Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Mechanical engineering degree vs mechanical engineering technology degree

  1. Jan 30, 2012 #1
    What is the difference? My school only offers the technology one. It says you can still take the exams to become a licensed engineer. Will this make an impact job wise? Good or bad?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2012 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Google "engineering technology vs engineering"

    About 7,530,000 results (0.15 seconds)
  4. Jan 30, 2012 #3
    wow thanks.. I've done that.. I wanted to know if anyone on here noticed it affecting they're ability to get hired.
  5. Jan 30, 2012 #4

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    As an engineer? It should! Otherwise, you're comparing apples with oranges.
  6. Jan 30, 2012 #5
    well what if i minor in math.. will that help? it would be a bachelors of science in mechanical engineering technology with concentration in manufacturing and a minor in math.
  7. Jan 30, 2012 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Typically, it is a lighter curriculum than an ME degree, so yes, it will affect your job prospects.
  8. Jan 30, 2012 #7
    if i do the minor in math and take a couple extra chem classes.. will that help?
  9. Jan 30, 2012 #8
    Randomly adding courses/minors will not necessarily help your ability to get hired. Engineering "Technology" degrees are typically not accredited by ABET, and as such, it will be hard/difficult/illegal to market yourself as a professional engineer. You would likely have to complete your degree at the institution you are at, and then transfer to an ABET accredited school (http://www.abet.org/) and graduate from there in order to be licensed/hired as a true engineer.

  10. Jan 30, 2012 #9
    This school is accredited by the ABET.. metro state college of denver. You can still take the exams to become a licensed engineer.
  11. Jan 30, 2012 #10
    It is accredited as an engineering technology program, see:



    So, while it is accredited as an Engineering Technology program, it is not accredited as an Engineering Program. I should have made that clear in my first post. So while it is accredited by ABET as a Technology program, it is not a full fledged Engineering program, and as such, will likely cause issues with future employers.
  12. Jan 30, 2012 #11
    oh ok, that makes more sense now. so how about this... the reason I am considering metro state instead of CU Boulder is price right now. I have to show my grandmother good grades in my first semester at college for her to pay for the rest and I can't afford tuition at CU Boulder for the first semester. If I start at metro.. what if I transfer to CU after the first semester?
  13. Jan 30, 2012 #12
    that is likely something you would need to discuss with the admissions/engineering folk at CUBoulder. Often because of accredidation, there will be odd rules with respect to transfer credits, but it is usually possible with some work. The biggest requirements is that you get credit for all required courses under CU Boulders curriculum and that you graduate with their degree.
  14. Jan 30, 2012 #13
    True .. I would be willing to start over there.. I just have to show my grandmother that I will make the grades.
  15. Jan 30, 2012 #14
    Well I just looked up tuition costs for CU Boulder and it's not as extreme as I remember reading so I'm just going to go ahead and apply there. Thanks everyone!
  16. Jan 30, 2012 #15
    Sure can't hurt. Maybe you'll snag a scholarship there and things will work out. Maybe your loans will cover it.
  17. Jan 30, 2012 #16
    I have a local university that is actually quite decent that only has ET programs there, which are ABET-accredited. I also work with several engineers who have earned ET programs from said university, or another one in my state. They have told me stories about how employers didn't consider their programs "real engineering", even if they learned a lot of theory along with the more hands-on approach to the subjects. They expressed regret for not getting an 'Engineering Science' degree, (Like Mechanical Engineering, etc.) as they've hit a glass ceiling in terms of job prospects and salary.

    The point is, if you like math and the scientific theory behind designing products, do ME (or another Engineering Science degree). Even if you want to do more practical, hands-on work as an engineer (working, building, testing machines, etc.) I would still recommend the Engineering Science BS. It gives you a lot more opportunity, whereas if you get an ET degree, you're pretty much stuck working in a machine shop or doing tasks barely more complicated than a machinist would.

    This isn't a bad career (especially if it's something you enjoy), but I don't like the idea of being stuck anywhere. I like the idea of being able to move, even if I'm working at the same job as if I didn't have the degree. I find it's easier to do a job when you know you don't have to, or because you choose to, rather than doing it simply because you have no other choice. It can be frustrating.
  18. Jan 31, 2012 #17
    CU-Boulder is more expensive than Metro but it's also much more difficult. I know several people that transferred out of CU-Boulder and went over to Metro, they say because of the price which I agree with. But there's one catch. These were the students that were scraping by at CU (most of them were ~2.0 students) and after they left they tell me that they're getting straight A's at Metro..

    CU-Boulder gives a lot of homework in comparison to other schools I've attended (CU-Denver) and overall it's a much more challenging school. Last semester my Diffy Q/Linear Algebra class had assignments due every week and they would take me a solid 15 hours to finish. My programming and circuits classes weren't much different.

    I would be ready to hit the ground running if you attend CU-Boulder. They'll warn you that the first semester will slash your GPA and they aren't kidding. There is definitely an adjustment period the first semester here. CU is well aware of this so much so that they wrote a large guide for first year engineering students:

    http://engineering.colorado.edu/downloads/dilaura.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook