No matter what kind of degree you are studying for online, there is going to be some kind of software you will need to be familiar with. Some of the software comprises the word processors you will be using to write those thesis papers that are a core curriculum of just about every course imaginable and some software is proprietary to the course which you will download while on the college site. Also, if you are studying for an online masters engineering degree, you also may need some sort of Auto CAD software or access to cloud based CAD software at the very least. So then, you are looking at two basic types of software, that which is installed on your local machine and that which you access online. Studying online to be an engineer? Then you should have a working knowledge of both kinds.

Software on Your Local Machine

The first line of business is to ensure that you have a solid connection to the Internet. If you are going to be studying online, this connection is vital. Also, you want a connection that is fast and one without a low data ceiling so that you can stream live as you need to, participate in video lectures and upload large projects as the need may arise.

Engineering is also heavy on statistics, presentations and CAD so you will probably want Microsoft Office or some other software compilation that includes:

  • A word processor such as MS Word or Open Office Writer from Apache
  • A spreadsheet software such as MS Excel or Open Office Spreadsheets and Templates
  • MS Project or comparable project management software
  • Auto CAD or comparable
  • MS Publisher or comparable
  • MS PowerPoint
  • MS Visio
  • MS Outlook

These are just the basics as you may be called upon to use other local software that you will help such as that which sends 3D renditions to a 3D printer and accounting software to keep projects on budget. There are so many kinds of software you may need, it’s best to speak with your professors prior to the onset of your online master of engineering course.

Cloud-based Software

Most engineering courses will require you to participate in class projects for a grade and these projects are typically completed in teams. Your university will most always have cloud based software such as video conferencing and project coordination software that you can access individually as well as in groups. In fact, there are so many Cloud-based project management programs out there, such as Basecamp that your school may simply subscribe to one of those for use within its curriculum.

At one point in time all the things you do now for your degree were pretty much handled manually or in local teams meeting at the school campus. Now with so many Cloud-based meeting rooms and chat features, you never even need to leave the comfort of your home to meet with an entire group of students or students and a professor. Familiarize yourself with all the software you will be required to use prior to the first day of ‘classes’ so that you can ace your degree without being handicapped by software you don’t understand.

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