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There are three primary reasons to learn mechanical engineering online: completion of an engineering degree, upgrading skills, and personal interest. A mechanical engineer is a licensed professional, who must complete an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. In addition, specific work experience and related examinations are required to become a professional engineer (P.Eng).
There are a wide range of opportunities to learn mechanical engineering online. There are dedicated online schools, which offer courses in the different aspects of mechanical engineering. These schools are independently operated, and not affiliated with any traditional college or university. The types of student services available from this type of school can be quite limited, due to the lack of a cohesive organizational structure or student base.
There is a range of traditional universities that offer programs in mechanical engineering online. These programs are all supported by the accredited university, providing access to a wide range of student services. In addition, students have the opportunity to complete courses in the classroom setting, if required.
To learn mechanical engineering online, all institutes will require minimum academic credentials as part of the application process. Although the requirements vary by school, most programs require high school courses in calculus, algebra, physics, and English. Candidates who have completed other post-secondary training programs can often receive transfer credits for prior learning or work experience. This reduces the number of courses required, decreasing the time and cost of learning mechanical engineering.
To get a sense of the type of courses that are part of this program, look at the free courses available online. For example, MIT Open Course Ware&Ref; provides free access to all its undergraduate courses, including mechanical engineering. A great way to find out the level of effort that is required to be successful in this program is to attempt to complete a first-year course.
There is a range of post-graduate programs, certificates, and courses in mechanical engineering available to qualified engineers. The primary purpose of these courses is to provide cross training, upgrade skills, and stay current in this fast-changing field. These courses are often available online to make it more convenient for students who are working full time.
Mechanical engineering is a fascinating area of study and is one of the oldest disciplines in engineering. Many hobbyists and inventors invest time and effort to learn mechanical engineering online. Building on this knowledge, he or she can create new machines, tools, and improve existing designs. Many inventors study on their own time, building new products that can either represent the starting point for a new business or be sold to another company to further develop.
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