When most people think of engineering training they assume the only option is to get a bachelor’s degree and spend thousands of dollars and several years working toward a degree. What many people don’t realize is that it’s possible to get engineering training without pursuing a degree. Many colleges and universities offer certificates and diplomas in engineering. These programs of study enable students to get advanced engineering training in a specific field such as civil or electrical engineering in a much shorter period of time.
These diplomas offer training similar to degree programs but in a much shorter period of time. Students can even start college-level diploma courses while they are still in high school. Those interested in how math and science applies to modern-day engineering would do well to complete these programs. Diploma programs can be tailored to a student’s specific field of interest such as civil, mechanical or electrical engineering. Students get to study about how present-day engineering works and theorize about what the future holds for the field. Students will need a computer with internet access and e-mail to complete classes. Interaction with instructors, other students and field experts is common and students would do well to familiarize themselves with using webcams and skype to accomplish this.
Electrical Engineering Certificate
One of the more popular non-degree online programs is the certificate in electrical engineering. Many colleges offer this as a way to help people get the necessary training to begin work as electrical engineering technicians. The certificate usually takes no more than one year to complete.
Electrical Engineering Classes
A very interesting aspect of the certificate program is students being able to conduct experiments and complete assignments in virtual labs similar to what they would have in traditional classes. Interaction with classmates and instructors is strongly encouraged both during and after class. Live chat sessions are used in class while after class message boards and forums allow for group discussions and Q&A sessions.
Certificate programs are short on general education classes and focus almost exclusively on engineering classes. Some common classes include:
- Electronics technology
- Electrical circuits
- Electronics engineering
- Electrical engineering systems
Students learn many basic aspects of electrical systems in these classes. Troubleshooting techniques for circuits and digital systems are taught and students participate in virtual labs to gain hands-on experience. Circuit construction, voltage, power transfer and electrical measurement are taught through studying schematic construction and videotaped lab exercises. Satellites, digital communications and transformers are also studied with virtual labs used to allow students to conduct experiments.
Certificate Graduate Careers
Graduates with electrical engineering certificates can expect to have very good career opportunities awaiting them. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports average job growth through 2020 with salaries for electrical and electronics engineering technicians averaging $56,000 per year.