Editor's Note: Sources updated June 2019

Here at Grantham University, our engineering programs are in engineering technology. We also offer a variety of engineering and computer science degrees and programs at the certificate, associate, bachelor and masters levels. Students interested in these programs will often ask what the difference is between earning a degree in engineering and one in engineering technology.

Based on a recent presentation given by Grantham’s dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, Dr. Nancy Miller, the answer is … a whole lot of math.

(Author’s note: I’m not a math guy. In fact, the mere mention of Calculus III or Differential Equations makes my head hurt. Fortunately, Dr. Miller wasn’t finished in explaining the differences.)

An engineering degree requires more science and calculus but fewer labs. An engineering technology degree involves more labs with Algebra-based physics. On one hand, there is a lot of complex analysis, design and research ... on the other, a lot of testing, manufacturing, operations and production. High-brow theory versus relevant application. The latter is something most students can wrap their minds around.

If it’s something you can wrap your mind around – maybe to the point of exploring colleges for engineering programs – you might want to think about the jobs in this industry which, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), offer high median salary ranges:

Sales Engineers
By 2026, the BLS projects the need for over 80,000 sales engineers. These professionals sell complex scientific and technological products – and they need to know the ins and outs of equipment for computer systems, telecommunication industries and more.

In May 2018, the median annual salary was $101,420. A bachelor’s degree is typically needed to break into the field.

Computer Hardware Engineers
From processors and circuit boards to systems and networks, these professionals find ways to help us all keep pace with advances in computer technology through design, development and testing.

By 2026, there will be nearly 80,000 available computer hardware engineers jobs in the U.S. – all most likely requiring at least a bachelor’s degree to get in the door. Their median salary was right around $115,000 in May 2018.

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians
While the overall job numbers for this position are not growing quite as fast as some other fields, according to the BLS, the U.S. will still employ over 139,000 of them by 2026.

It will take at least an associate degree to get into the industry, one that currently pays over $63,000 annually on average as of 2018.

Did you earn your online degree in engineering technology? How are you putting it to use? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Interested in taking that next step in your engineering education … but don’t want a ton of math? Whether you’re looking at a cyber security certificate, an associate degree in electronics and computer engineering technology or a bachelor’s in engineering management, Grantham can help.