Many who are looking for an efficient and flexible way to earn their degree look toward online classes as a solution. Taking online classes give you the flexibility of ″going to class″ when it is convenient for you, rather than having to schedule time out of your day, away from work and family, to go to class on campus. For many disciplines, completely online degree programs exist that provide the same level of education as you would receive in a traditional program. However with some degree programs, such as Chemical Engineering, degree programs that are completely online are just not practical.
Chemical Engineering degrees have a focus on subjects such as chemistry, physics, biochemistry, and biology that are difficult or impossible to teach in an online environment. Many classes in these subjects require lab time and hands on experience that you just can’t get over the internet. Some of the other classes that are typical to a Chemical Engineering degree, such as mathematics, thermodynamics, economics, and certain other science, communications and writing classes could be structured to be taken in an online environment. For this reason, an online bachelor and master degree program is often really a hybrid program, consisting of some online classes and some lab classes taken on campus. There are only a few schools that offer a hybrid online degree program, so your online options may be limited of you do not live near one of these schools.
If you do find a hybrid online program near you, it is advisable to do some research to ensure that you understand the program’s requirements and that you can find classes that will fit your schedule.
Prospective students will most likely wish to choose a school that is accredited with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Proper accreditation ensures that the education you are about to work very hard to achieve will be recognized and respected by other education institutions and prospective employers.
Typically a bachelor degree is required to work as a Chemical Engineer, but if you can find a degree program that works for you, it can definitely pay off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the median wage for a Chemical Engineer is 94,350 per year, as of 2012. There are fewer jobs available in this industry than in some others so it may take a little longer to find a position. Once you find a position, however, it will likely be a rewarding, challenging and high paying position.