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Frequently Asked Questions

Click the following links for answers to frequently asked questions:

What is the degree and what can I do with it?

The Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology Management (ETM) program contains a comprehensive blend of ETM courses, economics courses, and a large number of business electives to build a layer of technical management knowledge and skills on the technical foundation developed in an engineering technology associate degree program.  Coursework includes project management, cost and work analysis, systems decision making, probability and statistics, and quality practices.  Communication skills and teaming are an integral part of the curriculum. The ETM program will enable graduates to manage technical projects and teams and be an effective interface between technicians and upper managers.  They will typically serve as technical project managers, functional managers for technical personnel, supervisors, or entrepreneurs in their technical field.

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For whom is the degree designed?

This degree program is designed for both working adults and traditional students. Working adults, who possess excellent technical training and knowledge, but not a bachelor's degree, may find career advancement options limited. For the working adult, our evening ETM courses and laboratories are scheduled to allow convenient degree completion options. The addition of a traditional daytime format is in the planning stage.

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Where can I take courses?

Many of the lower division courses (100 and 200-level) are completed at a technical college as part of an Engineering Technology Associate's degree.  After earning an Associate degree in an approved engineering technology area, students complete two additional years of education through USC Upstate to earn a Bachelor's degree in Engineering Technology Management . This 2+2 baccalaureate degree requires an Associate degree in an ABET accredited engineering technology program prior to full entry into the program, although some coursework may be taken at USC Upstate prior to completion of the associate degree.  ETM courses are currently being offered at the University Center of Greenville (UCG) with an online component.  Support courses can be completed at USC Upstate, UCG, and online.  Not all support courses can be found at UCG or online.  Traditional daytime ETM course offerings at USC Upstate are in the planning stage.

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When can I take courses?

Lab-based ETM courses and the senior seminar course meet once per week in the evening.  With the exception of the Senior Seminar, the lecture component of ETM courses is offered online.  Some, but not all, support courses are offered in the evening or online.  Some general education courses are available only during the day.  Traditional daytime ETM course offerings are in the planning stage.

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Do I need an Associate's degree to enter the ETM program?

According to the 2005 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Strong technical knowledge is essential for engineering managers, who must understand and guide the work of their subordinates and explain the work in non-technical terms to senior management and potential customers.  Therefore, these management positions usually require work experience and formal education in an engineering technology area.”  Consequently, students must have an Associates degree from an ABET accredited engineering technology program to be able to receive the B.S. ETM degree. More information is located under Articulation.

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Does my ET degree need to be from an accredited program?

Students must possess an ABET Accredited Associates degree in Engineering Technology.  Students may be admitted to the program, but may take no more than 12 hours of ETM courses without the appropriate Associates degree.

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What prior coursework will transfer into the ETM program?

When you apply for admissions to USC Upstate, you must request official copies of transcripts be sent to the Office of Admissions.  If you are accepted to USC Upstate, your transcripts will be sent to the Division of Natural Sciences and Engineering office.  The Division Chair will evaluate your transcripts relative to the ETM program and determine what courses will transfer into the program.  You will receive notification from the Division that you have been accepted into the program along with your advisor’s name.  At that point, you should contact your advisor to discuss the results and to make a multi-year plan for completing the ETM program.

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How many credit hours can I transfer from a technical college?

A maximum of 76 hours from a technical college, which includes 31 hours of technical content, may be counted toward degree credit at USC Upstate.  The last 31 hours of the ETM program must be from USC Upstate courses.

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Where do I enroll in the program?

USC Upstate has partnered with the following outstanding South Carolina Technical Colleges: Greenville Technical CollegePiedmont Technical CollegeSpartanburg Community CollegeTri-County Technical College, and York Technical College.  Each partner institution has specific programs designed to seamlessly transfer into the USC Upstate ETM program.  In effect, when you enroll in an engineering technology curriculum at one of our partner institutions, you have entered the ETM program. You will, as a student bound for the USC Upstate Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology Management program, have access to both a technical college and USC Upstate advisor.  Your advisors will guide you at every step of the way to help you successfully complete your program of study.  If you already possess or are near completion of an Engineering Technology degree, you can apply for admission to USC Upstate through the Office of Admissions website.

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How long will it take to complete the degree?

An Associate’s degree in Engineering Technology typically takes two years to complete full-time.  A Bachelor of Science degree in ETM program typically takes an additional two years of full-time study.  Part-time students taking two courses per semester including some summer courses can typically complete the +2 ETM program in four years.  More information is located under Curriculum and Courses.

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Is the ETM degree accredited?

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) regionally accredits the University. 

The Engineering Technology Management program is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 - telephone: (410) 347-7700.  ABET is the recognized accrediting body for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology.

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Why is accreditation important?

As students earn their degrees and begin looking for job, having a degree from an ABET accredited institution is an advantage.  The accreditation is an assurance that USC Upstate meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.  To employers, graduate schools, and licensure, certification, and registration boards, graduation from an accredited program signifies adequate preparation for entry into the profession.  In fact, many of these groups require graduation from an accredited program as a minimum qualification.

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How much will I earn when I get this degree?

Earnings for engineering managers vary by specialty, level of responsibility, and experience.  According to the 2005 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, median annual earnings of engineering managers were $97,630 in May 2004.  The middle 50 percent earned between $78,820 and $121,090.  Your earnings will be highly dependent on your work experience and technical discipline.

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What is the employment outlook for ETM graduates?

According to the 2005 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, "Engineering managers held about 233,000 jobs in 2004.  About 27 percent worked in professional, scientific, and technical services industries, primarily for firms providing architectural, engineering, and related services; computer systems design and related services; and scientific research and development services.  Other large employers include government agencies and telecommunications and utilities companies.  Projected employment growth for engineering managers should be closely related to the growth of the occupations they supervise and of the industries in which they are found.  For example, opportunities for managers should be better in rapidly growing areas of engineering such as environmental and biomedical engineering than in more slowly growing areas, such as nuclear and aerospace engineering.

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What are engineering managers’ working conditions?

According to the 2005 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, "Engineering managers spend most of their time in an office.  Some managers may work in laboratories, where they may be exposed to the same conditions as research scientists, or in industrial plants, where they may be exposed to the same conditions as production workers.  Most managers work at least 40 hours a week and may work much longer on occasion to meet project deadlines.  Some may experience considerable pressure to meet technical or scientific goals on a short deadline or within a tight budget.

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What is the nature of engineering management work?

According to the 2005 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, "Engineering managers plan, coordinate, and direct research, design, and production activities.  They may supervise engineers, scientists, and technicians, along with support personnel.  These managers use their knowledge of engineering to oversee a variety of activities.  They determine scientific and technical goals within broad outlines provided by top executives.  These goals may include improving manufacturing processes, advancing scientific research, or developing new products.  Managers make detailed plans to accomplish these goals.  For example, they may develop the overall concepts of a new product or identify technical problems preventing the completion of a project.
To perform effectively, they also must acquire knowledge of administrative procedures, such as budgeting, hiring, and supervision.  These managers propose budgets for projects and programs and determine staff, training, and equipment needs.  They hire and assign scientists, engineers, and support personnel to carry out specific parts of each project.  They also supervise the work of these employees, review their output, and establish administrative procedures and policies.

In addition, these managers use communication skills extensively.  They spend a great deal of time coordinating the activities of their unit with those of other units or organizations.  They confer with higher levels of management; with financial, production, marketing, and other managers; and with contractors and equipment and materials suppliers.

Engineering managers may supervise people who design and develop machinery, products, systems, and processes, or they may direct and coordinate production, operations, quality assurance, testing, or maintenance in industrial plants.  Many are plant engineers, who direct and coordinate the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of equipment and machinery in industrial plants.  Others manage research and development teams that produce new products and processes or improve existing ones.

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Are there graduate school options for ETM graduates?

An MBA seems to be to most promising option for graduate programs available to ETM graduates.  For example, the University of South Carolina and Clemson University offer programs in the evening at the University Center of Greenville.

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What is the history of the the ETM program?

The ETM program was developed in concert with an advisory group consisting of industry representatives and technical college representatives from Greenville Technical College, Piedmont Technical College, Spartanburg Community College, Tri-County Technical College, and York Technical College.  It was approved and began offering classes in the Fall 2006 semester.

Click on the following links to view press releases providing some history of the program:

The industrial advisory committee, consisting of industry and technical college representatives, continues to guide the program.

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The Engineering Technology Management program is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 - telephone: (410) 347-7700.

Program Resources

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Division Chair
Jeannie Chapman, Ph.D.

Program Coordinator
Mr. Timothy Ellis

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USC Upstate
Division of Natural Sciences and Engineering
800 University Way
Horace C. Smith Building, Room 215
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: 864-552-4235
Fax: 864-347-3380
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