in engineering. It allows students to pursue an engineering degree or an engineering technology degree through an online program. The degree programs work around the goals of students and prepare them for a career as an engineer or working in the practical application of technical skills.
A key way Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University stands out is the focus on developing fundamental skills and problem-solving skills. Engineers and professionals in engineering technology need to understand the practical application of their skills in a professional environment. By focusing on problem-solving and creativity, the school encourages students to find realistic solutions to resolve problems and improve a situation.
What We Like: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University takes an interdisciplinary approach to engineering studies that prepare students for the rigors of working as an engineer.
Program: BS in Engineering or Engineering Technology
9. Western Carolina University
Western Carolina University offers an online hybrid program for engineering technology that prepares students for a career as an engineer. The degree program recognizes that students need hands-on experience for their education and offers a combination of online and evening classes to give students the strong foundation they need for their career goals. While it is a hybrid online program, students have the flexibility to work around their schedule.
A key way Western Carolina University stands out for its BS in Engineering Technology is the focus of the degree. The program focuses on technical operations and teaches students the leadership skills they need to take on a management role when working as an engineer. The program is not ABET-accredited, so students will want to evaluate the program to ensure it fits their long-term goals.
What We Like: Western Carolina University offers an eight-semester plan for students taking the online hybrid program to complete the degree in a timely manner.
Program: BS in Engineering Technology
10. University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi offers a BS in Industrial Engineering Technology that prepares students for the rigors of working as a leader in their career and industry. The degree program recognizes that students want to take a front and center position in a company and work directly in the field to accomplish specific goals. That is why the program trains students to take on the responsibilities of high-level planning and leadership.
A key way the University of Southern Mississippi stands out is the ABET accreditation. The school is accredited for its online industrial engineering technology program and it allows students to focus on logistics or leadership. The accreditation gives employers confidence in the school’s program by ensuring it meets specific standards for education.
What We Like: The University of Southern Mississippi offers scholarships to qualifying students in the online industrial engineering technology program.
Program: BS in Industrial Engineering Technology
11. Old Dominion University
When you want to obtain an online degree in engineering technology, Old Dominion University offers three programs to reach your goals. The school offers a program in Civil Engineering Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, and Electrical Engineering Technology online. The degree programs give you the flexibility to focus on your career goals while you pursue a higher level of education to work as an engineer. It works around your schedule so that you can pursue a degree at your pace.
A key way Old Dominion University stands out is the flexibility of the programs. The school offers three engineering technology programs that help students focus on specific concentrations and areas of study. That gives you a chance to pursue a specific interest or career path. It also gives you the opportunity to adjust to different situations by learning the basic skills you need to build on an engineering career.
What We Like: Old Dominion University allows students to transfer from other colleges or universities to help cut the costs of the degree program and to accelerate the process of obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
Program: Civil Engineering Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology
12. Tarleton State University
When you are looking for a degree in engineering online, Tartelon State University offers a program to help you pursue a leadership role in your field. The bachelor’s degree gives students a strong foundation in engineering, manufacturing, safety management, and related skills to prepare you for a leadership role. The BAAS in Manufacturing and Industrial Management online helps you develop relevant skills to lead other engineers and professionals to accomplish a common goal.
A key way Tarleton State University stands out is the option to transfer credits from other colleges and universities. The school allows you to transfer up to 84 credits from other colleges, which helps you finish your degree in a short amount of time. You have the flexibility to work on your degree online, and you can start fresh or you can transfer credits into the fully online program.
What We Like: Tarleton State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission of Colleges, or SACSCOC, the standard for higher education.
Program: BAAS in Manufacturing and Industrial Management
13. National University
When you are looking for a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering online, you may want to consider the programs at National University. The BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Manufacturing Design Engineering programs give you the skills you need to work as an engineer in specific areas of study.
A key way National University stands out is through its online simulations. Students are able to gain hands-on experience by using simulation modeling techniques. That gives students the confidence to pursue a career and work on their long-term goals.
What We Like: National University offers four-week classes that accelerate the learning process and help students complete their online degree in a short amount of time.
Program: BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering or Manufacturing Design Engineering
14. Bemidji State University
The BAS in Applied Engineering from Bemidji State University is one of the best online engineering programs for students who want to work as an engineer. The degree program is designed to build on previous education or training in engineering. It allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree while counting certifications, technical degree programs, and a diploma program as credit for the degree.
A key way Bemidji State University stands out from other engineering programs is the focus on transferring credits. The school requires students to have a certification, diploma, or a technical degree to qualify for the upper-level courses. You can also transfer classes from other colleges or universities to complete the degree.
What We Like: Bemidji State University is accredited by The Association of Technology Management and Applied Engineering.
Program: BAS in Applied Engineering
Why Should I Get an Engineering Bachelor’s Online?
When it comes to selecting the right program for your engineering bachelor’s degree online, you want to compare the options and evaluate the advantages of a program. It also brings up a simple question: should you get an engineering degree online? Engineering programs offer online degrees that help you get started in your career without the complications of a traditional college program.
You can get an undergraduate engineering degree online. Some undergraduate engineering degrees online offer specializations, accelerated programs, self-paced coursework, credit hours for real-world work experience (to count for prerequisites), and more.
Enrollment in online education is often easier than a traditional program. The admission requirements may not be as stringent for online schools, and online students may study part-time.
Online bachelor’s engineering degrees also offer accelerated courses. While the specific details about the best online engineering bachelor’s degree program may vary based on the school and the degree, you can expect options for accelerated classes that help you complete your degree in a shorter amount of time. Full-time accelerated engineering courses can be very demanding, so plan wisely. Financial aid may depend on your GPA, so don’t get behind.
The advantages in relation to costs also help when you want to obtain an engineering bachelor’s degree. Online courses offer cost benefits when it relates to the expense of classes. Your bachelor of science in engineering online degree program may cost much less. While exact costs may vary between programs, you can expect a lower cost when compared to traditional on-campus classes.
An online bachelor of science in engineering is also a great preparation for an online master degree or similar graduate programs. Becoming a professional engineer is hard work, but the job growth and median salary make it all worth while.
Will Employers Trust an Online Engineering Bachelor’s?
A key consideration when evaluating online engineering bachelor’s degree program is the impact on an employer’s trust. The challenge is ensuring that your employer will trust the program and will take your application seriously when you want to start a career. The key to ensuring employer trust is through engineering school accreditation.
In the engineering field, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology ABET accreditation requirements for an engineering program sets a high standard for a college or university. It gives your employer confidence that the online program meets or exceeds the standards set for accreditation in relation to your studies and the program’s relevance to the work environment.
Is ABET accreditation important for your career? Yes. It means that your employer will recognize your online degree as the same education you would obtain from a traditional college campus. When it comes to evaluating an ABET-accredited online degree program, you want to check into the details and make sure your program fits and exceeds the standards of education for accreditation.
When you ask does ABET accreditation matter to your employer, the simple answer is that it is a key part of verifying the validity of your degree program. Employers expect your college or university to meet a standard for educating engineering students. It is vital for an engineering program to meet the standards for accreditation before you consider it a viable option for your education. Check into a program and make sure that it is accredited before you sign up for online classes.
What Does an Engineer Do?
After you decide to start working on an engineering degree program, you want to evaluate the opportunities available for your career. The engineering job requirements will give you a basic idea of your role in a job.
So, what does an engineer do in general? The basic responsibility of an engineer is to use mathematics and science to solve problems. The exact role of an engineer depends on their career and employer. For example, an engineer working on a building project will have different responsibilities when compared to an engineer working in a chemical company. You can expect your employer to have specific goals that apply your knowledge and skills to reach the goal.
While the specific responsibilities may vary based on your role in a company, you can expect to work on new developments and projects for your employer. For example, you may work on work in a robotics company to resolve a concern using robots or related tools. You may develop new products for your employer or create solutions to address a specific concern or problem. Engineers may also work on computer programs to produce or analyze a design before moving forward with a new product or project.
In some cases, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that engineers work in testing and maintenance roles. You may work on repairing an item for your employer or testing out new products using your mathematical and scientific skills. Employers may also ask you to identify failures in a component before moving forward with manufacturing plans. Other specializations include:
- project management
- software engineering
- systems engineering
- environmental engineering
- fluid mechanics
- information technology
- nuclear engineering
- aerospace engineering
- engineering design
The specific role of an engineer depends on the needs of the employer and their goals for product development. As an engineer, you can expect to take on multiple roles within a company to handle different aspects of design, development, and testing of a new product or item.
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