Online Engineering Schools in Arkansas
Arkansas is known as the “Land of Opportunity,” and for aspiring engineers and computer programmers, this nickname rings true. In fact, a relevant job search on Indeed (September 2017) yielded 680 engineering results with organizations such as the Kraft Heinz Company, Rockline Industries, Inc., the Department of the Army, and General Electric, among many others. Of course, these openings are across the gamut of specializations, and some areas are expected to growth faster than others.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (October 2016) reported that virtually all subfields of engineering were expected to swell nationally in the coming decade. The engineering areas predicted to experience the greatest absolute addition of jobs around the country between 2014 and 2024 were civil engineering (305,000 new positions added nationally, 2014-24), mechanical engineering (+292,100 jobs), industrial engineering (+243,200 jobs), electrical engineering (+180,200 jobs), and electronics engineering (+135,500 jobs).
Within Arkansas, Projections Central (2017) found that those high-growth engineering fields would add the following numbers of positions statewide during that same time period:
- Civil engineering – 130 new jobs in Arkansas, 2014-24
- Mechanical engineering – 140
- Industrial engineering – 120
- Electrical engineering – 40
- Electronics engineering – 20
Of course, the fastest growing specializations percentage-wise were slightly different. According to the same report, Arkansas projected that the following subfields would be the fastest growing:
- Biomedical engineering – 28.6 percent increase in Arkansas-based jobs, 2014-24
- Environmental engineering – 16.6 percent
- Computer hardware engineering – 14 percent
- All other engineering – 13.3 percent
- Mechanical engineering – 10.7 percent
Notably, all of these percentages were more robust than the average growth anticipated across all occupations nationally in that same decade (6.5 percent).
Perhaps one of the reasons that the engineering industry is expected to grow so rapidly in Arkansas over the next few years is the wealth of outstanding institutions of higher education in the state. Specifically, Arkansas is home to the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State University, and Arkansas Tech University—all of which host top-notch engineering schools.
Furthermore, Arkansas also hosts a wide array of professional engineering organizations that offer support to members in the form of advocacy, educational training, networking opportunities and events, and other resources. Here are only three of the exceptional societies in this field:
Furthermore, this field provides relatively competitive wages. By illustration, the BLS (May 2016) reported that the engineering and architectural professionals in Arkansas earned an average annual salary of $67,320 per year, while the mean annual wages of all professions in AR was $39,590.
So how does a person in Arkansas join this lucrative and high-growth career? There are many campus-based programs available, but a growing number of aspiring engineers are choosing to complete a degree online, citing the relative flexibility of this format which accommodates residents of rural regions and those with time, work, or family commitments.
This article details the abundance of online engineering programs in Arkansas, including the different degree levels and expected coursework.