Math B.S. to Engineering Degree

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Mechanical Ibex, Jul 16, 2021.

  1. Mechanical Ibex

    Mechanical Ibex New Member

    I have a B.S. in Mathematics, but it hasn't helped me with employment, so I'm considering going back to school for engineering.

    My schedule won't allow me to go to school full-time or attend classes in-person, but my employer will reimburse me $5,000 / year for just about any classes, training, or certifications.

    I would need to take the Chemistry CLEP to get my A.S. in Engineering, and it would take me three semesters to get a Bachelor's in Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, or Biological Engineering at the state university (if I attended full-time).

    There is a Masters in Electrical Engineering through the University of Colorado Boulder / Coursera, and I tried the first course, but I really, really struggled with it and I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to make it through the whole degree (I don't think I have enough experience with circuits).

    Does anyone know of an Online Engineering program with a generous transfer policy?
  2. MiracleWhipz

    MiracleWhipz Member

    are you passionate about engineering? there are a lot of other routes you could go with a BS in mathematics that would make you more marketable, such as an MS in Accounting or Finance.
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  3. Mechanical Ibex

    Mechanical Ibex New Member


    Honestly, no, I wouldn't say I'm passionate about engineering. I've been involved in it enough to become a bit disenchanted, but also to think I know what I would be getting myself into.

    However, I'm much more interested in engineering than accounting, finance, education, actuarial science, computer science, etc.

    I would like to stay in the small town where I currently live, but the job opportunities are very limited, and I haven't had any luck finding remote employment.
  4. MiracleWhipz

    MiracleWhipz Member

    I would explore your options a bit more, have you considered doing SME remote work? I only say this because I dont know of any online engineering programs and it's pretty rigorous from my understanding if it isnt something you are super interested in.
  5. Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius Active Member

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  6. Mechanical Ibex

    Mechanical Ibex New Member

    I admit that I'm not familiar with the term SME (Subject Matter Expert?), but I've been out of school and applying to jobs for over two years, and while the pandemic probably didn't help, I'm feeling very discouraged and I think I need to add some value to my resume. There are many online engineering programs, but whether they'll accept 90+ transfer credits, and allow me to work through my degree taking two classes a semester is another story...

    Thank you for responding to my posts and giving me a different perspective. The coursework and the job can both be absolutely brutal and I appreciate the consideration. If I could find different employment I would probably forgo more education (or just take fun classes!).
  7. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    With a bachelors of math, you have an incredibly solid foundation for engineering. If you’ve taken college level physics as part of your previous studies, you’re even further along.

    Would really suggest you consider what your actual goals are, before delving into the weeds of program comparison. Depending on your goals, suggestions may vary widely. Even the choice of an associates, bachelor, or masters will vary. Happy to help if you can provide some further info.
    Dustin likes this.
  8. Mechanical Ibex

    Mechanical Ibex New Member

    I'm not really interested in the degrees offered by Liberty University, but The University of North Dakota is promising. It looks like I would only need to take 30-35 credits through them, which is my main requirement. I wish the classes were a little more "work at your own pace" but it looks like it would work... just need to figure out how my classes would transfer and/or apply and see how many of my specific credits they want to accept. Thank you for your suggestions.
  9. Mechanical Ibex

    Mechanical Ibex New Member

    I guess I don't have a solid goal. I had intended to go to grad school for mathematics the whole time I was getting my bachelors degree. I had also intended to triple major (which is why I'm so close to so many engineering degrees), but towards the end, I was feeling burnt-out and was discouraged by how unsupportive and impersonal my professors seemed.

    I feel a little rushed to jump into a program because of my work's tuition reimbursement. That $5k won't roll over into next year. Initially, I thought I would do something fun and maybe crazy (learn to play an instrument, speak a foreign language, take classes at a trade school, rack up hours flying a plane, etc.) but that feels really irresponsible when I could be taking classes towards better employment.

    I pulled a few all-nighters helping engineering classmates study and did a lot of hand-holding to get some people through their classes. Some of those recent-grads now make close to six-figures in Engineering fields. I regret only having a math degree and I think more education would help my employment prospects.

    I think I would like to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering because there is demand locally (and I believe there still will be in several years).

    An associate's degree would be pretty trivial--I just need to take the one CLEP, transfer the class to the same university I got the math degree from, and that's it. As far as bachelors v.s. masters considerations, I think there are lots of little nuances... A masters could open up more doors and potentially require fewer credits, but I don't know if I can hack it (and that's assuming I'm not missing require prerequisites). I easily have the background for the bachelor's degree and I'm much less concerned about flunking out on that path.

    Sorry if that's more information than you wanted to read... I appreciate you volunteering to help and offering guidance on how to be helped.
  10. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    First, I just want to congratulate you on your bachelors in math. Seriously, that IS an incredibly challenging and spectacular degree! It also provides an exceptional foundation to a number of careers and other disciplines.

    It sounds like your current employer is providing a phenomenal benefit. With a benefit like that, it’s likely that it’s at least a fairly decent organization. After finishing your bachelors, it’s understandable to seek a promotion or new position. I’m just sorry your search coincides with this currently wild employment market. An engineering degree would certainly open doors, there’s not nearly enough to fulfill demand in many areas. With your math background, especially if you’ve taken college physics, I wouldn’t be concerned about your ability to handle the course load. As for your experience in the past with engineering faculty members not being supportive, it’s a not uncommon occurrence in engineering education. I’ve actuslly spoken about it in seminars with the American Society of Engineering Educstors, our profession is heavily based on building independent problem solvers who use a systematic use logic and knowledge of principles to work through problems. For generations the education model has frequently been a somewhat disconnected sink or swim mentality with the coursework. It’s an old school model of thinking that many of us are changing. If you’re really wanting to do engineering, I’d probably emphasize a bachelors considering how close you are. With your background in math, you very well may be able to go straight to a M.Eng program for many engineering disciplines, particularly if your goal is to springboard into management roles. Going straight into a Master EE program would be a real challenge though, although your math skills may help you get through it. If you go that route, I’d really recommend a challenging Circuit Analysis course as prep work, but it sounds like you may already have one. If all you need is one CLEP for an Associates in Engineering, that sounds like a no brainer. Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Associate degree graduates often start out at $25-30+ an hour in many markets and there’s never enough graduates.
  11. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    You said you're not interested in actuarial science but what about data science? Eastern's MS in Data Science is $10K cash (10 courses @ $330 a credit/$990 a course.) It can be completed in 10 months at 2 courses per accelerated 7 week terms. Data science salaries are high. There's few prerequisites. It's not an open admission program but they don't put up high barriers and you'd likely easily meet them.

    Next term starts Aug 31 and ends October 18. The term after that starts October 19 and ends December 13. The term after that starts January 11.

    You could complete 4 courses (at a cost of $3960) and use nearly $4K of the 5K benefit before the end of the year. You could finish the program and use the rest of your benefit in 2022 and have a Masters with no cost out of pocket. I've contributed a lot to this thread:
  12. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Bachelors in Math is highly valuable foundation for many fields and indeed Engineering is one of them, solid math is great for formation of an engineer.
    Engineering is fantastic and rewarding field, with wide areas within the engineering to explore.
    And as it was suggested Informatics, Data Science may be worth exploring as well, these are highly rewarding and in today's world there is I would say an overlap between the computing and engineering worlds.
    As to earning possibility, with Associate degree in Engineering there are technician and field engineer type roles with salaries ranging 20's to 30's $ per hour.
    I'm working with an Engineer who has bachelors degree in music, the guy is doing extraordinary job and making about 140 to 170 K in the IS/IT Computing Infrastructure Engineering arena.
    I assume that with AS degree in Engineering and Bachelors in Math you can land positions ranging from Technician, Technologist, Jr Engineer or staff Engineer.
    I would add that it will be of benefit if you earn an ABET accredited Engineering bachelors degree if you plan to become licensed PE.
  13. Mechanical Ibex

    Mechanical Ibex New Member

    Oh, Wow. I was hoping someone had done research into engineering programs and could share some insight, but not for someone with experience related to engineering to post. Thank You!

    I only just learned that graduate programs are not generally ABET-accredited, so I believe I will have to pursue a bachelor's first so that I can take the FE.

    I'm glad you seem optimistic about employment, it really seems to be field-dependant. There really aren't great job opportunities near me. While there are lots of electrical engineers making six figures (because of the companies that have offices here), my city/county has a civil engineering PE making $15/hr (and the hiring was competitive). While the tuition reimbursement is absolutely fantastic, if I didn't work double shifts I couldn't afford my rent (and I'm in a very low cost-of-living area).
  14. Mechanical Ibex

    Mechanical Ibex New Member

    I've applied for remote Data Science/Analysis Associate/Assistant/Trainee positions (as you say, they don't put up high barriers) but I've never received a single reply. So, it's really hard for me to imagine myself being hired for such a role in the future (even with further education). I don't think there is much demand for computer science majors locally and that also makes the job seem less ... real? palpable? viable?

    Thank you for suggesting an alternative route and taking the time to explain how the program would fit well in my situation.
  15. Mechanical Ibex

    Mechanical Ibex New Member

    There is a shortage of Electrical Engineers locally, but there's also a Civil PE making $15/hr. The technicians working under that poor Civil (who may have applied for his position themselves) are certainly not making $20-$30/hr. I know there are very well compensated engineers, and I appreciate your optimism (really!), but it's difficult to imagine myself making even $20/hr and I don't think the Associates would make me much more employable.

    I think you're the first person to mention ABET accreditation, which I think is an incredibly important consideration, so thank you for bringing that up!
  16. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    It's my understanding that electrical engineering is one of the hardest engineering fields. The sub-fields of civil engineering are supposed to be among the easiest (but still hard). Civil engineering is also one of the lowest paying engineering fields.
  17. MiracleWhipz

    MiracleWhipz Member

    I don't want this to come off as rude but have you considered that your application or resume is bad or lacking in some area? I myself had this issue when I was using a copy and paste resume that had a gap I overlooked. Just something to think about because I know data analytics is a very hot field right now and a math degree is pretty significant. Given that you said you have been applying for so long and that there are a lot of open positions my first thought is that you may want to have someone with an HR eye give your resume a review.
    sanantone likes this.
  18. Mechanical Ibex

    Mechanical Ibex New Member

    I think that's a very reasonable assumption--not at all rude. I made my resume from scratch in LaTeX (a typesetting program) and a redacted version is being used by my state's university as an example of a good STEM resume, so I think it's pretty solid. I've had various people in the University's career center look over various versions, so there shouldn't be anything obviously horrible. I have used different types of resumes in hopes that a skill-based or experienced-based resume would fare better. Though, I admit that I don't usually submit a cover letter.
  19. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    Not to be mean but I wouldn't necessarily trust the career center. They may be giving you advice that worked a few years ago but no longer works now. That they're using your resume as an example of a good resume doesn't really mean much, IMO. When looking for resume examples in the past to copy, I've found examples of supposedly "good" resumes that contradicted everything you're supposed to be doing. It makes it confusing to apply.

    Do you feel like sharing the redacted version of your resume? Maybe it's just an issue with something relatively trivial and not obvious to most people.
  20. MiracleWhipz

    MiracleWhipz Member

    I did this once and the resume feedback they gave was great with the exception that I work for the government so it was all wrong lol I only say this because sometimes they use techniques that aren't your particular fields go to for what to look for on a resume. I would honestly have someone look at it again as an outsider with an actual HR eye. Also, again I don't want to dissuade anyone in here but I do think data analytics would probably be a great field for you over engineering. I'd give it a look but it's up to you of course :)
    Rachel83az likes this.

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