Engineering vs. engineering technology

Engineering and engineering technology are similar degrees, but have notable differences. 

Students: if you’re considering a career in engineering, you may find it helpful to review these two areas — as they can easily be misunderstood — and to think about what you want to do with your degree on a daily basis. 

According to the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE):

Engineering programs are geared toward development of conceptual skills, and consist of a sequence of engineering fundamentals and design courses…. Engineering technology programs are oriented toward application…and [include] only a qualitative introduction to engineering fundamentals. Thus, engineering programs provide their graduates a breadth and depth of knowledge that allows them to function as designers. Engineering technology programs prepare their graduates to apply others’ designs.

If you want to develop ideas and concepts, work with theoretical knowledge, and utilize  engineering sciences to establish engineering designs, an engineering degree may be the best route for you. 

Anderson University is the only Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) school in the Midwest offering ABET-accredited programs in computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering. AU, alone, holds this designation in the Midwest, and is one of only four universities in the entire CCCU with this distinction. We also recently launched our newest engineering major in mechatronics engineering, a unique combination of electronics and mechanical engineering.

On the flip side, if you’re more interested in applying an  engineer’s design using basic engineering principles and technical skills, an engineering technology degree may be the best fit for you.


Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.