Best of Both Worlds
When Dylan Hogue graduated with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2003, he knew he would some day get his master's degree for career advancement.
"I always thought I would get an MBA," Hogue said. "But when I saw UNL's Master of Engineering with a concentration in Engineering Management, it seemed like the perfect combination of business and engineering I was looking for."
The fact that the degree was offered completely online allowed Hogue to get a great education without sacrificing his current work and family life in Houston, Texas.
Hogue is one of 15 distance students who will graduate from the engineering management program in 2009. The Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Department in the College of Engineering has offered distance courses since 1984, first through correspondence and satellite before moving online. The Master of Engineering, concentration in Engineering Management, has been completely online since 2004, allowing students to work full time and earn their degree part time.
"The faculty who teach these courses have been doing this work for years," said Mike Riley, professor of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering. "The online Master of Engineering allows us to expand our outreach by creating a global classroom."
"I was a little concerned about not feeling connected with the online format," Hogue admitted. "But the structure of the classes with discussion boards, narrated PowerPoint lectures and interactive web-meetings alleviated those concerns after only the first session."
Hogue's course work has applied directly to his job as manufacturing engineer and business system site leader for ATI Firth Sterling. He was able to satisfy a course requirement while simultaneously solving a problem within his organization. Using integer programming, he increased furnace efficiency with the most cost-effective solution.
"Not a day goes by that I don't refer back to something I learned in this program," Hogue said.