Best Online Master’s in Electronics Engineering Programs
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Electronics engineers design and construct the technologies we use in nearly every aspect of life. From local access computer networks to fiber optics and circuit boards, electronics engineering plays an integral role in how we work, communicate, and interact with the world around us. As technological innovations continue to drive the development of new products and services, the demand for electronics and electrical engineers will likely accelerate.
According to Payscale data from June 2022, the average annual base pay for an electronics engineer is $81,290. While engineering is known to be a financially rewarding field, it is also highly competitive. Increasingly, electronics engineering professionals are seeking graduate degrees to distinguish themselves on the job market and to enhance their earning power.
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The payoff for pursuing higher education can be significant. As of 2015, civil and mechanical engineering master's degree holders earned 9-13% more than their counterparts who held only a bachelor's degree. Along with higher salaries, a master's program helps students develop new skills and specialties and opens a range of exciting job opportunities.
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Electronics Engineering Program?
Every online master's program includes distinct course offerings, concentrations, and requirements. Some engineering concepts, however, are addressed in nearly every curriculum. The information below is only a brief summary of some of the topics you may encounter while earning a master's in electronics engineering online.
Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Electronics Engineering
- Digital Systems: Building off concepts introduced in undergraduate study, coursework presents a detailed look at digital systems architecture and related concepts in statistics and probability. In addition to modes, data types, and low-level data structures, learners examine various system design implementation alternatives and tradeoffs between hardware and software.
- Computer Architecture: Prospective computer engineers will study fundamentals of computer organization. Topics addressed include set architecture, pipelining and hazard control, addition and subtraction circuits, memory systems, storage, and digital-to-analog conversion. Students may be required to complete a hands-on design project. Microprocessor design is typically a prerequisite for this course.
- Introduction to Wireless Technology: Lectures and software-based exercises explore the technologies behind cellular and wireless computer networks, personal communications systems, satellite networks, and speech and video coding. Learners develop proficiency in fading and interference reduction techniques commonly used by electrical and sound engineers, including adaptive modulation, MIMO, and equalization. Prerequisite coursework in communication systems is typically required, and prior experience in MATLAB is useful.
- Fourier Transform and Techniques: Introducing the Fourier transform theory and its many applications in imaging and optics, this course examines the ways in which this mathematical principle can help solve electrical engineering problems. Topics covered include continuous and discrete signals, scalar diffraction theory, spatial filtering and processing, and convolution and correlations.
- Integrated Circuits Technology: Understanding semiconductor design and construction is a crucial aspect of both electrical and materials engineering. This class presents the critical concepts in RFIC design, including RF/microwave design, silicon wafer fabrication, and CMOS technology needed to conduct research and complete simple CAD design projects. Prerequisite coursework in microwave circuitry is typically required.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master's in Electronics Engineering?
How long it takes to earn a master's in electronics engineering online depends on several factors, including program structure, pacing, and delivery method. Typically, an electronics engineering curriculum consists of 30-40 credits, with full-time students earning their degree in around two years. However, some programs may be as long as five years or as short as 12 months.
Asynchronous, self-paced courses allow students to complete assignments more quickly than other formats. While asynchronous programs provide a greater deal of scheduling flexibility, they also require self-discipline and commitment.
In contrast, cohort-based programs emphasize collaborative learning and faculty support. More closely resembling traditional on-campus courses, they are highly structured and take longer to complete than their asynchronous counterparts.
Other aspects that influence degree length include internships or practicum requirements, pursuing an area of concentration, transferring credits from another institution, and any unfulfilled prerequisites a student may need to complete before pursuing major coursework.
Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Electronics Engineering Prepares You For
- Fundamentals of Engineering (FE): Recent graduates and students enrolled in ABET-accredited engineering programs may qualify to take the 110-question FE exam, which is typically the first step towards becoming a licensed professional engineer. The test, which takes approximately six hours to complete, measures understanding of fundamental concepts in electrical and computer engineering and also includes several questions in math, ethics, and engineering economics.
- Professional Engineer (PE) License: Professionals with a combination of post-college work experience and ABET-accredited engineering education may sit for the Principals and Practice of Engineering exam, which measures a candidate's competency in their chosen engineering subfield. The eight-hour, 80-question electrical and computer engineering exam covers topics ranging from data encryption to power systems analysis and modulation techniques.
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Popular Online Master's in Electronics Engineering Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Professional engineering organizations hold a variety of valuable resources for students and recent graduates alike. From career services to networking opportunities like conferences and seminars, the benefits of joining one of these professional interest groups are almost limitless.
Many organizations offer skill-building continuing education and certification programs, exclusive scholarship opportunities, and mentoring programs. Membership also looks great on a resume or CV. Below are several major engineering associations that one may be interested in exploring further.
The world's largest professional organization dedicated to technology, IEEE has expanded beyond its electrical engineering roots to welcome all tech experts. Student members receive extensive career and academic assistance resources.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Made up of engineers and engineering students from 150 countries, the IET is home to a large database of continuing education programs, webinars, and digital research publications. It awards over one million dollars in scholarships annually.
Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
Serving as an advocate for female engineers worldwide, SWE is committed to building leadership and technical skills through affinity groups, networking opportunities, and professional development programs.
National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
Setting the standard for professional engineering credentialing, NSPE is home to the FE and PE certification programs, as well as a variety of on-demand continuing education courses and exam preparation materials.
Optica (Formerly "The Optical Society")
This association provides engineers, scientists, and other professionals specializing in optics and photonics with a place to share research, knowledge, and resources. Its digital library is among the largest of its kind.
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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Electronics Engineering Program?
Though every graduate school and program has its own requirements, prospective students typically need a bachelor's degree in engineering at minimum for entry to a master's in electronics engineering program. Depending on the program and the candidate, they may also need to meet minimum GPA and course prerequisite requirements.
Graduate students do not have access to the same college application systems as undergraduates. Instead, prospective students apply directly to their school and program of interest. They can usually upload all their personal information and required documents online, while keeping track of their deadlines and notifications as well.
Graduate programs may require prospective students to submit results from the GRE or GMAT. Master's in electronics engineering programs typically ask for GRE test scores. Candidates can improve their scores and chances of admission by taking GRE prep in advance of the test.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation provide schools with insight from an applicant's current or former teachers and employers. References typically write about what makes the candidate well-suited for the program or equipped for success. Most college applications ask for 2-3 of these letters.
Resume and Work Experience
Thecollege application resume has different functions depending on the school, program, and candidate. Typically they provide more information about the prospective student and their skills. In some cases, resumes are required to document a minimum amount of relevant experience needed for admission.
The grad school essay can serve many purposes in the admissions process. It may give prospective students a chance to display their writing skills or provide more information about their personal and academic history. Often, these essays highlight the student's research and study goals and point out what attracts them to the program.
Schools almost always require prospective students to submit official transcripts in their applications. They provide information about the applicant's previous training, their grades, and what transfer credits they qualify for. At the graduate level, transcripts help schools ensure the candidate has the prerequisites to succeed in a master's program.
Electronics Engineering Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.
In addition to the workforce options available to them, graduates with a master's in electronics engineering can pursue several continuing education paths. The most direct route leads to a doctorate in electronics engineering, though other engineering doctorates may be accessible as well.
Graduates can also pursue interdisciplinary programs, such as a doctorate in organizational leadership or another management degree.
Employment Outlook for Master's in Electronics Engineering Graduates
There are many paths available to individuals who earn an electronic engineering master's degree online. Electrical equipment and computer systems are used in nearly every sphere of modern life, and graduates find work in an array of industries and settings. See where a master's in electronics engineering can take you. Learn more about electronics engineering careers.
Tasked with the design and development of electronic devices and equipment, these engineers are employed in a range of industries. Some work for the federal government, constructing satellites, aeronautic systems, and radar communication devices. Others develop new products for companies or specialize in product and system maintenance.
Median Annual Salary: $104,820 (as of May 2021)
Projected Growth Rate, 2020-30: 7%
Computer Hardware Engineer
Like electronics engineers, computer hardware specialists design, test, and repair equipment. Often working alongside software developers, they build processors, networks, circuit boards, and other devices used in conjunction with cutting-edge computer software. Computer hardware engineers are expected to have some programming experience, and often need a master's degree to qualify for specialized roles.
Median Annual Salary: $128,170 (as of May 2021)
Projected Growth Rate, 2020-30: 7%
Network and Computer Systems Administrator
These specialists manage and maintain an organization's computer systems, addressing security issues and optimizing procedures as required. Working with systems such as local area and wide access networks, they ensure that all data communications networks are secure and run efficiently. To stay up-to-date on new technologies, they must periodically seek continuing education programs.
Median Annual Salary: $80,600 (as of May 2021)
Projected Growth Rate, 2020-30: 5%
Computer Network Architect
Network architects design and build data communication networks according to their organization's specifications and needs. They work alongside other IT employees to approach network construction and database design from multiple angles. Because the job is closely tied to business practices, some employers prefer candidates with an MBA or related degree.
Median Annual Salary: $120,520 (as of May 2021)
Projected Growth Rate, 2020-30: 5%
Combining marketing principles with engineering know-how, this position requires extensive knowledge of the scientific processes behind electronic devices and systems. Charged with selling complex technologies to businesses and organizations, sales engineers work for firms and companies. They may research, develop, or modify products to better fit consumer needs. Strong communication skills are essential for sales engineers.
Median Annual Salary: $103,710 (as of May 2021)
Projected Growth Rate, 2020-30: 8%
How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Electronics Engineering Program?
When comparing online and on-campus programs or programs of the same type, cost usually plays a large role. Prospective students may use cost to compare in-state and out-of-state programs and programs at public and private schools. Make sure you calculate the true program cost by factoring in additional expenses such as transportation, technology, and lost income.
Degree-seekers should look for a program format that provides them with the ideal study, home, and work balance. They might consider asynchronous, synchronous, or blended programs. They might also weigh the pros and cons of full-time and part-time studies or even an accelerated program if available.
Prospective students should consider location when picking a school and choosing between online and on-campus programs. Online learning typically has fewer location restrictions than in-person learning, though some online programs may feature on-campus residencies. Location can also have an impact on program cost and postgraduate opportunities.
Accreditation is a quality control process conducted by institutional and programmatic agencies. Known as accrediting bodies, they assess colleges and universities to ensure they adhere to the highest academic and ethical standards.
Programmatic accreditation plays a stronger part in engineering employment and education than in most other sectors. ABET is the most well-known and respected engineering accreditor, and many employers prefer or exclusively hire graduates of ABET-accredited programs.
Certain credentials, such as FE and PE licenses, will be harder to obtain for candidates who have not completed an ABET-accredited bachelor's degree program, as they will require additional work and/or education experience. Most master's degree programs are not ABET-accredited, which makes obtaining an ABET-accredited bachelor's degree more important.
The student services a school provides can add a great deal to overall educational experience. In addition to the traditional academic and career services, online programs may offer students wellness resources, college mentorships, and networking opportunities. Other extras to look for include internship programs, student organizations, and campus facilities.
Best Accredited Online Master's in Electronics Engineering Programs
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Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Electronics Engineering Programs
Is a master's in electronics engineering worth it?
Yes. A master's in electronics engineering can be a very valuable degree for engineers. The training can help professionals advance their careers, qualifying them for senior-level and management positions in engineering organizations. This often means accessing better careers and higher salaries.
In an online master's in electronics engineering program, students also enjoy the added value of an online degree. Through online learning, degree-seekers can access more schools and programs, which might lead to more suitable curriculums and cost-savings. Online learning also typically features more flexible schedules than an in-person program.
What can I do with a master's in electronics engineering?
A master's in electronics engineering prepares graduates for intermediate and advanced electronics engineering jobs. Graduate training equips professionals with the skills and credentials for management roles in the field. The engineering and leadership training from these programs also helps individuals qualify for general management careers.
Another path available to graduates with a master's in electronics engineering is continuing education. They can pursue doctorates in electronics engineering, engineering management, or another engineering branch. They might also have access to degrees in other managerial disciplines.
Are electronics engineering graduates in demand?
Yes. Electronics engineering graduates are in demand in the engineering and management fields. The BLS projects 7% growth for electronics engineers between 2020 and 2030, with the field adding more than 20,400 new jobs during that time. About 22,700 job openings are projected each year in that period, including both new jobs and standard turnover.
Organizations regularly hire engineers as managers, which provides master's graduates with many more career opportunities. The BLS projects 9% growth for management occupations between 2020 and 2030, which amounts to more than 906,000 new jobs over that period.
How much money can I make with a master's in electronics engineering?
Job salaries depend on many factors, including location, job title, and employer. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for electronics engineers was $104,820 in May 2021, with the top 10% of earners topping $166,890.
A professional's industry will play a role in their expected salary as well. Among the industries in the field, research and development pays the highest median annual wages at $125,080. Next is the electronic component manufacturing industry at $107,190, then instruments manufacturing at $102,110, and electric power generation at $101,780.
What are the highest-paying jobs with a master's in electronics engineering?
The highest-paying jobs for graduates with a master's in electronics engineering is in engineering management. According to the BLS, architectural and engineering managers made median annual wages of $152,350 in May 2021. Meanwhile, the top 10% of salaries in the field exceeded $208,000.
In terms of specific industries, managers in the scientific research and development services industry made median annual wages of $187,240 in May 2021. Manufacturing managers made median annual wages of $151,890.
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