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Engineering or Technology?

You may prefer to study engineering, which emphasizes theory and design, or technology, which emphasizes the hands-on application of theory. While all programs of undergraduate study in the college culminate in a Bachelor of Science degree, you will find other differences between engineering and technology before and after graduation.

Engineering programs

  • Are calculus based
  • Stress the underlying theory of applications in business and industry
  • Provide intensive work in experimental methods and related underlying theories in the lab courses
  • Stress general design principles and tools applicable to a wide variety of problems

Technology programs

  • Are generally algebra based, although calculus is taught and it's use is required
  • Stress the application of current technical knowledge and methods in the solution of current business and industrial problems
  • Stress practical design solutions and manufacturing and evaluation techniques appropriate for industrial problems
  • Stress the application of current, well-established design procedures to problems in specialized technical areas

After Graduation

The differences exist on a continuum, but you will generally find the following to be true about the career paths engineering and technology students follow after they graduate.


Engineering graduates

  • Will be considered for entry-level positions in conceptual design, systems engineering, manufacturing, or product research and development
  • May require on-the-job training because studies emphasize fundamentals
  • Are eligible to become registered professional engineers in all states through a series of examinations and documentation of experience
  • Are eligible for graduate study in engineering and other areas

Technology graduates

  • Will be considered for entry-level positions in product design, development, testing, technical operations, or technical sales and service
  • Are prepared to begin technical assignments immediately because studies emphasize current industrial practices and design procedures
  • May become professionally certified in their specific area of expertise (and in many states may become registered professional engineers, though the process differs from that of engineering graduates)
  • Are eligible to study for advanced degrees in technical education and business, but may find entry to graduate engineering programs difficult (because of the emphasis on hands-on learning rather than theory)
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