This article talks about Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in General Engineering and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and licensure and continuing education choices.
Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in General Engineering
The master’s degree program in general engineering has multidisciplinary, non-traditional coursework that could prove useful to practicing professionals and engineers in related fields who wish to broaden their base of knowledge. Program graduates have to complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of study. Apart from core coursework in general engineering, a specific area, such as mechanical engineering, bioengineering, or environmental science has to be studied. In many programs, students have to take a final comprehensive exam or complete a thesis project. Schools may offer some courses in online formats.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold an accredited bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field, apart from demonstrating expertise in areas of study such as physics, calculus, and chemistry.
Coursework may cover core disciplines, augmented by elective courses. Interdisciplinary engineering courses applicable to various industries could cover topic areas such as:
Program graduates can choose from an array of specialized occupations, depending on their previous education and engineering experience, apart from their chosen graduate-level concentration. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
Job and Wage Outlook
Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, engineers in general were expected to enjoy a job growth of 9% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Specific engineers, such as those referred to in earlier paragraphs, are expected to see 1% – 15% job growths over the same period. In 2012, electrical engineers brought in an average annual wage of $89,630; during that year, industrial engineers and materials engineers earned respective average annual wages of $78,860 and $85,150 (BLS).
Licensure and Continuing Education Choices
Professionals whose work requires them to offer services to the public must compulsorily obtain state licensure through the passage of a state-issued exam and four years of relevant work experience. In some states, continuing education is required to maintain licensure. Those seeking doctoral level degrees may pursue Ph.D. programs in General or Interdisciplinary Engineering, with concentration options in subjects such as computer engineering or environmental health engineering. These programs typically culminate in a dissertation based on original research and can lead to careers in academia or research.