Wentworth has seven engineering programs and four engineering technology programs. The engineering programs are Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electromechanical Engineering, Engineering (Interdisciplinary) and Mechanical Engineering. The engineering technology programs are Civil Engineering Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology. The Electromechanical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (EAC/ABET). The other engineering programs are new and started in 2011. The engineering technology programs are accredited by Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering (TAC/ABET).
What is the difference between engineering and engineering technology?
Engineering and engineering technology are separate but intimately related professions. Here are some of the ways they differ:
- Engineering undergraduate programs include more mathematics work and higher level mathematics than engineering technology programs.
- Once they enter the workforce, engineering graduates typically spend their time planning, while engineering technology graduates spend their time making plans work.
- At ABET, the national accrediting agency for engineering and engineering technology programs, the two types of programs are evaluated and accredited by two separate accreditation commissions using two separate sets of accreditation criteria.
- Graduates from engineering programs are called engineers, while graduates of engineering technology programs are often called technologists.
- Some U.S. state boards of professional engineering licensure will allow only graduates of engineering programs and not engineering technology programs to become licensed engineers. Visit www.nicet.org for information on certification for engineering technologists.
- Source: ABET, Frequently Asked Questions – Parents and Students, www.abet.org/faqs_hs.shtml (accessed 1.7.2010)
Professional licensure for engineers and engineering technologists varies for each state and territory in the United States, but in general, requires a four-step process that includes (1) graduating from an ABET accredited program, (2) passing the Fundamentals of Engineering examination, (3) acquiring appropriate work experience (coop does not count), and (4) passing the Principles and Practices of Engineering examination. More specific information about the process can be found at www.ncees.org. One common difference for professional licensure between graduates of engineering and engineering technology programs is the amount of work experience that is required after graduation before being eligible to obtain licensure. Most states require four years work experience after graduating with an engineering degree while the amount of time varies for graduates of engineering technology programs ranging from four years to as many as eight years in some states, including Massachusetts. There are also some states that currently do not allow graduates with an engineering technology degree to become licensed professional engineers, for example, Florida. If you are interested in becoming a licensed engineer in a particular state you should review the regulations in that state. This information is available at www.ncees.org/Licensing_boards.php.
There are very few graduate programs in engineering technology compared to the number of graduate programs in engineering, and only one doctoral program in engineering technology has been proposed nationally. Graduates of undergraduate engineering technology programs may be accepted into graduate engineering programs without additional course work but past experience indicates that more frequently they will be asked to take additional courses, often in mathematics. It should be noted that Wentworth graduates from both our engineering and engineering technology programs have done very well in the graduate school environment.