Monday, June 14, 2010

A college degree at the bachelor level is enough to earn a quality,


Do You Need an Advanced Degree to Be a Mechanical Engineer?

A college degree at the bachelor level is enough to earn a quality, well-paid job in mechanical engineering, but many students enter master's or doctoral programs to study laboratory research and computational analysis. Online degree programs in mechanical engineering have become more common in the industry, as working professionals seek to improve their skills without stepping off the career track by leaving the workforce for two years.

Mechanical engineers often continue their education throughout their careers, because technology changes rapidly. Many of the skills and methodologies a student learned in college will become obsolete after only a few years. It is not necessary to earn an advanced degree, however. Continuing education for engineers, online or on the job, is an increasingly popular way to stay abreast of the latest trends and technological advances.

Master's Degrees in Mechanical Engineering
Master's degrees in mechanical engineering typically last two years, and provide the opportunity for more in-depth study in a particular specialty. Most master's degree programs require that an applicant hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or be in their final year of a bachelor's degree program. Minimum grade point averages may vary, but typically an acceptable GPA is between 3.0 and 3.25 on a 4.0 scale.

Applicants whose native language is not English generally are required to submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Many online and distance learning programs have different TOEFL requirements, so be sure to check. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) may also be required. Again, this exam might be waived for some online and distance education programs.

PhD Programs in Mechanical Engineering
Doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering are designed for advanced professionals who want to contribute to the field at the highest levels of research, theory and policy. Students who plan to pursue a doctorate in mechanical engineering should determine if their school of choice has a qualifying examination requirement to be admitted into the program. The qualifying examination is used to determine the strengths or weaknesses of a student, as well as the student's ability to assimilate graduate-level subject matter.

Online Degrees in Mechanical Engineering
When selecting an online degree in mechanical engineering, make sure your college of choice is accredited. Many professionals use college accreditation as a standard for hiring employees. Also determine the method of delivery for distance classes. Some may use video, CD or DVD; others may be strictly online. Finally, look at the residency requirement. Many colleges waive the residency requirement, but, if not, tuition and fees could be more expensive.

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