Online Engineering Degree Programs in Virginia
Virginia—home to some of the best engineering programs in the nation, as well as numerous engineering societies—is an excellent location for aspiring professionals in this field. By illustration, the U.S. News & World Report (2018) ranked Virginia Tech as the 27th best engineering program in the country, and the University of Virginia was close behind at 39th.
Additionally, there’s an abundance of professional organizations across the state offering advocacy, educational resources, networking, and a myriad other benefits to engineers, including the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers, the Virginia Society of Healthcare Engineers, and the various other societies that operate within state borders.
While support from these organizations and proximity to quality education are two excellent reasons to consider a career in this field, another compelling factor is the expected industry growth over the coming decade. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (October 2016) predicted a significant increase in engineering positions nationally between 2014 and 2024, including the following rapidly growing subfields of the discipline: biomedical (23.1 percent increase in positions across the U.S., 2014-2024); environmental (12.4 percent); and civil (8.4 percent).
In Virginia (VA) specifically, the expected percentages were even higher. According to Projections Central (2017), the top-growing subfields of engineering included biomedical (24.5 percent increase in positions across VA, 2014-2024), environmental (15.5 percent), civil (8.9 percent), and computer hardware (8.3 percent). Notably, all of these projections were higher than the average expected growth across all occupations nationally during that time (6.5 percent).
Furthermore, engineers earn relatively competitive salaries; the average salary for all engineering occupations in Virginia was $87,280, according to the BLS (May 2016); some earned substantially more such as aerospace engineers, a field that has an annual average wage of $130,580. By comparison, the average annual salary for all positions in the state was $53,090.
In general, a job as an engineer can be rewarding and may come with significant benefits, including future job security and excellent compensation. Prior to joining one of the subfields of the discipline, of course, it’s important to seek out the proper training and education. While some aspiring engineers look toward traditional, on-campus programs, a growing number of students are pursuing their degrees through online programs, which are offered at many high-quality institutions in Virginia and staffed by skilled educators.
This guide features online engineering programs in VA at different degree levels, as well as the expected coursework, pricing, and three outstanding professors.