5 Benefits of an MSCE Degree

Smiling civil engineer with blueprint in his hands

As cities keep growing, civil engineers are needed more than ever to rebuild aging infrastructures and adapt existing systems to meet rapid change. While a bachelor’s degree prepares students with the knowledge and technical skills to enter the civil engineering field, a master’s program guides working engineers on the path to leadership.

These five benefits of a Master of Science in Civil Engineering degree are just some of the ways an advanced degree helps engineers excel and prosper in their careers.

Develop your passion with a variety of classes

Students with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering have training in general civil engineering subjects and often a specialty education in one particular focus area within the field. A master’s degree offers an advanced curriculum with a deeper focus on the individual subjects, providing engineers advantages for climbing the ladder within their chosen area of study. At Ohio University, the online Master of Science in Civil Engineering provides the opportunity to focus on a wide range of topics within the areas of construction, structural, transportation, and environmental engineering. This education is designed to further prepare engineers for trends in industry globalization, renewable energy sources, and new technologies.

Expand your skills to lead your field

In addition to honing mathematical and analytical skills, master’s degree students strengthen the professional and leadership abilities they will need to further their careers. Civil engineering students who attain master’s degrees often have an advantage in gaining competitive positions as engineering managers by leveraging advanced skills in communication, decision-making, problem solving, and delegating tasks.

Help fill the demand for essential civil engineers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for civil engineers will increase by eight percent by 2024. The projected growth for engineering managers in the engineering services industry is 12 percent over the same time period. As the population continues to grow and urbanization increases, new infrastructure needs will expand. Aging infrastructure including bridges, roads, and dams that are in stages of disrepair will need to be rebuilt and repaired. Water systems and additional waste treatment plants will need designed and upgraded. Civil engineers will also play a major role in developing new solutions, including renewable energy sources and sustainable technologies that will alleviate pressure on the country’s dwindling natural resources.

Expand industries new and old

Since construction and infrastructure repair is a major part of this country’s continually evolving economy, civil engineers have the advantage of choosing from a variety of industries for employment. The BLS states that in 2014, there were roughly 281,400 jobs for civil engineers, 46 percent of which were in engineering services. There were approximately 182,100 jobs for engineering and architectural managers in that same year. These managerial jobs were mostly in manufacturing (36 percent) and in architectural and engineering related services (25 percent). Many civil engineers also work for the government on federal, state, or local levels. They may construct nonresidential buildings, develop pipeline transportation, and engage in scientific research and development services. As new technologies bolster the movement for sustainability in construction, environmental engineers can find themselves working in areas such as urban and regional planning, public health, waste disposal, water and air pollution control, and recycling.

Understand the industry’s promising salary and benefits

Civil engineers receive competitive salaries for their skills. Attaining a master’s degree can give engineers an edge when looking to improve their career growth, management potential, and earnings outlook. In May 2015, the BLS determined the median annual wage for civil engineers was $82,220. For environmental engineers it was $84,560, and for architectural and engineering managers the figure was $132,800. The industries with the highest average salaries — ranging from $110,210 to $130,750 — involve oil and gas extraction, pipeline transportation of crude oil, waste collection, petroleum and coal products manufacturing, and specialized design services. The top paying states for civil engineers are Alaska, District of Columbia, California, Texas, and New Jersey.

With the job outlook on the rise for the civil engineering field, there will continue to be employment opportunities in various industries, both within the commercial and governmental sectors. Civil engineers who possess a master’s degree will be better equipped to rise within their career specialization.

Building as many skills and attaining as much experience as possible will serve to guide engineers on the path to success — especially as society strives to engineer better structures, infrastructures, systems, and advanced technology-based solutions for better living and working.

Learn More

For more than a century, Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology has been teaching engineers how to create for good – how to engineer a better future with responsible and sustainable design. Learn more about our online Master of Science in Civil Engineering program and master how to effectively supervise, plan, design, construct, and operate the infrastructures essential to connect the modern world.


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