Many online students are older students going back to school, or younger students who have to work and provide while also completing their degree, and getting an online engineering management degree is no different. An affordable online engineering management degree will help students who are paying their own way get a head start on their career.
Online degree programs are sometimes less expensive than those offered in a classroom simply because the overhead is less. Many online degree programs come in a completely digital format meaning there are no expensive textbooks to purchase or trade in once the course has been completed. Another benefit of online learning is that you can do it from anywhere, you do not have to worry about the expense of traveling every day or moving into a dorm to be closer to the campus. Whatever the case, and online engineering management degree can be the start of a lucrative career.
Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Engineering Management Degrees
For the Most Affordable Engineering Management Degree ranking, Great Business Schools uses one specific metric: tuition cost, according to current IPEDS data. But cost isn’t everything; GBS features only accredited, reputable institutions, so students know their degree will be worth more than the paper it’s printed on.
1. California State University, Northridge
California State University’s Engineering & Computer Science Division offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Engineering management that is recognized as an ABET-accredited affordable engineering management program. Degree candidates enrolled in California State University, Northridge’s undergraduate degree in engineering management must complete 120 semester credits to graduate. Classes for the engineering management major include new product innovation, facilities planning, production systems, the theory of digital systems, engineering dynamics, and heat transfer, to name a few.
California State University, Northridge, was established as a public institution of higher education in 1958. Cal State Northridge is a member school of the state university system of 23 schools. More than 37,800 students attend classes at California State University.
Highlight: California State University, Northridge offers more than 200 academic degrees at the bachelor’s, masters, and doctoral levels.
Degree: BS in Engineering Management
2. University of Washington
The University of Washington’s Engineering College offers a customizable Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program in Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies that offers students internship and engineering coop opportunities. The University of Washington’s affordable engineering management program can enroll in the college honors program if they meet qualifications. The College of Engineering encourages students to take advantage of the many study abroad opportunities available through the university and the Engineers without Borders chapter housed on the school’s campus.
The University of Washington is a sea-grant and a space-grant institution of higher education that was established in 1861, nearly three decades before statehood. The school’s urban campus covers more than 600 acres and serves more than 47,250 students.
Highlight: The University of Washington is associated with a variety of Nobel laureates, Fulbright and Rhodes Scholars, and Pulitzer Prize winners.
Degree: Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies
3. Texas A&M University-Commerce
Texas A&M University-Commerce offers an affordable engineering management program with its Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Technology Management. Students enrolled in this undergraduate degree in engineering management must complete 120 semester credits over about four years. Coursework for Texas A&M University-Commerce’s bachelor’s degree in engineering management includes project management, decision theory, emerging technology, risk management, technical communications, environmental & safety management, value chain control, and managerial statistics, plus a technology management capstone project, to name a few.
Texas A&M University-Commerce is a research higher learning institution that was established as a teacher’s school in 1889. The university’s campus serves more than 11,850 students and covers more than 2,000 rural acres.
Highlight: Texas A&M University-Commerce operates additional academic facilities in Dallas and Mesquite, plus additional classes in partnership with Collin College and Navarro College.
Degree: BS in Technology Management
4. University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a BS in Engineering Management that is considered an affordable engineering management program option. Degree candidates enrolled in the University of Illinois Chicago’s undergraduate degree in engineering management are required to complete 128 semester credits to meet program requirements. Coursework for this degree in engineering management includes competitive strategy, operations research, work productivity analysis, production planning, safety engineering, stochastic processes, elements of statistical computing, and quality control, among others.
The University of Illinois at Chicago is a dual campus school that was established in 1982. The university’s urban campuses serve more than 33,300 students, which makes the University of Illinois Chicago the largest of the city’s higher learning institutions.
Highlight: The University of Illinois is actually a combination of several medical schools/colleges that were combined over the years.
Degree: BS in Engineering Management
5. Purdue University
Purdue University’s Krannert School and the College of Engineering offer a baccalaureate degree in Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) that provides degree candidates with several academic concentrations – data analytics and financial engineering, or supply chain operations. Purdue University’s affordable engineering management program includes classes in life cycle engineering, engineering economics, properties of materials, and the management of constructed facilities, to name a few. Students will also be offered to study abroad options and then be required to complete a culminating capstone project in their senior year. Krannert programs have received accreditation from the AACSB.
Purdue University is a space/grant and sea/grant higher learning institution that was established in 1869. The school’s campus in West Lafayette serves more than 43,400 students studying for the more than 200 degrees offered by Purdue University’s thirteen colleges/schools.
Highlight: The campus sits near the Wabash River’s western banks.
Degree: Integrated Business and Management
6. Lamar University
Lamar University’s Business Department offers an affordable engineering management program with its Bachelor of Business Administration in (BBA) in General Business – Industrial Engineering. This 120 semester credit undergraduate degree in engineering management prepares degree candidates for rewarding careers in quality assurance, governmental contracting, supply chain management, manufacturing, or retail companies. Classes include special topics in business law, human factors engineering, engineering materials & process, product safety, principles of finance, marketing, engineering management, facilities design, and occupational ergonomics, to name a few.
Lamar University is a state school that was established in 1923. Lamar University’s campus serves more than 14,250 students from its urban campus and online.
Highlight: Lamar University is named to honor the second president of Texas as a republic and is recognized among the fastest-growing higher learning institution in the Lone Star State.
Degree: BBA Industrial Engineering
7. Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University’s Fulton Engineering College offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Construction Management that requires the completion of 120 -122 semester credits, depending on the path of study. Additionally, Brigham Young University offers another affordable engineering management program with its baccalaureate degree program in Facility and Property Management that is ABET-accredited and requires the completion of 120 semester units to graduate. Each of the programs offers internship and practicum experiences in which students have the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to real-life situations.
Brigham Young University (The Y) is a private university that was established in 1875. Brigham Young University operates additional facilities in Salt Lake City and Jerusalem. More than 33,360 students attend classes offered by BYU, either on-campus or online.
Highlight: Brigham Young University is home to several museums, including one of the most popular art museums in the western U.S.
Degree: Construction and Facilities Management
8. Arizona State University
Arizona State University’s Fulton School of Engineering/School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering (ASU Online) offer a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) with a focus in Engineering Management that mandates degree candidates to complete 120 semester credits if they are to meet program requirements. Arizona State University’s affordable engineering management program includes classes in systems dynamics & thinking, work analysis, ethics & technical communication, risk management, engineering administration, and economic analysis for engineers, plus a systems design capstone culminating project.
Arizona State University (Arizona State Online) is a space-grant institution of higher education that was established in 1885. Arizona State University serves more than 90K students on its five regional campuses and online distance learning platform.
Highlight: Arizona State University is home to more than 1,000 student associated organizations and clubs and is ranked as the most innovative higher learning institution in the nation by US News & World Report.
Degree: Engineering Management BSE
9. Iowa State University
Iowa State University of Science & Technology‘s College of Engineering offers a variety of baccalaureate degree programs in engineering specialties in which students can opt to add a minor in entrepreneurship or engineering sales. The entrepreneurial minor of the affordable engineering management program includes classes in entrepreneurship and business planning, corporate entrepreneurship, and social entrepreneurship. The engineering sales minor requires coursework in technical sales engineers, economic analysis, and professional issues in civil engineering, to name a few.
Iowa State University was established under the Morrill Land Grant College Act in 1858. The university’s campus in Ames serves more than 33,250 students, vying for degrees offered by Iowa State University’s eight colleges/schools.
Highlight: Iowa State University holds the distinction of being the largest institution of higher education in the state.
Degree: Add minor in Engineering Sales or Entrepreneurship
10. Missouri University of Science & Technology
Missouri University of Science & Technology’s Department of Engineering Management & Systems Engineering (Missouri S&T) offers a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Management and Systems that offers degree candidates three academic concentrations – Industrial Engineering, Technology Management, or a General Emphasis. Coursework for this affordable engineering management program includes an economic analysis of engineering projects, managing engineering and technology, introduction to system engineering, operations/production management, materials handling & plant layout, and risk assessment & reduction, to name a few.
Missouri S&T is a space-grant and land-grant higher learning institution that was established in 1870. The Missouri S&T’s rural campus in Rolla serves more than 8,50 students and covers more than 260 acres. Missouri University of Science & Technology is primarily known for its engineering programs but offers degrees in business and math as well.
Highlight: Missouri University of Science & Technology holds the distinction of being the first polytechnic higher learning institution that was established west of the Mississippi River.
Degree: Engineering Management and Systems
How Do I Save Money on an Engineering Management Degree?
There are also ways you can save money with online engineering management degree programs as well. Applying for scholarships and grants will cover much of your college expenses if they are large enough. Scholarships can range in amount from $200 to several thousand dollars depending on the organization that is offering the scholarship. Grants, on the other hand, are normally much larger and are intended to pay for the majority of your expenses while you are attending college. Neither scholarships nor grants are required to be paid back. They are considered gifts that you can use for your college expenses.
Another way to defray the cost of returning to school is to enter into an education reimbursement plan with your employer. While you will be responsible for paying for your expenses upfront, your employer will reimburse you for what you paid once you have successfully completed your coursework and earned a passing grade. Turn in your receipts and the confirmation of your passing grade to your employer and they will reimburse you for your college expenses.
Will a Certification Help My Career?
Engineering management certifications are valuable in many ways. If you have already completed a Bachelor’s degree, earning a certification will give you additional support in terms of verifying other skills you may possess that you gained through years on the job. While your Bachelor’s degree may offer you a wide variety of skills, there are many things you will learn when you are working that are not taught in a classroom. There is no way to verify the skills and abilities that you gain through work experience. Earning a certification will be able to provide you with additional verification that gives value to the work experience you have already earned.
Certifications can be used to bridge the gaps between educational degrees as well. If you have a Bachelor’s but are unsure about pursuing a Masters’ degree, earning a certificate in engineering management may be able to provide you with what you need. The extra benefit of earning a certification may give you enough of a boost that you can wait to enroll in the Masters’ degree program. Engineering management has many levels and working your way through each one will provide you with the work experience you need to move on. Certifications are able to keep you moving forward but will allow you to alter your direction if you feel as if a change is needed.
Engineering management certifications are extremely beneficial because they can be completed online and in a very short period of time. They provide additional skills that you need but also allow you to verify what you have learned by providing you with a certification that validates what you have learned as well as your ability to apply it to any given situation within the workplace.
How Much Can I Make with an Engineering Management Degree?
The earning potential of a graduate who has earned an engineering management degree will depend on many different factors. A graduate who is fresh out of college with little to no experience may start out as low as $39,000 per year. If they have a few years of experience that they earned while attending school, they may be able to start out at around $50,000 per year. The more time and effort they put into their education will dramatically increase their earning potential. Earning experience as either a manager as an engineer will be beneficial, but managing an engineering project is the best way to add experience to a resume.
Engineering managers who have earned a Masters’ degree or higher and have accumulated several years of experience may be able to earn as much as $200,000 per year if they have received the highest grades and proven themselves as leaders in their chosen career fields. The more work experience they have in which they have proven themselves to their superiors and their ability to perform under pressure are the two best ways to improve overall earning potential. If an engineering manager is able to be an effective and respected leader, this will add the influence that will drive their earnings to the highest possible amount.