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Science and Engineering Degree Programs

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The field of science and engineering is one of the largest and fastest growing occupational fields there is. Plus, jobs in science and engineering tend to be very well-paid, so degrees in this academic discipline are popular. If you’re interested in pursuing a program of study that’s sure to be as intriguing as it is rewarding, then read on to find out more about the different levels and types of science and engineering degrees there are to choose from.

Associates Degrees in Science and Engineering

Overview

An associate’s degree in science and engineering is the most basic level of postsecondary education one can attain in the field. Associates degree programs in engineering/science are typically two-year offerings that require approximately 60 credit hours of coursework. Programs are readily available from universities and even junior and community colleges. There are various types of science and engineering associate’s degrees available. Some of these options are listed below:

Types of Associates in Engineering and Science Degrees

  • Associate of Science in Engineering Technology
  • AS in Biomedical Engineering
  • Associates in Human Biology
  • Associate of Engineering Science
  • AS in Chemistry
  • AS in Environmental Studies
  • Associate of Science in Computer Science
  • AS in Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Associate’s Electronic Engineering

Science and Engineering Associate’s Degrees: Curriculum

Like most associates degree programs, associates in science and engineering include a general education component in addition to major-specific classes. This component covers basic college-level topics in mathematics, science, and the humanities and are easily transferable to bachelor’s degree programs. While general education and core courses will vary from program to program, we’ve listed some examples below for reference. These are taken from actual associates in engineering and science degree programs.

Associate of Science/Engineering Curriculum: Sample Course Titles

  • Computer Organization
  • Introduction to Engineering
  • Mechanics, Wave Motion, and Thermodynamics
  • Engineering Computer Applications and Design
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Introduction to Physical Fitness and Wellness
  • General Microbiology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Introduction to Computer Information Systems
  • Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Electricity, Magnetism, and Light
  • Signal Processing
  • Microprocessor Interfacing

Associates in Science and Engineering: Jobs and Salaries

Many associates science and engineering students transfer their credits to a baccalaureate program upon graduation. Jobs requiring just an associates degree in science and engineering are limited, but they are available. Below, you will find some of these positions along with their mean annual wages, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

  • Nuclear Technicians: $80,370
  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians: $67,240
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians: $63,660
  • Forensic Science Technicians: $57,850
  • Electro-mechanical Technicians: $56,740
  • Mechanical Engineering Technicians: $55,360
  • Industrial Engineering Technicians: $54,280
  • Geological and Petroleum Technicians: $54,190
  • Civil Engineering Technicians: $51,620
  • Environmental Engineering Technicians: $50,230
  • Chemical Technicians: $47,280
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians: $45,490
  • Agriculture and Food Science Technicians: $39,910

Bachelor’s in Engineering and Science

Overview

Science and engineering bachelor’s degree programs are four-year offerings that require approximately 120 credit hours of coursework. Many students enter these bachelor’s programs immediately upon graduation from high school. Others earn an associate’s in science/engineering prior to transferring to a bachelor’s program. Science and engineering is a broad field, so there are numerous types of bachelor’s degrees available, some of which we’ve listed below:

Types of Engineering/Science Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Engineering
  • BS in Computer Science and Engineering
  • BS in Electrical Engineering
  • BS in Cybersecurity Engineering
  • BS in Materials Science and Engineering
  • BS in Engineering Technology in Computer Engineering Technology
  • BS in Architectural and Construction Engineering
  • BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • BS in Data Science

Science and Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs: Curriculum

The curriculum for a science/engineering bachelor’s degree program is two-pronged in that it will feature both general education courses and major-specific classes. No two curricula in the field will be exactly alike though. In fact, since there are many different types of degrees available (such as those listed above), classes may vary widely. Therefore, the sample course titles we list below are provided for reference only and may or may not reflect the types of classes you’ll see in your chosen bachelor’s in engineering and science program.

Bachelor of Science/Engineering Curriculum: Sample Course Titles

  • Introduction to Computing for Engineers
  • Project Management for Engineered Systems
  • Electromagnetic Fields and Optics
  • Signals and Systems
  • Environmental Science and Sustainability
  • Principles of Programming Languages
  • Science of Solid Materials
  • Differential Equations for Science and Engineering
  • Materials Processing
  • Foundations of Engineering Graphics and Design
  • Computer Networking and Communications Technology
  • Construction Materials and Methods
  • Engineering Structural Analysis
  • Semiconductor Devices and Electronics
  • Introduction to Computer Organization
  • Engineering Physics
  • Applied Materials Technology

 

Engineering and Science Bachelor’s Degrees: Jobs and Salaries

Bachelor’s degree programs in science and engineering are popular because they meet the minimum educational requirement for most of the jobs available in the field. Below, you will find some of these occupations along with their mean annual wages, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

  • Petroleum Engineers: $132,280
  • Computer Hardware Engineers: $115,120
  • Aerospace Engineers: $113,030
  • Chemical Engineers: $102,160
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineers: $97,970
  • Materials Engineers: $94,610
  • Mining and Geological Engineers: $94,240
  • Atmospheric Scientists: $92,070
  • Geoscientists: $89,850
  • Health and Safety Engineers: $88,510
  • Biomedical Engineers: $88,040
  • Environmental Engineers: $86,800
  • Mechanical Engineers: $85,880
  • Hydrologists: $79,990
  • Geographers: $76,860
  • Chemists and Materials Scientists: $76,280
  • Agricultural Engineers: $74,780
  • Microbiologists: $69,960
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists: $69,400
  • Agricultural and Food Scientists: $62,910
  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists: $62,290
  • Conservation Scientists and Foresters: $60,970
  • Biological Technicians: $43,800

Although the information above may give you an idea of what you can expect to make with a bachelor’s in science and engineering, there are many factors that will affect your pay such as your specific degree, employer, and job title.

Master’s in Science and Engineering

Overview

Master’s in science and engineering are advanced degrees that require approximately two years of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree. These programs are highly specialized and allow students to become experts in the field and take on high-paying leadership positions. There are many different types of science and engineering master’s degrees available, including (but not limited to) those listed below:

Types of Science and Engineering Master’s Degrees

  • Master’s in Materials Science
  • MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Master of Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Bioengineering
  • MS Industrial Engineering
  • MS Aerospace Engineering
  • MS in Chemical Engineering
  • MS in Computer Networking

Master of Science and Engineering Degrees: Curriculum

Classes comprising the curriculum for engineering and science master’s degree programs tend to be highly involved and academically rigorous. Most classes will contain a research component, and you may be asked to write scholarly research papers as well. The course titles listed below are provided for the sake of example. The classes you will take in your chosen engineering/science master’s degree program will vary.

Engineering and Science Master’s Curriculum: Sample Course Titles

  • Cloud Computing Concepts
  • Theory and Practice of Data Cleaning
  • Materials Structure and Characterization
  • Engineering Energy Policy Change
  • Chemical Processing of Electronic Materials
  • Finite Element Methods in Structural Engineering
  • Introduction to Wireless Networking
  • Computer Performance Modeling
  • Advanced Engineering Analysis
  • Kinetics of Transport and Transformations in Methods
  • Advanced Electrochemistry
  • Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science
  • Game Theory with Engineering Applications
  • Thermodynamics of Materials
  • Kinetics of Materials Processes
  • Systems Engineering Management
  • Systems Modeling and Simulation

Science/Engineering Master’s Degrees: Jobs and Salaries

Professionals who earn a master’s in engineering and science degree may earn more in their current positions or advance to positions with additional and/or leadership responsibilities. Payscale.com reports that individuals with a master’s degree in engineering earn about $89,000 a year on average. Of course, your exact pay will depend on the type of degree you hold, your employer, and your job title among other factors. Some specific occupations along with their average salaries are listed below:

  • Vice President of Engineering: $173,514
  • Director of Engineering: $149,043
  • Senior Principal Engineer: $146,422
  • Principal Software Engineer: $138,001
  • Senior Engineering Manager: $134,681
  • Principal Systems Engineer: $125,728
  • Engineering Program Manager: $115,832
  • Senior Systems Engineer: $105,027
  • Senior Project Engineer: $100,334
  • Senior Electrical Engineer: $105,027
  • Engineering Project Manager: $96,052

Doctoral Programs in Science and Engineering

Overview

The highest degree one can earn in the field is the doctorate in science and engineering. Depending on the type of doctoral degree one chooses to pursue, these programs can be rooted in theory or they can emphasize practical applications of skills and knowledge in the subject area. Some of the science/engineering doctoral degree types are listed below:

Types of Doctorates in Science/Engineering

  • Doctor of Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science and Engineering
  • PhD in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering
  • Doctor of Engineering Management
  • Doctor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
  • PhD in Ocean Science and Engineering
  • PhD in Engineering Science and Systems

Doctor of Engineering and Science: Curriculum

The classes you can expect to take in an engineering/science doctorate program will vary depending on the type of degree program you choose as well as the school you elect to attend. Even so, some sample course titles are listed below for illustration:

Engineering/Science Doctoral Curriculum: Sample Course Titles

  • Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms
  • Microcomputer Design
  • Advanced Experimental Methods in Fluid Mechanics
  • Advanced Thermodynamics
  • Computer-Integrated Manufacturing Technologies
  • Computational Methods in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Water Quality Control Systems
  • Atmospheric Transport and Transformations of Airborne Chemicals
  • Quantum Mechanics for Materials Scientists
  • Computational Physics of Nanomaterials
  • Engineering Economics and Decision Analysis
  • Probability and Statistics for Scientists and Engineers
  • Solid Mechanics, Dynamics, and Vibrations
  • Biological and Microbial Oceanography
  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Research Ethics in Science and Engineering
  • Total Quality Management and Statistical Quality Control
  • Advanced Operating System Design

Doctor of Science and Engineering Degrees: Jobs and Salaries

Some of the highest paid jobs in science and engineering are held by those professionals with a doctorate in science/engineering. Payscale.com reports that on average, individuals with this credential earn approximately $120,000 a year. Of course, different job titles are associated with varying wages. Below are some of the occupations held by doctorate-holders in science and engineering along with their average salaries, also according to Payscale:

  • Vice President of Computer Software Engineering: $168,447
  • Chief Engineer: $149,622
  • Senior Data Scientist: $146,499
  • Vice President of Analytics: $146,305
  • Senior Research and Development Manager: $141,363
  • Lead Systems Engineer: $125,097
  • Software Engineer: $117,914
  • Engineering Project Manager: $106,807
  • Research Scientist: $92,520

 

Frequently-Asked Questions About Science and Engineering Degrees

Q: Can science and engineering degrees be completed online?

A: Yes, science and engineering degrees are available online, but be sure to check with the school itself about the specific program you’re planning to attend as some “online” offerings have residency or other on-campus attendance requirements. Even fully online programs can vary in terms of flexibility as well. For example, online programs featuring synchronous course delivery require predetermined log-on times, making them less flexible than asynchronous options that allow students to complete coursework on their own schedules.

Q: Are science and engineering degrees affordable?

A: There are science and engineering degree programs available to fit nearly every budget. When considering costs, keep in mind that financial aid may be available to help you pay for your education. This aid may come in the form of loans, grants, or even scholarships.

Q: Can I keep my job while pursuing a science and engineering degree?

A: Most likely, yes, but it will depend on the specific science and engineering program you attend. If you want to work full-time while earning your degree, it’s best to consider a part-time, evening, or hybrid/online program to ensure maximum flexibility.

Q: Are jobs in science and engineering in demand?

A: Yes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in the sciences are growing faster than average while jobs in engineering are expanding at about the average rate.

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