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Author Topic: Engineering degree wanted - Online??  (Read 569 times)
N0XMZ
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« on: March 21, 2006, 12:32:12 PM »

One of my goals in life is to get a college degree. I am in my 30's. I would really like to get a technical degree - like electronics engineering. Does anyone know of an institution of higher learning that offers such a degree program online? It seems like the usual online schools (like U of Phoenix) offer only business-type degrees. I'd really like to build on my limited knowledge of RF circuits and make a living working on such equipment. The only catch is that I work full-time and I really like the idea of studying when I can (like at home and at work when business is slow).

Any ideas?
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2006, 01:39:17 PM »

DeVry University offers on line study for degrees but although this is a technical school, "electrical engineering" is not one they offer on-line, probably because this is a very lab-intensive course.

Electrical/electronic engineering is about 1/2 theoretical (study, which could be done on line as well as anywhere else) and about 1/2 "hands on" lab work, which requires a laboratory, a counselor and usually a partner.   That's the part that would be tough to do on-line.  Even if you could proctor yourself through the labs, and find a partner, you probably wouldn't have all the necessary equipment.

WB2WIK/6
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K7UNZ
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2006, 05:31:44 PM »

There is also the fact that ANY degree requires more than just the study of the area in which you are interested.  There are things like English, Math, History/Civics, etc. which are part of any degree program.

I think the best you will be able to do is check-out a local community college, and get the Associate level degree and rack-up the necessary required "general education" courses while you are at it.  Actually, most community colleges do offer a lot of "at home" lessons/coursework via local TV channels.

Jim/k7unz
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2006, 05:41:29 PM »

hi scott,

Many universities offer online classes combined with
evening lab programs (once a week) and adult education
programs.

http://www.utsystem.edu/

take a look and see what is available to you.

Many community colleges offer outstanding programs
for your AAS or AS and you can then continue at the
universtity.

Good luck with your studies !

73 james
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HA5RXZ
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2006, 05:42:16 AM »

Try the Open University in the UK.

www.open.ac.uk

HA5RXZ
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N0XMZ
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2006, 08:46:21 AM »

I appreciate all the responses. I guess I'm stuck with the "brick and mortar" schools. I can probably get a lot of the "basics" out of the way online though (English, mathematics, history, etc...)

-Scott
n0xmz
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2006, 09:32:49 AM »

Scott, the brick & mortar experience is a good one.

College gave me access to lab equipment that I couldn't have possibly afforded on my own, without which the experiments couldn't be done.  It's one thing to read about a 40 GHz spectrum analyzer (which costs about $55K) and quite another thing to use one.

That's a current example, but 40 GHz analyzers didn't exist when I was in school...

One cool thing that did exist, though, were Klystrons, and microwave experiments.  I'll never forget my lab "gang" trying to see if we could stop the professor's pacemaker with enough microwave energy.  We must have been nuts, can you imagine if that "experiment" would have worked?  (Thankfully, it didn't.  We generated lots of soup and his pacemaker worked just fine.)

I shouldn't be giving new engineering students ideas...

WB2WIK/6
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2006, 08:22:01 PM »

hi,

With the brick and motar schools, you will get more
experience from learning with fellow students that
want to be there and get to use a lot of neat equipment.

73 james
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AB8SG
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2006, 06:38:18 AM »

I've experienced the "brick and morter" and online aspects of university. Define your goals first. Are you interested in an associates degree program or something like a BSEE? It's worth the sacrifice in time to travel to the campus while picking up any degree in an engineering field. As others have posted, the lab experience and equipment just can't be duplicated on an online course. I would even say that non technical courses, English, Math, Physics etc. are better experienced in a classroom environment. At 49, I was finally able to devote myself fulltime and finished in 18 months for an associate in electronics. Since then I've managed to knock out several courses towards a B.S. online. Beware that online courses can be much more difficult because you don't have "realtime" interaction with fellow students and the profs. Also beware that credits that you pick up from one institution will likely not transfer to another one. This is a scam to make you spend more money taking the courses at the second institution again. A degree, IMHO, is nice, but knowledge is priceless. Last, I leave you with encouragement to pursue your dreams no matter how late a start you get. Just try to be patient with the younger students, they have a real disadvantage because many times they don't place much value on learning.
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N6HCM
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2006, 02:39:23 AM »

there are plenty of accredited colleges and universities that can help you get the education you want with an online or distance learning format.  Bears' Guide (see http://www.degree.net/ ) is a good resource for this sort of information.  it led me to the rochester institute of technology (see http://online.rit.edu/ ) where i am completing my bachelor's degree work.  

good programs that are available online should always be accredited by the appropriate regional association (not necessarily an organ of state or federal government) ... these regional organizations are listed here http://www.degree.net/guides/gaap_listings.html ... look at the top of the list for the six regional associations.  accreditation is the key for acceptance of any degree or course credit you earn by other institutions ...

as mentioned earlier in this thread, you really should consider using your local community college to complete basic requirements.  community college is a great value ...
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