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Every aspect of human life is impacted by the ever-evolving, ever-expanding field of engineering. For engineering majors, there are numerous career options in this dynamic field. The opportunities for professional advancement will substantially increase by earning an online engineering masters. One could enter a variety of engineering fields, including civil engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, and many others. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), engineering occupations will grow by 6% from 2020 to 2030, adding an estimated 146,000 new jobs. This guide covers all aspects of a master’s in engineering degree program, including information on the best engineering management masters online, accreditation, career options, etc.

Online Engineering Masters

Best Online Engineering
Masters Programs

The best engineering masters programs in the world are ranked on several critical factors of higher education. To make it to the online engineering masters rankings, a program or college must have excellent infrastructure and facilities, competent teaching staff, flexibility in program structure, accreditation, and more. Based on these and other critical factors, FBD teams have drawn up a list of some of the best master of engineering programs in the United States: *

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), established in 1919, is a public land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. UCLA enrolls over 47,000 students, offering 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in various disciplines.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
University of California, Los Angeles 405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, California 90095 $11,442 92%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from the Online Engineering
Masters Programs

Online masters degrees engineering programs teach students how to approach problems logically and methodically. They receive real-world instruction and practical work experience through group projects and activities and also develop their communication and collaboration skills. Typically, this program offers studies in engineering subjects while allowing students to concentrate on one area of engineering. Ma online engineering masters programs may be provided in the hybrid model or entirely online but would still require some on-campus coursework. And although some master’s degree programs in engineering do not require a thesis, all of them conclude with an exam and may involve some capstone or project work.

Students pursuing an online engineering master’s must decide on their degree’s track – thesis or non-thesis and also choose a branch or specialization. The latter will determine the coursework one will take. For example, a mechanical engineering concentration would include courses such as robotics, dynamics, and biomechanics. In contrast, an electrical engineering concentration would have signal, image & data processing, optics & optical surveillance, systems, control, power, and so on.

Although coursework will vary depending on the chosen engineering concentration, almost all programs have common courses. These courses provide common technical knowledge in an engineering degree program. Some examples include:

Electrical Circuits

This course teaches the fundamental tools of linear circuit analysis, which apply to all engineers. The “alphabet” of circuits is taught to students, which includes wires, inductors, capacitors, resistors, operational amplifiers, and voltage and current sources. The course prepares students for more advanced courses in circuit analysis.


This course introduces students to one of the most powerful engineering principles they will ever learn: thermodynamics. Thermodynamics is the science of transferring energy from one place or form to another. The principles of mass and energy conservation are covered, as well as the first law analysis of control mass and control volume systems, the properties and behavior of pure substances, and more.


In most university-level engineering programs, statics is the first engineering mechanics course taught. It is the study of objects that are either stationary or moving at a constant speed. The course covers topics such as Cartesian vectors, couple moments, moments of inertia, vector and scalar operations, etc.

Solid Mechanics

Solid Mechanics is concerned with the investigation of stress and strain caused by various loads – axial force, torque, moment, and shear force. The course expands on the knowledge gained in Statics.

Because of the numerous branches available, it is difficult to compile a list of courses that can be expected in an engineering degree. But to give a general idea, most programs will include an Engineering Core with core and fundamental courses, a Breadth Requirement with courses that instruct engineering scientists in effective collaboration on interdisciplinary issues, a Depth Requirement with courses specific to a particular branch of engineering, and a Technical Elective Requirement with courses in engineering and applied sciences that give students more opportunities to focus on specific areas of study and customize their education.

Degree Types offered in Online Engineering
Masters Programs

An online engineering masters is primarily of three types – the Master of Arts in Engineering, the Master of Science in Engineering, and the Master of Engineering, explained below:

Master of Arts in Engineering (MA Engineering)

The Master of Arts in Engineering degree or MA in Engineering focuses on learning technology and how it can be applied to various aspects of society through classes in the humanities and liberal arts. In addition to that, it consists of classes associated with technology, such as systems and control, computer programming, and networking. An MA in Engineering qualifies graduates for senior teaching positions at academic institutions.

Master of Science in Engineering (MS in Engineering)

The Master of Science in Engineering degree or MS in Engineering is a more scientific approach to engineering through understanding theories and conducting research. A thesis is frequently part of an online MSc engineering, although many universities offer both thesis and non-thesis options. An MS in Engineering qualifies graduates for higher-level positions in the industry.

Master of Engineering (MEng)

A Master of Engineering or M.Eng. degree focuses on developing a student’s practical abilities. Compared to the two years required for an MS or MA, an MEng degree can be earned in as little as one year. Business management and other multidisciplinary topics are covered in MEng degrees.

What Online Engineering Masters
Degree Should I get?

Engineers use innovation to raise people’s living standards through extensive research, inventions, and discoveries. Engineers’ expertise is useful in all industries, including agriculture, healthcare, technology, education, defense, and transportation. As a result, each broad sector has its own engineering specialty or branch. Students can select from a variety of engineering online degree branches that correspond to their personal interests and career goals. These are some engineering degree options based on these branches:

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Online Master’s Degree / Masters in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs

Electrical Engineering

Online Masters in Electrical And Computer Engineering / Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering Online / Master’s Degree Electrical Engineering Online / Online Masters Electrical Engineering Programs / Online Masters in Electrical Engineering Programs / Online Masters of Electrical Engineering

Engineering Management

Online Masters in Engineering Management Programs / Masters in Engineering Management Online Programs

Aerospace Engineering & Aeronautical Engineering

Aerospace Engineering Masters Online / Aerospace Engineering Online Masters / Masters Aerospace Engineering Online / Masters in Aerospace Engineering Online / Masters in Astronautical Engineering Online

Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering Masters Programs Online / Chemical Engineering Online Masters / Masters in Chemical Engineering Online / Masters Chemical Engineering Online

Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering Masters Programs Online / Online Masters Civil Engineering Programs / Online Civil Engineering Master’s Degree

Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering Masters Online / Masters in Environmental Engineering Online

Financial Engineering

Financial Engineering Online Masters / Masters Financial Engineering Online Programs / Online Financial Engineering Master’s Degree / Masters Financial Engineering Online

Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineering Masters Programs Online / Masters Degree in Industrial Engineering Online / Online Industrial Engineering Masters Degree

Computer Engineering, Software Engineering & Network Engineering

Masters Computer Engineering Online / Online Master Degree in Software Engineering / Master’s Degree in Software Engineering Online / Master’s Degree in Network Engineering Online / Online Masters Degree in Software Engineering / Online Masters Degree Network Engineering / Online Masters of Software Engineering / Online Masters in Network Engineering

Controls Engineering & Systems Engineering

Controls Engineering Masters Online / Masters in Control Systems Engineering Online / Masters of Systems Engineering Online / Online Masters Degree Systems Engineering / System Engineering Masters Online

Biomedical Engineering

Online Biomedical Engineering Masters Degree / Masters Biomedical Engineering Online

Structural Engineering

Online Structural Engineering Masters Degree Programs / Structural Engineering Online Masters / Online Masters in Structural Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering

Online Masters in Geotechnical Engineering / Online Geotechnical Engineering Masters Degree

Mining Engineering

Masters in Mining Engineering Online / Mining Engineering Online Masters


Mastering Engineer Online
Online Masters in Instrumentation And Control Engineering
Reliability Engineering Master’s Degree Online
Masters in Energy Engineering Online
Masters in Fire Protection Engineering Online
Masters in Power Engineering Online
Masters in Transportation Engineering Online
Engineering Technology Masters Degree Online
Online Master in Quality Reliability Statistical Engineering Degree
Materials Engineering Masters Online
Online Masters in Data Engineering
Petroleum Engineering Masters Online

Areas of Specializations in Online
Engineering Masters Programs

Coming with a bachelor’s degree, most students are aware that they can narrow their focus to their chosen subject. While most disciplines may not have many specialization options, students pursuing an online engineering master’s have more than 30 to 40 options to choose from, depending on their career goals. Some of them are:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
Civil EngineeringThis specialization covers the fundamentals of civil engineering, which entails the construction of a variety of infrastructures such as residential and commercial buildings, bridges, roads, railways, and so on.Public and private sector engineers, cost estimators, project managers, engineering consultants, and materials engineers.
Aeronautical EngineeringThe study of aviation and space is included in this specialization. The advancements in commercial aviation and satellite technology are discussed, along with the development of military aircraft.Aeronautical engineers, aerodynamic engineers, aerospace engineers, flight systems engineers, and aircraft designers.
Mechanical EngineeringMechanical engineering is concerned with the design of mechanical systems that aid industries such as aeronautics, automobiles, manufacturing, nanotechnology, energy, nuclear power generation, and so on. Structure analysis, materials science, thermodynamics, and kinematics are the primary areas of study.Design analysts, HVAC designers, quality inspectors, thermodynamics consultants, and production managers.
Chemical EngineeringChemical engineering is the practical application of chemistry. This engineering specialty is concerned with technology that solves problems through chemical processes. Students learn how to turn natural resources such as gasoline, paper, medicine, and computer microchips into valuable products.R&D specialists, process engineers, chemical operations managers, test engineers, quality control analysts, patent analysts, and micro lab managers.
Electrical EngineeringThe primary focus of an electrical engineering degree is energy research. Students learn about various types of energy, such as electrical, hydro, solar, and wind energy. They apply electrical circuitry laws to design, develop, and improve electronics and solid-state devices.Process and product managers, network engineers, broadcast technology specialists, plant maintenance managers, data engineering managers, and project managers.
Engineering ManagementThrough the integration of engineering and business management training, this specialization gives students the knowledge and abilities needed to supervise engineering projects or a team of engineers.Principal engineers, technical consultants, software engineering leaders, project managers, application engineering, professional development managers, and operations managers.
Petroleum EngineeringThe extraction of gas and oil from the ground is the primary focus of the petroleum engineering specialty. Students learn about cutting-edge technologies and extraction methods that are more efficient while being less harmful to the environment.Reservoir engineers, geo scientists, environmental engineers, chemists, drilling engineers, well production consultants, and fixed equipment specialists.
Biomedical EngineeringBiology and medicine are both studied in biomedical engineering. Students use fundamentals from engineering, medical science, and mathematics to understand, modify, and/or control biological systems as well as to solve medical and biological problems.R&D scientists, process development engineers, quality engineers, and pharmaceutical and medical device product developers.
Industrial EngineeringThe industrial engineering concentration focuses on how to increase output while decreasing costs and waste. Students learn about various manufacturing and optimization processes, productivity and output, and how to develop plans to increase efficiency.Industrial Engineers, supply chain professionals, manufacturing engineers, plant managers, safety engineers, and logisticians.
Electronics EngineeringElectronics engineering is a subfield of electrical engineering that focuses on designing and developing electronic products. Power systems, circuit design and construction, switchboard design and construction, and other electronic configurations will be covered by students who choose this specialization.Electronics designers, firmware developers, quality engineers, manufacturing process engineers, and digital communications specialists.

Some of the other specializations students can consider include but are not limited to:

  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Marine Engineering
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • Paper Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Robotics Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechatronics Engineering
  • Biomechanical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Geological Engineering
  • Geomatics Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Microelectronic Engineering
  • Electric Engineering
  • Materials Science Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Photonics Engineering
  • Nanotechnology Engineering
  • Mining Engineering
  • Ceramics Engineering

Why should I get an Online Engineering
Masters Degree?

The online masters in engineering builds upon the in-demand and easily adaptable foundation that many graduate-level engineering students already possess, which is a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Getting a master’s degree is the best choice if one wants to move up to a doctoral program or stand out from the other engineers and be prepared for the expanding engineering workforce.

Furthermore, because there are so many opportunities for engineers, getting a master’s degree in engineering is a wise decision. Online master’s programs offer real-world knowledge to continue working while studying. Students will acquire the abilities needed to realize their potential and be prepared for the workforce. Many exciting and well-paying jobs in public and private sectors can be obtained with an online masters in engineering degree.

In their graduate-level studies, students gain advanced engineering knowledge in a specialized field and strengthen their project management and leadership skills through core and concentration courses, as well as a research-based project. Within this framework, engineering students develop the skills and ability to:

  • create and specify a suitable physical or system model for the chosen issue;
  • use mathematical or computational tools and methods to recognize, analyze and solve complex engineering problems;
  • acquaint oneself with cutting-edge technical knowledge in a traditional or industrial engineering discipline;
  • comprehend how technical and commercial solutions affect a given global, ethical, economic, environmental, and societal context;
  • summarize and describe in both technical and non-technical terms the relevance and application of new, advanced technical knowledge;
  • contribute significantly to the completion of an objective while working effectively in multidisciplinary teams;
  • use engineering, science, and math knowledge to address technical and commercial issues; and
  • specify or plan an experiment to meet a need, including carrying out an experiment, processing its data, and synthesizing it.

Free Courses for Online Engineering
Masters Students

Many students often look for extra sources that can provide them with more knowledge or a deeper understanding of a particular subject. Although a free online masters degree in engineering courses can provide this, it is important to remember that many of them do not lead to a master’s degree in engineering online or, sometimes, even any certification. Nevertheless, here are examples of some free courses to explore:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Engineering EthicsThrough a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural lens, this course introduces engineering ethics in theory and practice. Engineering ethics and philosophy are part of the theory. Most historical cases for engineering ethics come from academic literature, and students create hypothetical cases.MIT OpenCourseWare
Masters of Engineering Concepts of Engineering PracticeThis course, a prerequisite for the master’s in engineering program, introduces students to team-building techniques through lectures, team workshops, and seminars while educating them on the roles of today’s professional engineers. The course uses pertinent large-scale projects to demonstrate each concept covered.MIT OpenCourseWare
Probability and Statistics in EngineeringThis course covers the quantitative analysis of uncertainty and risk for engineering applications. Decision analysis, random processes, statistics, and probability basics are some topics covered. Real-world applications to engineering challenges are prioritized.MIT OpenCourseWare

How to get into Online Engineering
Masters Programs?

Most online engineering master’s degree programs require a GRE or, in some cases, a GMAT score as well as an undergraduate degree in an engineering-related field. For admission to a program that involves conducting research or writing a thesis, prospective students may have to find a supervisor. For some programs, a high GPA and letters of recommendation are also prerequisites for the degree.

The exact prerequisites for one’s preferred college may differ, so it is always a good idea to double-check with the admissions office for the most up-to-date information. In addition to the standard requirements, other engineering masters admissions requirements include:

Online Application & Application Fee

Completing an online application and paying the prescribed application fee.

Academic Transcripts

An official copy of academic transcripts from each college/university attended.

Undergraduate Degree + Grade Point Average

An undergraduate degree and Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.2 or more.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Scores

An official copy of GRE or GMAT scores no older than 5 years.

Graduate Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

The latest résumé or CV that provides personal information and work experience.

Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose

A statement outlining how the program relates to the applicant’s career goals.

Letters of Recommendation

At least 2 letters of recommendation from those who can provide a thorough evaluation of the applicant’s abilities at the graduate level.

Proof of English Proficiency

A document proving proficiency in English (if the native tongue is or education was not in English).

Online Engineering Masters
No GRE Programs

Even though engineering master’s programs are competitive, some online programs do not use GMAT or GRE scores as part of their admissions criteria. For students with a sufficient undergraduate GPA or several years of work experience, many schools will waive the GMAT or GRE requirement. Waiver options are more prevalent for business and management programs related to engineering or on-campus courses. It is advisable for applicants who wish to request a GRE waiver to do so soon after submitting their applications. Here are some examples of online masters engineering no GRE programs:

Arizona State University (ASU)

Arizona State University (ASU) offers a Master of Science in Engineering No GRE program. As of publishing this guide, GRE scores are NOT required for all MS applications for Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 admission terms.

Ohio University

Ohio University offers an Online Masters Electrical Engineering No GRE (MSEE) program. GRE for the online master’s electrical engineering no GRE program is not required for applicants who graduated from an ABET-accredited electrical engineering or computer engineering program.

George Mason University

George Mason University offers an Online Master of Science in Data Analytics Engineering No GRE program. The program also includes a Graduate Certificate option.

Can Non-Engineers get an Online Engineering
Masters Degree?

In most instances, a masters in engineering requires a bachelor’s in engineering or an engineering-related field. But a few colleges will allow students with other backgrounds entry into an engineering master’s, provided they fulfill certain criteria. For example, students with a bachelor’s degree in business, the liberal arts, fine arts, education, etc., can enroll in an online engineering master’s degree program through Boston University’s Late Entry Accelerated Program (LEAP). This program allows non-engineering students between 25 and 35 years of age to earn a master’s in engineering. LEAP students have bachelor’s degrees in business, English, education, music, natural sciences, fine arts, and psychology. Each LEAP student works with a faculty advisor to design a unique academic program, which can be earned in two years.

How long does it take to complete Online
Engineering Masters Programs

How long does it take to get a master’s degree in engineering? If students pursue an online engineering master’s full-time, they will almost always need about two years to complete it. Part-time students will take longer to complete their studies. However, course selection, electives, concentration area, and whether classes are synchronous or asynchronous all impact overall graduation time. A thesis, capstone, or internship may also extend the program’s duration. A 30 to 36-credit engineering master’s degree typically takes the following time frame:

  • Time to complete a full-time online masters in engineering: about 2 years
  • Time to complete a part-time online masters in engineering: between 2 and 4 years

It is worth noting that in many instances, the Masters in Engineering or MEng program takes less than 2 years to complete, the typical duration being 12 to 14 months.

Accelerated Online Engineering
Masters Programs

Accelerated master’s programs are an excellent option for those working or taking a break from their careers and who want to spend less time in school. Many schools across the country offer accelerated and 1 year engineering masters programs. Here are some examples:

UC Berkeley – Master of Engineering (MEng)

The Master of Engineering (MEng) program at UC Berkeley can be completed in one year full-time by taking a minimum of 12 units per semester and completing the program in two semesters

PennState College of Engineering

PennState College of Engineering offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Engineering (M.Eng.) at the Nano-scale, a Master of Science in Engineering Science and Mechanics, a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Engineering Mechanics, a Master of Science (M.S.) in Additive Manufacturing and Design and a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Additive Manufacturing and Design, all of which can be completed in 1 year.

UCLA Samueli School of Engineering

The UCLA Samueli School of Engineering offers a one-year, full-time, on-campus Master of Engineering (MEng) degree in several specialized areas of study.

Accreditations for Online Engineering
Masters Programs

Accreditation is essential when applying to an online engineering master’s college. It is a seal of approval bestowed upon a college or program that demonstrates to the general public and potential employers that the institution adheres to the highest levels of educational quality and standards. Independent organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) accredit colleges on a national or regional level. The most prevalent type of accreditation in the United States is regional, and six organizations grant it:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

In addition to national or regional accreditation, an accredited online engineering master’s degree may be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET, a nonprofit with ISO 9001 certification, accredits college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.

Read the Guide to College Accreditation to learn more about accreditation.

How to Pay for Online Engineering
Masters Programs?

Obtaining a master’s degree in engineering online is typically expensive. Education Data reports that the average cost of a master’s degree is $66,340. Even though prospective online students may not have to pay extra for transportation, meals, or campus-related, they still must pay the high tuition fee, which can be a burden for many. The following list includes some of the outside funding options available to students to pay for their online engineering master’s:


Scholarships are popular among students because they are easy to find and are non-repayable funds. They are given to deserving and meritorious students, with academic performance as the primary selection criterion.


Grants, like scholarships, have no repayment requirements. However, unlike scholarships, which are frequently awarded based on academic performance, grants are typically awarded based on the applicant’s financial need.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs assist students in covering school tuition and fees through part-time employment. Most of these positions are related to the student’s academic program or volunteer work. Work-study programs can also help students gain valuable real-world experience.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships are available for students willing to assist teaching staff in classroom-related activities, as graduate teaching assistants or with research, as graduate research assistants. For their work, assistants are paid a fee or offered tuition discounts or waivers.

Student Loans

A student loan is another option for students seeking additional funding. Several banks, financial institutions, and the federal government make educational loans available. It is noteworthy that borrowing money will increase the overall cost of education because loans have interest attached to them. Understand how one can apply for loan forgiveness to avoid repaying student loans by reading about Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans.


The Free Application For Student Aid or FAFSA is an application for federal financial aid that all prospective and current college students must complete to check if they are eligible for aid and receive the best financial aid package possible. The FAFSA Student Aid guide explains more.

Read about What is Financial Aid? and find out everything there is to know about college funding in the How to Pay for College guide.

Scholarships for Online Engineering
Masters Students

It is possible for students pursuing an online engineering masters degree to apply for scholarships and lower their educational costs, just like with any other graduate-level program. Numerous individuals, groups, and organizations offer scholarships to deserving students who can show excellent academic progress and other necessary attributes. Some examples of engineering master’s scholarships are:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardDeadline
Anchor QEA Scholarship ProgramThe Anchor QEA’s Scholarship Program assists graduate students in financial need to enter fields aligned with Anchor QEA’s expertise. Half of all scholarship funds are reserved for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students.$1,000 to $10,000TBA
American Water Works Association (AWWA) ScholarshipsThe American Water Works Association (AWWA) provides students discounted memberships and more than 17 scholarships. The association also gives out over 40 AWWA section scholarships to local students of various states, ranging from $100 to $5,000.VariesClosed for 2023 | TBA for 2024
WTS Helene M. Overly Memorial ScholarshipThe Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship is awarded to women pursuing graduate studies in a transportation-related field, such as transportation engineering, planning, finance, or logistics.$10,000TBA
OAWWA Graduate/Adult Continuing Education Degree ScholarshipThe Ohio Section of the American Water Works Association (OAWWA) has established a Graduate/Adult Continuing Education Degree Scholarship program as a way of expressing gratitude to the people who support the water sector and the organization.3 Awards – 1 each of $4,000, $3,000, and $2,000Closed for 2023 | TBA for 2024

FAQs Related to the Online Engineering
Masters Programs

What are the best engineering online masters?

There is no such thing as a perfect or best engineering master’s degree. The decision is entirely dependent on the student’s personal interests and career objectives. But a quick search will reveal that the most popular choices are mechanical, software, chemical, industrial, and electrical engineering. As for the best colleges, each type of engineering degree will have top colleges. Some of the best ones are listed on this page.

What can you do after a master’s in engineers?

How many years is a master’s in engineering degree?

What are the concentrations in engineering?

Can I take a non-thesis master’s engineering online?

Is a master’s degree in engineering worth it?

Is a masters in computer engineering worth it?

Master of Engineering vs. Master of Science in Engineering – what is the difference?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after Online
Engineering Masters Programs

Graduates of online masters in engineering are qualified to work as engineers in the engineering branch in which they specialized. For instance, graduates of chemical engineering programs frequently find work in the pharmaceutical industry, whereas mechanical engineering programs usually lead to employment in the automotive industry. Even though having a master’s degree can improve one’s chances of landing a job, certain engineering fields require additional certifications and licenses. The specialization will be reflected in the primary job title, some examples of which include, but are not limited to:

  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Aeronautical or Aerospace Engineer
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Nuclear Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Precision Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Automobile Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Materials Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Computer Engineer

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that engineering occupations will grow by 6% from 2020 to 2030, adding an estimated 146,000 new jobs. Here are some examples of master’s degree in engineering jobs, their median annual salaries, and job growth, as reported by the BLS:

Occupation Job Description Skills RequiredMedian Annual Salary Job Growth (up to 2030)
Aerospace EngineersAerospace engineers are largely responsible for designing aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. Furthermore, they design and test prototypes to ensure they function as intended. They also develop new technologies for use in aviation, spacecraft, and defense systems.Analytical skills, math skills, writing skills, problem-solving skills, business skills, critical-thinking skills$122,2708% (as fast as average)
Mechanical EngineersMechanical engineers work on tools, engines, and other mechanical and thermal sensors and devices to conduct research, design, development, construction, and testing. They investigate equipment issues or problems to identify improper operation and recommend solutions.Problem-solving skills, listening skills, math skills, mechanical skills, creativity$95,3007% (as fast as average)
Materials EngineersMaterials engineers create, process, and test materials used in a variety of products. They investigate the properties and structures of metals, plastics, ceramics, composites, nanomaterials (microscopic substances), and other substances to develop new materials that meet electrical, mechanical, and chemical specifications.Math skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, speaking skills, writing skills$98,3008% (as fast as average)
Computer Hardware EngineersComputer hardware engineers are responsible for the research, design, and development of computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. They also test the computer hardware they design and analyze the test results to make necessary changes to the design.Critical-thinking skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, analytical skills$128,1702% (slower than average)
Chemical EngineersChemical engineers use the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to solve problems involving the production or use of chemicals, fuel, medications, food, and a variety of other products. They design processes and machinery for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test production processes and byproducts treatment, oversee facility operations, and design processes and machinery for large-scale manufacturing.Analytical skills, math skills, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, ingenuity, creativity$105,5509% (as fast as average)
Electrical EngineersElectrical engineers design, develop, test, and oversee the production of electrical equipment such as radar and navigation systems, electric motors, power generation equipment, or communications systems, as well as design electrical systems for automobiles and aircraft.Mechanical skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, math skills, detail-oriented$101,7807% (as fast as average)

Certifications and Licensing for Online
Engineering Masters Students

A person’s competency—their education, demonstrated knowledge, and experience—is formally acknowledged through certification in a given profession. It is a formal process carried out and completed by a group of knowledgeable, experienced, and professional organization representatives. Numerous organizations offer certifications in engineering that strengthen one’s résumé and improve career prospects. Each certification or organization that provides certification is, however, unique to the engineering discipline it pertains to, such as civil, mechanical, electrical, etc. Online masters in engineering students can consider these certifications after graduating:

ASQ Certified Quality Engineer

Professionals with 3 to 8 years of experience can earn the ASQ Certified Quality Engineer credential from the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The credential represents the professional’s understanding of the principles of product and service quality evaluation and control.

International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Certifications

The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) offers a multi-level Certification Program to provide formal assessment and recognition of systems engineers’ knowledge, experience, and professional contributions at all career stages. The ASEP, CSEP, and ESP credentials cover the breadth of systems engineering at increasing levels of leadership accomplishments and experience.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Board Certifications

The Board Certifications of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) are accredited by the Council of Engineering & Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) and overseen by the Civil Engineering Certification, Inc. (CEC). Civil engineers who have proven advanced knowledge and skills in their particular specialty area are recognized by ASCE board certifications.

A few other examples of certification include but are not limited to:


Although most entry-level positions do not require licensure, advanced roles necessitate one. Licensure provides engineers, consulting engineers, and private practitioners with authority to prepare, sign, seal and submit engineering plans and drawings to clients of all sorts. The most common license is the PE or Professional Engineering license.

Professional Engineering (PE) License

The Professional Engineering or PE license is issued by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPA). The PE license indicates to the public that the candidate has a firm grasp of the essentials of their line of work. It demonstrates their dedication to the highest engineering practice standards while proving their ability to offer quality engineering services.

Apart from the PE, licensure is a requirement in most states for most responsible or advanced roles across industries. Students should check the relevant organization operating in their state of work, specific to their specialization. For example, those residing in New York would have to get a license from the New York Board for Engineering, Land Surveying, and Geology. Links to state-specific licensing are kept up to date by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

Additional Resources for Online
Engineering Masters Students

Engineering is clearly a wide-ranging field of study. Engineers in all specialties, including nuclear, civil, mechanical, electrical, and computer, must stay up to date on the latest developments in their fields. Connecting with others and making use of valuable resources is vital for anyone’s career or academic endeavors. As such, the following organizations and materials may be helpful:

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is an organization that advocates for and supports women in engineering and technology. Membership in SEW provides access to awards and challenges, youth and professional programs, scholarships, a magazine, events, conferences, and more.

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) is the only national organization dedicated to addressing professional issues confronting licensed PEs in all engineering specialties, and it provides a wealth of resources such as a job board, advice, leadership tips, free on-demand courses, and more.

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) is a non-profit organization founded in 1893 to advance engineering and engineering technology education. ASEE has an active engineering community, an academy of fellows, engineering courses, publications and media, and much more. is a non-profit organization dedicated to informing, inspiring, and engaging engineering minds to be and do better. This website provides a wide range of resources, including eBooks and papers, project resources, tools and software, games, webinar access, and more.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s largest technical professional association dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of all. IEEE members receive a variety of benefits in addition to conferences, publications, technology standards, and professional and educational initiatives.

Depending on the chosen sub-field of engineering, students and professionals can join or make use of the following professional organizations:

  • American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES)
  • American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR)
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
  • American Society for Precision Engineering (ASPE)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE)
  • Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE)
  • Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
  • Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE)
  • Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
  • Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
  • Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE)
  • Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP)
  • International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE)
  • National Association of Power Engineers (NAPE)
  • National Association of Rocketry (NAR)
  • Society of American Value Engineers (SAVE)
  • Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE)
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
  • Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE)
  • Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)


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