California Online Masters in Engineering Management Degrees

Online Masters in Engineering Management (MEM) programs combine principles of science, technology and management to prepare students for leadership or advanced engineering positions. Students who pursue their masters in engineering management online could develop the ability to plan, lead and oversee activities or research and product innovation in technological organizations and teams.

Why earn a masters degree in Engineering Management Online?

Many engineering management online masters programs are designed for current professionals in engineering, math, physical science, or computer science who want to conveniently learn how to manage technical projects and operations while they continue to work full time.

Online Masters in Engineering Management Overview

An online Masters in Engineering Management program, (MEM), in short form - MSEM (for master of science in engineering management), is a course of study that could provide both technical and managerial instruction. While course credits and program lengths are known to vary between schools, most programs entail about 31-36 credits. Full-time online students might complete their degree requirements in about two years. Most schools award the same diploma to distance and resident students although the course delivery is different.

Admission and Prerequisites

Individuals who seek admission to a master of engineering management online degree program may need to fulfill some prerequisites. For instance, some programs contain coursework that requires a solid background in engineering, mathematics, physics, or science. If an applicant does not have this already, they may be required to successfully complete prerequisite classes.

Undergraduate Degree: In most graduate schools, an applicant to a masters in engineering management online program needs to have a bachelor's degree. The degree usually must be issued from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or it should be a similar award. Some schools also set a minimum junior/senior grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Work Experience: To enroll in some online Masters in Engineering Management programs, students may need a few years of applicable work experience. Other programs may appeal to students who have practical knowledge, but it may not be required to apply.

Other Application Material: Applicants to most schools are required to submit material that could include the following.

  • Official transcripts
  • GRE scores
  • English proficiency
  • Reference(s)
  • Resume
  • Statement of goals

Admissions to online masters in engineering management programs vary. It's best to contact admission advisors for full details.

DID YOU KNOW?

“Some workers earn their master’s degree before advancing to management positions, and others earn it while they work as a manager.”i

Types of Online Masters in Engineering Management Programs

Online Masters in Engineering Management degrees could be offered in different tracks. The most common of these is the Master's Degree in Engineering Management (MEM, MSEM). Students might otherwise opt for a Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on engineering, or a dual degree (e.g. MBA-MSE/MEM). Each degree program has its own goals, prerequisites and potential learning outcomes. As a result, you might want to speak with an academic advisor for more information as to which program could be a good fit for you.

Online Master of Science in Engineering Management Programs

MS in Engineering Management online programs could provide engineers with the opportunity to learn how to solve problems, lead business initiatives and form policy. An online engineering management masters degree is typically offered by the university’s engineering school and specifically focuses on management as it relates to engineering projects. As such, it could help students prepare to pursue managerial or executive career paths within an engineering or technology-focused organization.

Online MS in Engineering Management Curriculum: Coursework in an online Masters in Engineering Management program depends on the school. Some programs blend a core curriculum with a selection of concentrations. These areas of emphases might provide each student with the chance to refine their expertise based on specific interests. Thus s/he may be able to tailor their degree in a manner that could support their long-term goals.

MEM Online Coursework: In their first year, students could study advanced topics in engineering management science. Engineering management science revolves around mathematical models, optimization and forecasting. Students could learn how to provide quantitative solutions to engineering management issues such as scheduling, distribution and inventory control. While each school has its own syllabus, some examples of course topics are listed below.

  • Organizational behavior
  • Human resources
  • Financial studies for engineering
  • Technical project management
  • Federal regulations, ethics and the legal system
  • Decision and risk

Aside from core coursework, some programs might require students to complete a final project and discussion-based capstone. This could be an opportunity to synthesize content covered throughout the program.

Technical Electives: In some MS in Engineering Management online programs, students could choose technical electives. These topics draw from a school’s list. Therefore, you should refer to individual schools for details. Below are a few examples of possible elective course topics.

  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Business research methods
  • System quality assurance
  • Supply chain

Engineering Management Concentrations: Areas of emphasis are often built around a few courses (e.g. 3 to 4) that are in addition to core requisites. Some examples of concentrations include the ones below. However, you should refer to individual programs to see what each school offers.

Commercialization: An emphasis in commercialization could explore the ins and outs of marketing and technology ventures. Students might take courses in product development, intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship, as well as applied business decisionmaking.

Financial Management: An emphasis in financial management could help students learn things such as managerial accounting for decisions, managerial finance and financial engineering.

Project Management: An emphasis in project management could cover topics such as risk and communication. Students could learn how to plan, direct and control engineering projects.

Systems Engineering: An emphasis in systems engineering could delve into system requirements analysis and modeling. Courses may also cover system architecture design.

Leadership: An emphasis in leadership could explore leadership communication and organizational leadership. Students might also study how to lead research initiatives.

Management: An emphasis in management could cover topics such as labor issues in an industrial environment, entrepreneurship and global economic analysis. Students could learn how to plan and execute strategy.

Supply Chain Management: An emphasis in supply chain management could discuss purchasing for logistics and supply chain managers. Students could take courses in transportation management, integrated logistics and global logistics.

Aviation/Aerospace Management: An emphasis in aviation and aerospace management could explore topics such as industrial safety, international aviation policy and integrated logistics. Students might also learn about airport and airline operations and management.

Research Methods: An emphasis in research methods could help students develop a grasp of applied statistics and advanced statistical methods for engineering research. Courses might also cover areas such as data mining and screening experiments. As a result, students might learn how to effectively develop a research proposal or designed experiment.

MEM vs Engineering MBA Programs

An online Masters in Engineering Management program typically differs from the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in that its aim is to prepare students to pursue a career in management specifically in technology or engineering fields. An MBA with a focus in engineering, on the other hand,  is typically business-focused with the addition of engineering electives. In many cases, the MBA program is offered in a university’s business school, and students might take their electives through the engineering department. Since an undergrad degree in engineering may not be a prerequisite for admission, this type of program might appeal to non-engineers, as well as engineers who want to take courses in corporate strategy and organizational behavior.

Online MBA students could study core topics in finance, management, accounting, leadership, and human resources. That said, an MBA program might not provide the same coursework in engineering projects, products and teams as an online master of engineering management. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals “who prefer to manage in technical areas pursue an MsEm or MSTM and those interested in more general management skills earn an MBA.” i

Students who work towards an online MBA/engineering management might be able to choose an area of emphasis. These vary between schools and programs but some examples might include topics such as supply-chain management, human resources, IT, non-profit, industry/operations, marketing, entrepreneurship, or finance.

Dual MBA/MSEM Programs

In some universities, students might have the option to pursue a dual degree - a masters in engineering or masters in engineering management/MBA. While the time to completion could be extended, students might develop a fuller grasp of engineering, management and business administration topics.

Earning Your Masters in Engineering Online

Those who choose an Online Masters in Engineering Management program may be able to complete their coursework on their own time frame. Some graduate schools use an ‘asynchronous’ mode which means you don’t have to attend classes at a specific time. Or, you may have the option to log in to take part in live streaming courses along with on campus classmates. These sessions are typically recorded and uploaded to the online platform sometime later for those who need more flexibility. Then you could view content on a desktop or laptop computer with an internet connection.

Interaction

In some universities, online Masters in Engineering Management programs are based on the cohort model, where students progress through their program together. Those who work to achieve their MS in engineering management online might also take the same courses, with the same faculty, as their campus peers. This could create opportunities to collaborate, interact, and integrate material as students and instructors exchange ideas through digital tools. Skype, email and discussion formats are some of the ways you might keep connected to others.

Virtual Classroom

Since schools use their own centralized web platforms, the best way to know exactly what to expect from an online masters of engineering management program is to check with individual institutions. Often, students log into a portal where they could get assignments, contact faculty, communicate with peers and reply to message boards. Some schools even offer new-student orientation via webinar to help students become familiar with their system. This could help you work out the kinks and feel supported if online study is new for you.

Exams and Assignments

Assignments are usually submitted via your online course management system, much like you would turn your homework into a professor on campus. In other words, you usually must respect deadlines even though you might get to pace yourself in other ways. Most often, exams are taken through an approved university proctor. Some schools might help students to secure a proctor in their home communities.

Student Activities and Resources

In universities where there are both distance and onsite programs, Masters of Engineering Management online students could take part in their schools’ activities, or use facilities. Also, many schools have online libraries, tech support and other digital resources in place.

Accreditation

You could find online Masters in Engineering Management programs at regionally accredited schools. Accreditation is a type of quality control review that a school might opt to undergo at periodic intervals. It speaks to things such as the school’s financial stability and student resources. Since accredited graduate schools could be eligible for federal financial aid, it might be something to consider as you review possible engineering management schools.

Potential Career Outlook

Engineering managers are employed in manufacturing, government, management of companies and scientific research. Of these areas, engineering managers engaged in scientific research and development services earned the highest income. As of May 2016, the median annual wage for engineering managers engaged in this area is reported at $157,570.i

Continued Education

Interested graduates of online masters of engineering management degree programs might continue their education. The PhD in Engineering Management could be a way to further refine leadership capabilities and expertise. Doctor of Philosophy students typically spend a fair amount of time in independent research to be able to contribute new information to their field.

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[i] bls.gov/ooh/management/architectural-and-engineering-managers.htm

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