Those who enjoy math and science and like to use their technical knowledge to solve problems creatively will find the field of engineering to be a perfect fit. Online engineering degrees now provide the flexibility of being able to learn from home on a schedule that is convenient for any student’s lifestyle. With higher than average entry level salaries and new areas of the field developing in order to meet current environmental and medical challenges, the field of engineering will be an attractive option for those with an interest in the natural sciences.
Employment Outlook in Engineering
Jobs in the engineering field are expected to grow 11% by 2016, which is the anticipated national average for job growth overall. However, there is a great deal of variation in the availability of jobs based on the specific area of engineering involved. Because of the decline in manufacturing in recent years as many industrial operations have been outsourced overseas, there is a decreased need for industrial and mechanical engineers. Similarly, as research is being done into alternative energies, petroleum engineers will also not be in great demand. But in growth industries like environmental and biomedical engineering, job growth will be plentiful. The other areas of engineering, like civil, chemical, electrical, agricultural, and aerospace, should see average growth.
The field of engineering is known for the relatively high entry-level salaries that college graduates can earn. Average starting salaries of college graduates with a bachelor’s degree in 2007 ranged from $47,000 to $61,000. Those with a master’s degree or Ph.D. can earn up to $30,000 more starting out due to the advanced education. However, unless the engineer is in a high growth field, the potential for increased income as years of experience are earned is present but not at a level one might expect from such strong starting salaries. Even still, significant earnings can be expected. Average engineering salaries in 2007 ranged from the agricultural engineer’s $75,000 to the ceramic engineer’s $107, 500.
Educational Requirements in Engineering
Two-year associate’s degrees are available, but a bachelor’s degree is usually a minimum requirement for a job as a professional engineer. A bachelor’s degree program at traditional engineering school takes at least 4 but often closer to 5 years to complete. Online engineering degrees are still as academically intense but allow the course work to be tailored to the student’s particular needs and lifestyle.
Bachelor of Science degrees are offered in all of the various areas of engineering
Like agricultural, chemical, electrical, biomedical, industrial, mechanical, aerospace, civil, and computer science. Master of Science degrees are available in most of these areas as well and often just require an additional 1-2 years added to the bachelor’s degree program. A Ph.D. can be earned as well for the engineer who wishes to concentrate on researching a particular area of the field or teach at the university level.
There is a wide variety of each type of degree available now online in all of the main areas of engineering. Because of so many options regarding online engineering degrees, those with an interest in math and science and a desire to apply the specialized knowledge in these fields to the problem-solving needed in various industries today, a student can easily get a jump on the excellent starting salaries that this field offers.