Skills gap: Consider an online Master’s in Systems Engineering

Holistic approach to managing complex engineering projects developed for 'nontraditional students.'

04/01/2008


University Park , PA —A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) points out that engineers need to continue their education to keep up with advancements and technologies in their fields. In an effort to help engineers achieve this without interrupting their careers , Penn State’s World Campus , a unit of Penn State Outreach, is accepting applications for a new online Master in Systems Engineering.

BLS found that “it is important for engineers, as it is for workers in other technical and scientific occupations, to continue their education throughout their careers because much of their value to their employer depends on their knowledge of the latest technology.” The report reveals that job opportunities for engineers are expected to be “good” since the number of engineering graduates is roughly equal to the number of positions expected to open up. It forecasts a strong demand in the near future for engineering firms to replace retiring engineers.

Systems engineering is a holistic approach to managing complex engineering projects; developed first in the aerospace industry and the military, it has been adopted by other engineering disciplines. Systems engineering applies to a variety of systems, including large systems, such as power plants; small systems, such as circuit components; or computer hardware and software systems.

The new program was developed for adult and nontraditional students, according to .Dr. Craig Weidemann, Penn’s vice president of outreach. “Technology advances at such a rapid rate that engineers need to replenish their technical knowledge before it becomes outdated. What they need are educational opportunities that allow them to remain in their fields while they learn new information through programs such as our online master’s degree in systems engineering.”

Dr. James Nemes, lead faculty for the new program, explained that an undergraduate degree is increasingly looked on as an entry-level qualification. To advance into management positions, engineers need to broaden their knowledge and skills. “While an undergraduate degree offers a solid foundation in science and mathematics for engineers, employers are looking for more,” said Nemes. “Students in the systems engineering program develop skills that go beyond that core foundation, such as project management, system management and communications skills.”

There are also numerous resources targeting students much earlier in their engineering careers.

--edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor, Control Engineering Daily News Desk





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.