ExecutiveChronicles | Is It Possible to Get a Master’s in Electrical Engineering Online? | The modern world is full of innovation—everywhere we look there seems to be another bright and exciting new idea to get wowed by. One thing that’s seen a huge shift is how much of the world has moved online. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic swept away all norms and expectations, our lives have moved on to the web.
If you had a five-year plan with detailed career goals, this may have thrown a wrench in the works. If, for example, you’re an electrical engineer with plans to get a master’s degree, you have to reconsider how you’ll be doing your coursework, and where you’ll be doing it as well. Electrical engineering is such a hands-on profession—is it actually possible to have a successful electrical engineering program that takes place completely (or even partially) online? What does this mean for tuition or eligibility for financial aid? Do you still need a GRE if you’re enrolled in an online electrical engineering masters (spoiler: depends on the master’s degree you’re looking at)?
It may seem that you have more questions than answers, and that’s just as it should be. Let’s dive into some of the answers you can’t get from a world report, or even from regular U.S. news, for that matter!
Can an online degree program measure up to an in-person degree program?
This is a very personal question, and the answer depends on what you’re hoping to get out of your master’s degree program. If you’re hoping to spend a lot of hours bonding with other students who are also getting a master’s degree in electrical engineering (or anything else), then an online program might not be for you. If, on the other hand, you’re more interested in saving on tuition and getting the same information and coursework, then an online master’s might be just the thing. Applicants should consider their own priorities and weigh the pros and cons before enrolling in an online master’s.
Do credit hours cost the same in an online program?
Almost never. Whatever your area of interest or specialization (machine learning, telecommunication, energy systems, or computer engineering, to name a few), you can usually get more bang for your buck by enrolling in online courses. This is true of both bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs, but it can be especially helpful for graduate students who likely already carry a certain amount of student loan debt.
Does a degree program differ from a diploma program when it comes to online learning?
A degree program will differ from a diploma program, but not in terms of online or in-person options. A degree program gives you a more in-depth understanding of your area of interest and a thesis option. It also gives you more clout and higher standing in the electrical engineering field after you’re done with assignments and electives. That said, depending on your career goals, you may be able to get what you want with an online diploma program. Part-time students should note that online programs offer more flexibility when it comes to course hours.
Do online students enjoy the same attention from professors?
The short answer here is yes, absolutely. While you won’t be meeting in person with your professors unless you’re enrolled in an on-campus program, you still get feedback on your assignments, guidance on your thesis, and virtual office hours during which you can raise questions about specific topics you may be having trouble with or confused about. Enrolling in an online master’s degree program does not mean that you’ll be left high and dry without any assistance.
If you had a degree plan in mind, it’s good to know that an online master’s degree program is a viable option. Consider what your personal priorities are and make sure you have the necessary prerequisites before applying.