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School of Arts and Sciences

Engineering vs. Engineering Technology

ABET ACCREDITATION | ENGINEERING LICENSURE

Differences Between Engineering and Engineering Technology Degree Programs

Students who are considering technical careers may be unfamiliar with engineering technology or may misunderstand its relationship to engineering. Engineering technology programs emphasize the practical application of mathematical, scientific and engineering principles while engineering programs emphasize the theoretical study of the same mathematical, scientific and engineering principles. Neither program is inherently superior to the other and both programs effectively prepare graduates for productive careers and for further study in graduate school.

Point Park electrical engineering alumnus Joseph Reutzel credits course work with helping him land a job.
Joseph Reutzel earned a degree in electrical engineering technology.
"The hands-on training I got was very impressive," he said.

From an educational standpoint, the measure of any undergraduate curriculum in engineering or engineering technology is its accreditation by ABET. This body accredits engineering technology programs through its Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission and engineering programs through its Engineering Accreditation Commission.

The baccalaureate programs in civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering technology at Point Park University are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET (www.abet.org).

In the workplace, career paths for engineering and engineering technology graduates are on the whole very similar. (In fact, surveys have shown that some companies prefer to employ engineering technology graduates for their strong practical skills in technology, communication, and collaboration.) Under the laws of most states, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a graduate of either an engineering or engineering technology program is eligible for licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) after gaining the requisite experience and taking the prescribed examinations.

John Kudlac, Ph.D., Discusses Engineering vs. Engineering Technology