Best Online Engineering Degrees 2021

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A degree in engineering opens career paths in diverse industries including aerospace, energy, information technology, and construction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recognizes and prepares employment reports on 18 engineering occupations. Entering such a broad professional arena, students choose a specific engineering subfield early in their academic journey.

The BLS groups architects and engineers under the same occupational category. It projects these professions to grow 3% from 2019-2029, about as fast as all occupations. The BLS reports that many of the projected 74,800 new jobs fall under the engineering occupations.

For students planning to pursue a degree in engineering, our guide offers information to help choose the best fit. We provide a ranking of 2021’s top engineering programs, outline benefits of earning an engineering degree online, and highlight scholarship opportunities.

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Online Engineering Program Q&A

  • Q. What kind of jobs can you get with an engineering degree?

    Jobs open to engineering graduates depend on the subfield of engineering they majored in, including mechanical, civil, or electrical engineering.

  • Q. Do engineers get paid well?

    Yes. The BLS reports a median annual salary of $83,160 for engineers.

  • Q. How much does an online engineering degree cost?

    The cost of earning an engineering degree online will likely approximate average bachelor’s degree costs for 2018-19. In-state students at public institutions paid $9,212 for tuition and fees only, excluding on-campus room and board.

  • Q. How long does it take to get an engineering degree?

    A bachelor’s degree in engineering usually takes four years to complete. However, factors such as enrollment status and delivery format can influence completion time.

Why Get a Degree in Engineering?

Jobs in many engineering subfields garner median annual salaries higher than the national median for all workers. Electrical and electronics engineers, chemical engineers, and aerospace engineers all earn median annual salaries above $100,000.

Several schools now offer online engineering programs, allowing students to earn a degree in an engineering subfield not offered in their home state. Online programs give enrollees the further advantage of a cheaper degree since they do not pay room and board.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

How Much Does an Engineering Degree Cost?

National Center for Education Statistics data show 2018-19 attendance costs at public in-state schools came to $20,598. Students at private nonprofit institutions paid a considerably higher amount, $47,541 on average. The figures include tuition, required fees, and on-campus room and board. The cost of a bachelor’s degree in engineering will likely approximate these amounts. However, engineering programs requiring laboratory training may cost more.

Most online students do not pay additional on-campus housing expenses, lowering the cost of attendance significantly. For tuition and fees only, learners at in-state public institutions paid an average of $9,212, while students at private nonprofit schools paid $34,758. Students should also take note of schools allowing out-of-state online enrollees to pay in-state tuition. Earning an engineering degree online can result in meaningful savings because of the substantial difference between resident and non-resident tuition.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Students wanting to compare the attendance costs of two or more institutions can use the calculation tool below. A school’s website usually includes much of the required information. Online enrollees should keep in mind that some colleges and universities may charge off-campus students an additional technology fee.

College Affordability Calculator

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Engineering Majors Make?

As stated above, many engineering jobs garner higher-than-average salaries. Aspiring computer hardware engineers enter a professional arena with a median annual salary of $119,560. The top-paying industries for these professions include securities and financial investment companies, software publishers, and computer and equipment manufacturing companies. These employers pay mean annual salaries of $170,190, $164,270, and $147,220, respectively.

The BLS projects 10% growth for industrial engineers in 2019-2029, making it one of the fastest growing engineering subfields. The highest paying arenas for industrial engineers include crude oil pipeline transportation, telecommunications, and petroleum and coal products manufacturing. Industrial engineers at these companies earn mean annual salaries of $120,850, $114,920, and $113,800, respectively.

Courses in Engineering

Engineering encompasses a broad professional arena and, expectedly, no single curriculum can contain all the courses required for each specific subfield. Institutions offering the same degree in engineering often follow unique curricula designed to support their specific academic objectives.

Most engineering courses involve hands-on training through an internship experience or individual or group projects. The courses described below represent foundation classes offered in an engineering program’s first half, before students focus on major-specific courses their junior and senior years.

Students learn how to apply economic principles and techniques in implementing engineering designs and decisions. The course teaches enrollees about feasibility studies, quantitative methods of assessment, and basic economic model building. Topics include the time value of money, equivalence, rate of return, and cash flows.

The class covers four main topics: linear and vector algebra, particle equilibrium, engineering applications, and rigid body equilibrium. Students learn to identify and analyze different internal and external force systems that affect particles and rigid bodies in static equilibrium. The course focuses on the application of computer-based matrix methods to solve engineering problems.

The course familiarizes students with a range of topics including partial derivatives, vector fields, double and triple integrals, and the divergence theorem. A core tool in applied mathematics, engineers apply this discipline’s principles to computer graphics programming and civil engineering when building large projects like airports and highways.

Certifications and Licensure for Engineering

All 50 states and the District of Columbia require engineers to acquire a license before working. Licensure requirements vary, so students should contact the state licensing board where they plan to work for specific criteria. Industry-recognized professional organizations issue certifications, often qualifying holders for increased responsibilities and leadership positions in specific subfields.

The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering administers the CCE credential. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in applied engineering or engineering technology qualify. The 120-question multiple choice exam covers several content areas including automated systems, networking fundamentals, and instrumentation. The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) administers this credential for physical asset management professionals. Candidates must pass an experience-based exam covering the SMRP Body of Knowledge’s five areas: business and management, equipment reliability, organization and leadership, manufacturing process reliability, and work management. Accredited engineering program graduates pursuing an electronics design career qualify for this International Association for Radio, Telecommunications, and Electromagnetics certification. The exam tests a candidate’s ability to apply the principles of electromagnetic compatibility to design within compliance regulations.

Scholarships for Engineering

Many schools offer STEM scholarships to attract and support the most promising students in science, technology, engineering, and math. Students pursuing a degree in engineering can find additional financial aid packages from state and federal government agencies. Professional organizations and private nonprofit groups with established ties to engineering also support students.

  • American Society of Naval Engineers Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Full-time undergraduate and graduate engineering students can apply for the scholarship. Graduate applicants must hold ASNE membership; undergraduate applicants do not need membership but should hold senior status.

    Amount: $4,000

    Explore Here

  • Society of Women Engineers

    Who Can Apply: SWE welcomes applications from female/women-identifying students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program with accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

    Amount: Varies

    Explore Here

Best Online Engineering Programs 2021

  1. Siena Heights University

    Adrian, MI



  2. Eastern Michigan University

    Ypsilanti, MI



  3. Texas A & M University-College Station

    College Station, TX



  4. Indiana State University

    Terre Haute, IN



  5. Missouri State University-Springfield

    Springfield, MO



  6. University of Massachusetts-Lowell

    Lowell, MA



  7. Northern Arizona University

    Flagstaff, AZ



  8. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

    Daytona Beach, FL



  9. Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

    Stillwater, OK



  10. University of North Dakota

    Grand Forks, ND



See Our Rankings Methodology
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Emma Yenko

With an undergraduate degree in communications and a master’s in education, Emma finds writing for the education vertical to be the perfect niche.

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