Engineering technology involves the practical application of natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering processes to promote technological advancement in a way that will benefit research, development, and the engineering fields. Potential engineering technologists should be detail-oriented individuals with strong communication skills and a penchant for teamwork, as they are usually called upon to lead projects and problem solve within a group. Engineering technology majors should also have an interest in keeping up with technological innovations, as these will come into play within their careers frequently. Finally, engineering technologists should also be math- and science-minded individuals, as the major heavily requires both subjects.
Classes and Assignments of an Engineering Technology Major
Engineering technologists must learn how to use science, math, and engineering to solve problems. To teach students how to become such critical thinkers, engineering technology programs require them to take classes like organizational leadership, ethics in engineering technology, computer drafting, embedded systems, telecommunications, and digital systems. The best college degrees for future engineering technologists will require students to complete a laboratory requirement as part of their degree program as well, which is a means by which they can put what they have learned into practice.
Degree Levels for an Engineering Technology Major
- Associate. Many employers prefer to hire individuals who have at least online associate engineering technology degrees. At this level, the best college degrees use general education courses to balance specific engineering technology courses, and students are trained to bring what they have learned into practical application.
- Bachelor's. Online bachelors engineering technology degrees delve deeper into the engineering and science principles that will serve as problem-solving tools for future engineering technologists. Students increase their job prospects by graduating with a bachelor's degree before entering the career field. At this level, the most useful college degrees require students to take general education classes to establish a well-rounded education.
- Master's. Online masters engineering technology degrees delve into more detail than the bachelor's or associate degree programs. As students can only earn master's degrees after they have earned bachelor's degrees, the master's degree program does not need to require general education classes. Instead, it takes a close look at the theories and methodology within the field of engineering technology. Many students at this level complete theses in addition to laboratory requirements.
- Doctoral. The doctoral degree program goes into more detail than any of the degree programs that come before it. It examines the theoretical framework of engineering technology very closely, and involves a lot of research and laboratory application. Students at this level are required to complete a dissertation, which is a thorough research project over a contemporary issue within the field. A doctoral degree in engineering technology gives students the opportunity to forge careers in academia.
A Future as an Engineering Technology Major
The obvious career path for students that graduate with a degree in engineering technology is that of an engineering technologist. Engineering technologists average an annual salary of $53,240, though job growth will be slow, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, that is not the only career opportunity open to engineering technology majors. If students choose to continue their education beyond an associate degree and focus their careers on a specific field of engineering, they can advance into engineering positions, which average $81,085 annually, according to the BLS.
Individuals who earn their graduate degrees can also become professors within the field. According to the BLS, post-secondary engineering teachers average $96,480 annually. However, keep in mind that these salaries are not set in stone. Rather, salary and job availability vary based on your location, employer, and experience.