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Degree Overview: Graduate Degree Programs for Aspiring Test Engineers

Majors Overview September 1, 2015

This article talks about graduate degree programs for aspiring test engineers and their education requirements, coursework, and job and wage outlook.

Information on Graduate Programs for Aspiring Test Engineers

Few schools, if any, offer graduate programs specifically in test engineering. Those seeking test engineer careers may pursue a degree in a specific engineering discipline to receive the training they would need to understand the complexities and intricacies of the field, including telecommunications, computer science, or agriculture. In a Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Engineering program, students are taught about creating, testing and implementing the software and hardware that run high-tech devices including computers. The focus of courses is primarily on testing and designing.

A Master of Science (M.S.) in Telecommunications Engineering program is devised to teach students about working with wireless communication devices, performing analysis of computer algorithms and communication between different systems. The program includes electives, allowing students to focus on a specific area of interest, such as mobile communication or fiber options.

Program graduates from a Master of Science (M.S.) in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering program can expect to become adept at handling issues in the agricultural industry through engineering solutions. The focus of coursework is mainly on agriculture machines, systems, and issues.

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Computer Engineering

Enrollees in this degree program can expect to gain expertise in creating, testing and implementing the software and hardware that run high-tech devices, including computers. An aptitude for quick adaption to and creation of change is necessary for individuals seeking a career in computing and related fields known for their rapid pace of technological advances.

Courses in various methodologies are in the program. Students become adept at modeling and conducting simulations, in addition to logical, functional, and timing testing and verification. In software validation and verification courses, students are taught techniques of isolation and about fixing software problems over the course of the software cycle.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering, preferably in computer science, or in a related discipline such as electrical engineering. However, remedial courses may have to be taken to augment the regular coursework. Multiple computer classes at the bachelor’s degree level are necessary, in addition to several advanced math classes.

Coursework

The curriculum includes several core courses with a focus on the design and testing of computer software and hardware. Elective courses make up the remainder of coursework. A specific concentration such as computer security or robotics may be available. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Computer-aided system design and verification
•Artificial intelligence
•Performance evaluation and modeling

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Telecommunications Engineering

Graduates from a master’s degree program in telecommunications engineering can expect to become adept at ensuring the reliability and security of telecommunication networks. Workstations are used by them in testing and developing various protocols. Additionally, antenna test beds may be used by students working in the area of WiFi and WiMAX for testing radio functions in a variety of geographical regions. Other students may be engaged in testing, building and designing various antennas.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in an area such as electrical engineering or telecommunications. Schools may accept a bachelor’s degree from another discipline if students display proficiency in specific knowledge areas. Inability to adequately demonstrate proficiency may cause students to take an exam aimed at assessing whether they are capable of succeeding in the program.

Coursework

Program coursework is devised to teach students about the modes of communication between different systems, like digital networks or computer systems. In elective classes, students are allowed to focus on a specific area of interest, including mobile communications, fiber optic communications, system performance, or network security. Completion of a thesis is compulsory in some programs while a non-thesis option may be available in other programs. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Designing and analyzing computer algorithms
•Computer systems performance
•Wireless communication – antenna engineering

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Students learn about handling and solving the issues that confront the agricultural industry. The focus of research is on the testing, development and design of engineering solutions for a variety of problems related to foodstuffs, biological systems, and agriculture.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in any field of engineering. Schools may not insist on a bachelor’s degree in engineering if an applicant has taken certain engineering classes and demonstrated that he or she has the potential to succeed in the program. However, schools require all incoming students to meet a GPA standard of 3.0.

Coursework

Coursework includes various issues unique to agriculture and includes different methods of powering the devices employed in farming or ways of dealing with livestock waste. Completion of a thesis project is also a requirement for students enrolled in many programs. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Agricultural machines testing
•Agricultural power – theory, testing, and analysis
•Hydrology (water studies)

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2013, computer hardware engineers brought in an average annual wage of $106,930 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In that year, agricultural engineers earned $78,880 on average while all other non-specific engineers brought in an average annual wage of $94,310. In a scenario of rapid advancement and change in technology, engineers must be adept at designing products and solutions to keep abreast. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an average job growth rate of 9% has been predicted for all engineering positions; however, growth can vary by engineering specialty.

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