Masters in Electrical Engineering program online

Discussion in 'Career Advising' started by Nathan Hale, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. Nathan Hale

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Hello folks, hope all is well.
    I would like some career advice on masters in electrical engineering.
    Specifically, I was wondering if you could kindly give me some input into what you think of a "Masters in Electrical Engineering program online"?
    I also have a few other questions for you guys.

    a) Are online degrees looked at favorably by companies?

    b) Does a normal brick and stone school that gives out a masters in electrical engineering have a lot of hands on lab work, work with oscilloscopes, building circuits etc etc?

    c) If the answer to the question "b" is yes, then how do these online masters in electrical engineering schools compensate for the lack of the student being physically present in a lab /classroom. If the answer to question "b" is no, then please ignore this question.

    d) Can you please name a few, known to be good, schools that offer Masters in Electrical Engineering program online?

    e) If anyone here took their masters; how often did you meet for class? once a week? everyday? twice a week?

    Thank you very much for your time.
  2. crutschow


    Mar 14, 2008
    I think the answer to a) is "generally not", especially for a Master's program.

    Do you already have a B.S. in engineering?
    If not, I would worry about that first.
  3. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    a) They are not favored by any company that I ever worked for.
    b) Generally not, the lab work is all in the introductory classes.
    c) Not aware of any schools traditional or otherwise that offer an "acredited" program.
    d) We met three times per week for most 3 credit hour classes. There were some 2 hr. classes and some 4 hour classes. The four hour classes were one lecture and three recitation sections.
  4. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    Why do you want a Masters Degree? Poor undergraduate grades? Low-quality undergraduate school? Want to work in an specialty area where an employer is asking for an MEng?
  5. WBahn


    Mar 31, 2012
    Historically no, but this is changing. As with a brick-and-mortar based degree, how it is looked at will depend on who awards it. More and more reputable schools are delving into on-line programs and some of them are becoming quite well respected. But there is a lot of inertia here and it will take quite a bit longer before the typical employer will be willing to judge an online program on its merits instead of guilt-by-association with diploma mill sites.

    Generally no. This is more the purview of lower division undergraduate courses. Increasingly, even on-site undergraduate programs are moving more toward simulation-based labs (not always a good thing, in my opinion) or hands-on projects that can be done without expensive equipment. At the same time, cheap equipment, particularly PC-based instruments, are becoming a lot more viable and programs, both on-site and on-line, are requiring that students obtain them, much like they expect them to obtain the required textbook.

    While I don't know for sure, I've heard pretty good things about Arizona State University's program.

    As with undergraduate courses, it was dictated by each course. Most courses at most universities are 3 credit hours and those typically either meet three times a week, usually for 50 minutes each, or twice a week, for 75 minutes. Many graduate programs that have a lot of working professionals as students will have at least some of their courses meet one night a week for 150 minutes. Some schools also offer weekend-only courses, again to try to accommodate the working professional that has a family. Generally a grad student, if full-time, takes either two or three courses a semester. How many days a week they meet well depend on the relative schedules of those courses.
    Nathan Hale likes this.
  6. ESSO

    New Member

    Feb 14, 2015
    I know Arizona State University is accredited for EE Online degree; I am currently studying my BSEE and I have take junior hybrid courses. Because I am a guy in the mid40, this has worked well for me, so far the videos had been great!, the material is the same as a regular class and if you live in the same city you can do the labs in the University. Some professors they give recitation every week to go over questions, problems, etc. the exams are on campus, so I like it. I can watch the videos when I can and also I can get face to face interaction with the professors, TA and other students if I want. I still considered On campus student, I just have the option to take some courses online. I know ASU has a EE online program and hope it work the same way. I hope this help

    Good Luck!
    Nathan Hale likes this.
  7. shanemm

    New Member

    Feb 24, 2017
    I'm currently in the online MS Mech. Engineering program focused on Controls at UW-Madison. It's got some good and bad but I'll answer your questions first.

    a. I have my bachelors from Excelsior College that was online (EET focus nanotech) and I've never had an employer bat an eye. I do have an associates degree as well, however, in Wind Energy Technology (effectively electro mech). And up until now I've worked in industrial manufacturing fields so those jobs are in high demand and they only care about skillset really.

    My current employer doesn't seem to care too incredibly much and wanted more skillset + bachelors than anything else.

    b. In my current class "computer control of machines and processes" the "labs" we have are video tapes of labs where motors are running and the computer screen of showing the results. Plus they give us data files. If I wasn't an electrical engineer working on embedded controllers for motors I would be pissed. But I see enough of motor controllers all day to get the jist of what's going on.
    Really you should do whatever it takes to get a job that closely relates to what you are studying. I have (by accident), and it's made the material so much more interesting and rewarding when you can apply it immediately and see the payoff from your studies. And labs are a very poor approximation for real life (as far as I've experienced).

    c. UW Madison has an MSME (Controls) and MSEE (Power Electronics). I'm sure other real colleges have good programs too.

    d. We don't ever meet. There's pre-recorded lectures you can watch them at 1.3x or 1.5x and it makes the 1-1.5 hours of lecture each week a lot quicker. There's readings to do. Then a few homework problems, maybe a lab or quiz. Then 3 tests (2 regular, 1 final). If you have PDF books you can use the search function to find exactly what you need.

    I've had problems with my questions being answered in a timely fashion from the professor and TA, especially on weekends when it counts most because assignments are due Monday.

    Overall I'd say it's worth it. Not the best quality material/layout/assignments (if you've taken mooc's on EdX or Coursera they are at least 2x as good). But I love embedded systems and motor controllers so a program focused on controls systems is absolutely perfect. The mechanical part is really more peripheral to the electronic controls portion. $1,600/credit (no instate discount...) is a little steep considering the quality but it's UW-Madison so I guess they can charge that much.
  8. GenJacks

    New Member

    May 15, 2016
    I can see that online degrees are already taken into consideration by many employers these days. More companies approve of online degrees. Foremost, the type of degree you have earned is more relevant to your employer than the method by which you earned your degree. Be it by online or in a traditional school or campus.
    ESSO likes this.