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Mechanical engineers know that limits are meant to be tested and pushed. Manufacturing processes can be streamlined, design concepts can be refined, and engineering problems can be solved. Careers in engineering are no different. Professionals who devote themselves to perfecting and expanding their skills will be the ones who advance their careers, whether by taking on new responsibilities or pivoting into an entirely new role.  

The University of Texas at Austin offers a 100% online Master of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering that can help you take your skill set and career to the next level. Throughout our program, you’ll learn how to better design, analyze and produce products and design processes. Before we dive into the specifics of our MS in Mechanical Engineering program, let’s discuss why earning a master’s degree is the next logical step in your career.  

1. Increase Your Earning Potential 
Let’s crunch some numbers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mechanical engineers earn an average annual salary of $88,430, but that doesn’t give us a complete picture. Entry-level mechanical engineers will earn an average salary of $60,000 a year, according to PayScale. Generally, engineers in this group have minimal experience and training. On the other end of the spectrum are experienced mechanical engineers, who can earn nearly $140,000 a year. A master’s degree can help mechanical engineers gain the experience and credentials needed to increase their earning potential. 

2. Find a Rewarding Career
Job satisfaction can be just as important as earning potential. After all, if you plan on spending your working years as a mechanical engineer, why not find a career you enjoy? U.S. News & World Report breaks job satisfaction down into three categories: upward mobility, stress level and flexibility. Mechanical engineering ranks average to high in all of these categories. However, if you want to maximize your job satisfaction, you’re going to need a master’s degree. Our MS in Mechanical Engineering program produces leaders who can not only overcome engineering challenges but also realize their professional aspirations. 

3. Grow Alongside the Engineering Field
Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow by 4% over the course of the next decade, according to the BLS. However, the field of mechanical engineering isn’t just growing. It’s evolving, expanding into new areas with every game-changing innovation. 

Take a look at the automotive industry. The internal combustion engine, an industry staple for over a hundred years, is slowly but surely being phased out by lithium-ion batteries. This rise in the prominence of electric vehicles is being accompanied by the widespread adoption of industrial automation, yet another area where engineers can lend their expertise. The future is bright for mechanical engineers, so long as they can keep up with major societal and technological shifts. 

In our Executive MS in Mechanical Engineering program, course content is updated regularly in response to industry trends. Industry trends currently covered in our program include:

  • Distributed energy systems, such as electric vehicles, renewable energy, and smart grids.
  • Just-in-time manufacturing. 
  • Robotics for manufacturing and healthcare.

In addition to regularly updating course content, our esteemed faculty members teach practical lessons that students can apply directly to their careers. Through experiential learning opportunities, students in our professional master’s degree program learn how to harness emerging technology to solve the world’s most pressing engineering challenges.  

4. Take Advantage of New Opportunities 
By becoming lifelong learners, mechanical engineers open themselves up to new and evolving opportunities, as was the case with Pallavi Baddam. Baddam got her start as a mechanical engineer developing gas turbine control systems, but by pushing herself to learn new skills, she’s been able to move into a number of other diverse roles. Her open-mindedness has helped her excel in her current position as a manager at Mitsubishi Compressors International. “Young engineers need to adopt the same mindset: Learn wherever and whatever they can, and be persistent to succeed in today’s quickly evolving industry,” wrote Baddam in an article for Forbes.

Mechanical engineers can take Baddam’s advice by pursuing a master’s degree in engineering. At UT Austin, our Executive MS in Mechanical Engineering program is composed of 10 courses encompassing a wide range of mechanical engineering topics, including automatic control, applied thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. This comprehensive overview will allow you to advance in your current career or pivot into new, exciting roles. Better yet, our 100% online and asynchronous program allows students to continue working while pursuing their graduate credentials. When a new opportunity presents itself, our graduate students are ready — and qualified — to pursue it.  

Earn a Professional Master’s Degree in Engineering From UT Austin  

How would a master’s degree change your life? Would it result in increased career earnings, mobility or satisfaction? Perhaps all three? While we can’t predict the future, we do know that moving beyond the seemingly impossible is the goal of every engineer, and this forward-focused approach can lead to a truly rewarding career. If you’re interested in reaping the benefits of a master’s degree, apply to our 100% online MS in Mechanical Engineering program. You won’t know how far a graduate program can take you until you apply.  

Not yet ready to pursue a master’s degree? UT Austin also offers an online graduate Mechanical Engineering Controls Certificate. This program can help you expand your knowledge of the control and optimization of processes and systems. All 9 credit hours earned in this graduate certificate program can be applied to the Executive MS in Mechanical Engineering, so long as you’re accepted and in good academic standing.  

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