The Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM) program in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department was recently ranked the fourth best online master’s engineering management degree in the country by the 2020 Best Value Colleges rankings Guide to Online Schools for 121 programs, as published by Optimal. MIE Department Head Sundar Krishnamurty responded to the superior ranking obtained by the MSEM program by saying that “Our curriculum uniquely integrates engineering skillsets with management knowledge at an affordable cost to best address our global challenges.”
The Optimal rankings were compiled, as the organization said, to help people make a crucial decision about where to enroll in the finest engineering management online master’s programs and get the best bang for their buck. According to Optimal, “knowing the return on investment of a specific degree and major before making a decision is key to evading insurmountable debt.”
“Not only does our ranking attest to our program’s return on investment,” said MSEM Director Woodrow W Winchester III, “but it speaks to the effectiveness of our program in equipping our students with the skills and competencies demanded by industry.”
According to MIE Associate Professor and Associate Department Head Ana Muriel, “Our program is built around industry needs, flexibility, and affordability. Our outstanding Industrial Advisory Board has been instrumental in identifying the skills that industry is currently seeking.”
Muriel added that “The ability to complete the full program online or take any desired number of courses on campus [in normal times] affords the students the flexibility to accommodate their own timelines and geographical requirements over different semesters, as well as the opportunity to take a wider variety of courses.”
Muriel’s comments were backed up my Moriah Connolly, a professional who has actually taken the MSEM coursework to improve her on-the-job skills: "With the flexibility of the MSEM program, I've been able to take courses that apply directly to my day-to-day job function. I had more of a management background, and this program gave me a foundation of technical skills that help me become a more well-rounded professional in the supply chain industry."
Winchester pointed to one of MSEM’s online instructors, MIE Lecturer and College of Engineering Entrepreneur-in-Residence Eric Crawley, who is doing especially innovative teaching in light of the COVID-19 pandemic with coursework which, as Winchester noted, “speaks to the responsiveness of our program in meeting emerging challenges.”
“As a former student of the MSEM program from the days when it was delivered remotely on video tape, I have tried to make my course, Engineering Leadership & Entrepreneurship, useful and engaging to online students,” said Crawley. “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a great case study for the students when analyzing engineering leadership and ethical challenges, and I have been able to quickly incorporate this into the course to make the material even more relevant."
Winchester summarized the quality and value of the MSEM program this way: “It provides a flexible curriculum that is balanced by both an engineering methods and management core (offered in collaboration with the Isenberg School of Management), instructors with real world experiences, and continuing educational/professional development resources afforded through our academic partnership with the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM).”
In essence, said Winchester, “Our MSEM program, including our Graduate Certificate in Engineering Project Management and Leadership, offers a supportive online experience that allows STEM professionals to build upon their technical depth with the relevant managerial breadth to broaden their decision-making frames and abilities.” See related article: MIE Department Launches Graduate Certificate in Engineering Project Management and Leadership.
According to Optimal, the methodology for the rankings incorporated a return on investment formula to show accredited programs with the best value. Since the cost and return of a college can significantly vary by the degree, tuition rates and salary numbers were specific to degree-level and major. All tuition rates were manually researched on official school websites in order to ensure accuracy. Salary figures were reported by PayScale and reflect earnings of students 10 or more years after graduation. (April 2020)