Online training in mechanical engineering technology is not typically available at the associate's degree level. Bachelor's degree programs in mechanical engineering technology, however, can be found online as degree-completion programs. These hybrid programs require students to complete an on-campus associate's degree program in a related engineering discipline first.
Mechanical engineering technology degree completion programs, which usually lead to a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology, are most commonly available from four-year universities and colleges. They can be completed in two years or less depending on a student's schedule and prior scholastic achievements. Distance learning programs in this field may include online training as well as on-campus courses and labs. Students may need to get access to CAD software before enrolling.
Students who are looking for a fully online program may consider an associate's degree in engineering technology. These programs do not focus specifically on mechanical engineering, but they cover some of the same basic material and provide the necessary educational background for future studies in the discipline.
Mechanical Engineering Technology Programs
Because mechanical engineering is one of the broadest of the engineering disciplines, mechanical engineering technology programs aim to give enrollees a wide range of skills and abilities that are applicable in many industries. Students learn the basics of how mechanical devices work, from the mathematics, geometry and physics involved in their construction to the physical processes that create them. Unlike mechanical engineering programs, mechanical engineering technology programs focus more on practical applications and less on theory and research.
In an online degree completion program in mechanical engineering technology, the number of general education classes distance learners must take depends on what coursework they completed at the associate's degree level. Within the major requirements, students in a distance learning program can expect to learn about the following areas:
- Tool design
- Manufacturing processes
- Machine design
- New engineering technologies
- Quality control
Online bachelor's degree completion programs can be appealing to working mechanical engineering technicians as it provides a flexible way to earn higher-level education credentials while maintaining employment. Distance learning students may use textbooks, audio files, video files and other Web-based content to complete their curriculum within a virtual classroom setting. Classmates can interact with each other and with instructors through discussion boards, chat rooms, e-mail and web conferencing.
Online students typically need no more than an up-to-date computer with standard operating systems and browsers, though some schools may have specific hardware and software requirements; for example, a mechanical engineering technology program may require students to use computer-aided design software.
Some hybrid programs in mechanical engineering technology require students to complete labs or certain courses either on campus, at an affiliated institution or at a college in the distance learner's area. In some cases, schools may give students the option to participate in live classes through satellite links available at education centers connected with the university. Some schools require students to have their own laptops for in-class instruction as well.
To summarize, students can find online mechanical engineering technology training through a bachelor's degree completion program; broader associate's degree programs in engineering technology are also available online. Both provide content through virtual classrooms, which make it possible to watch lectures, complete assignments and participate in discussions from remote locations.