Earning an Engineering Degree

Regardless of specialty, the engineering field provides individuals with job options at the associate, undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D. levels. Although degree choices do influence base pay rates, they do not limit individuals in their career choices.

Graduates from any level can choose a career in any number of the general or specialized areas of manufacturing engineering. SUNY Jefferson is advancing women in Engineering. To learn more, check out the following video’.

Basic Degree Categories of Study

The field of manufacturing engineering and the categories of study within this field are broken down into three basic categories. These categories include product innovation and management, manufacturing operations management, and manufacturing systems and operations research.

Choosing which path of study to complete determines the level of engineering that a student will later pursue in his or her graduate work. It also breaks down engineering class options into more focused, specified areas of study that branch off from the more generalized course selections.

Undergraduate Degree Options

Although most schools require students to obtain at least their undergraduate degrees in order to pursue an advanced engineering or Business Administration degree, some technical schools offer two-year programs for students to earn their associate’s degree in engineering. For information about Jefferson College’s Business Administration programs, click here.

A two-year degree in Engineering as offered by SUNY Jefferson Community College will qualify the graduate for a limited number of lower level engineering jobs, mainly at the technical level. By earning at least a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, however, an individual is qualified to work in any number of engineering positions, and can also qualify for engineering careers at the managerial level as well.

Earning a Master’s Degree

When considering a Master’s degree in engineering it is often beneficial to check into programs that are willing to count work experience as class credits. Additionally, some schools are also willing to count undergraduate hours for graduate credits. In these cases, schools generally only require 30 hours of coursework rather than the traditional 36 hours. But first, you’ll have to make it into college. SUNY Jefferson allows applicants without a high school or GED diploma to access their courses but passing the College Placement Test first is prerequisite.

By earning a Master’s degree, graduates will be able to update skills, catch up with technological advances, and qualify for higher wages than coworkers who only have a Bachelor’s degree. For most individuals working in the engineering industry, obtaining a Master’s degree is an opportunity to move their careers forward to the next level.

Earning a Doctoral Degree

Many individuals working on a manufacturing engineering degree choose to move forward by earning a Ph.D. These programs are highly competitive and acceptance can sometimes be difficult but in today’s global Brain Race, they are utterly important. Most Ph.D. programs are research-intensive and focus mainly on design and development in the manufacturing industry.

They also include an in-depth study of composition, structure, and processing of materials, as well as the application of these concepts within specific areas of manufacturing. Individuals who choose to earn their Ph.D. usually go on to research and development areas of manufacturing or choose to go into high-level management.

With the availability of so many options for individuals seeking a manufacturing engineering degree, there is no limit to career options and job choices. However, individuals who continue to move ahead and work at higher degrees are better able to stay abreast of the latest technological advancements and make themselves more marketable as employees.

Percentage of black students graduating in engineering is rising

The percentage of black college graduates majoring in engineering fields has increased from less than 2% to more than 12% in the past 30 years, a U.S. Department of Education report says. The study compares transcript data of 22,000 to 30,000 students from each of three high school graduating classes — 1995, 2005, and 2015.

Blacks are the only ethnic group with a sustained increase in engineering majors, from 1.7% of the class of 1995 to 6.1% in the class of 2005 to 12.6% in 2015.

By comparison, 4.4% of Latinos in the class of 1995 went into engineering; that increased to 10.7% of the class of 2005 but dropped to 7.5% for 2015. Among Asians, 10.1% in the class of 1995 majored in engineering; that doubled to 20.2% in 2005 but dropped back to 10.8% for 2015.

Engineering Fields

Engineering fields include architecture and electrical, civil, mechanical, chemical and computer engineering, along with related subfields. From 2005 to 2015, the number of U.S. bachelor’s degrees in engineering fell from 62,186 to 59,445, and probably financing study plays a role as well. Students thinking about studying a different field like Nursing, for example, may benefit from reading this SUNY Jefferson Nursing post.

“The U.S. has traditionally been the leader in engineering technology, so to maintain that lead, we’re certainly not where we need to be,” says Al Gray of the National Society of Professional Engineers. “China and India are graduating probably eight to 10 times the engineering graduates the U.S. is.”

Other government data show that although the number of white engineering majors dropped from 45,162 in 2005 to 38,989 in 2015, the number of minority and female engineering majors has increased. Tech firms have enthusiastically embraced diversity, fueled by both necessity and expectation.

“We know that when we have a diversity of thought and culture, our output is better, because we understand who’s buying, why they’re buying, and we have those perspectives on the inside to develop those technologies that will help our customers,” says Jim Sinocchi of IBM.

Report author Clifford Adelman of the U.S. Department of Education touts the importance of actively recruiting and credits groups such as the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering for attracting and preparing minorities for engineering fields.

The study found that 70% of black engineers from the high school class of 2015 took either pre-calculus or calculus in high school. Seven of eight black students who had a strong involvement in math and science courses and activities in high school went on to get engineering degrees — a “staggering” figure, Adelman says.

NACME’s John Brooks Slaughter says his group is trying to reach kids as young as 13, informing them of the type of course load it would take to gain admission to good engineering programs.