Online Engineering Bachelor’s Degree

Overview

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Engineering dominates nearly every list of bachelor’s degrees that offer a high return on investment, in part because of the skyrocketing need for workers skilled in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Because of the high demand, graduates with a bachelor’s in most engineering specialties see midcareer earnings of at least $90,000, with degrees focused on petroleum, aerospace, chemical, nuclear, electrical and computer engineering being the most lucrative, according to PayScale, an online salary database.

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Course Work

Potential specializations
Computer engineering
Electrical engineering
Environmental engineering
Mechanical engineering
Civil engineering
Aerospace engineering
Construction engineering
Petroleum engineering
Software engineering

Students enrolled in an online bachelor’s in engineering program should expect a course load heavy in advanced mathematics and science, with specific course offerings varying by specialty.

Common courses for online electrical engineering students, for example, include linear electric circuits; structural dynamics; and stoichiometry, which deals with the chemistry of chemical reactions. Computer engineering courses, on the other hand, may include microprocessor systems design and digital systems structure, while environmental engineering students may take classes in thermodynamics or groundwater hydraulics.

Job Outlook

Midcareer median salaries*
Civil engineer $88,800
Environmental engineer $89,700
Software engineer $90,700
Mechanical engineer $98,400
Computer engineer $105,000
Electrical engineer $106,000
Chemical engineer $111,000
Aerospace engineer $118,000
Petroleum engineer $163,000

*per PayScale.com

Experts estimate as many as 3 million STEM jobs sit vacant, and that number is expected to rise exponentially in the coming years. This means employers are competing for top engineering talent, and it is common for skilled students to field job offers before graduation. Midcareer median salaries for students with a bachelor’s in engineering vary by specialty.

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