What is Engineering Technology?
Engineering Technology is...
- For indviduals who want engineering related careers with a hands-on practical approach.
- A blend of theory-based lecture and hands-on laboratory.
- Topics in cutting-edge technology areas enabling graduates to meet the changing needs of industry.
- Based on understanding the application of engineering principles rather than the mathematical derivations.
- Activities ranging from the applied and practical to the highly theoretical and abstract.
Engineering Technology students...
- Apply technology to the solutions of industrial problems.
- Have considerable knowledge of materials and processes.
- Know how to apply the principles of physical sciences.
- Use instruments rather than tools.
Based upon the problem-solving techniques that are inherent in theoretical learning, most engineering technology programs are based upon ABET accreditation criteria. This is one reason students completing two years of an engineering technology program are awarded Associate of Science degrees, rather than Applied Associate of Science (A.A.S.) degrees. A.A.S. degrees are normally terminal degrees that do not lead directly into the junior year of a Bachelor of Science degree program; A.S. degrees typically do.
A two-year (Associate's) degree in engineering technology is usually the first two years of a four-year (Bachelor's) degree program in engineering technology (a Master of Science degree is also available). A frequent misconception is that, to continue for a bachelor's degree, engineering technology A.S. graduates have to change their majors to engineering. Typically, anyone who chooses to change from an engineering technology major to an engineering major or vice versa, or from a vocational technology major to an engineering technology major can expect a loss of applicable credits toward his/her degree.
Engineering technology students can successfully terminate with a two-year Associate of Science degree. One vital reason for the marketability of the two-year technology degree is that technology students, unlike engineering students, begin taking technical classes from the first semester of their first year.
Graduates of engineering technology degree programs are trained, technical problem- solvers who work in areas of design, production planning and processes and troubleshooting.
How do students choose among engineering, engineering technology, and vocational technology programs?
The determining factor for a student choosing between engineering and engineering technology degrees should be the type of work that he/she wants to do upon entering the job market. Both engineering and technology students should have strong math and science backgrounds. Both engineering technology and vocational technology students will receive plenty of "hands-on" learning.
Typically, engineering curricula include the most math and science of the three types of programs. A person who enjoys scientific inquiry, design of new concepts and working with ideas may be more inclined toward engineering.
Typically, the vocational technology student studies the least math and science of the three programs. A person who prefers to work almost totally with his/her hands may be more inclined toward vocational technology .
Typically, an engineering technology student takes a balance of math, science, and humanities courses, along with application-oriented classes. A person who enjoys solving challenging technical problems, making things work, hands-on applications and working with people may be more inclined toward engineering technology.