Plus, as a working professional, you’re less likely to want to go back to school full time. (I’m sure we’ve all been there.) Taking an online course is a great way to freshen up your resume without having to commit to being a full-time employee and a part-time student.
In this article, we’re going to explore some of the top manufacturing engineering courses that you can enroll in online. All of these options are accredited, so get ready to boost your credentials, get a raise, or start down a new career path!
Manufacturing Engineering Courses Online
Are you new to manufacturing?
Maybe you have a technical background, but you never took a formal manufacturing course.
Or, maybe you’re working a manufacturing job, but want to get a promotion or step into a more senior role.
Regardless of your background, these courses are designed for people who are just getting started. While some technical knowledge will always help in manufacturing, it’s not required for these courses.
Here are Learn Robotics’ picks for top beginner manufacturing courses online.
1. Digital Manufacturing & Design Technology Specialization
Did you know we’re in the midst of a Fourth Industrial Revolution? If your factory is undergoing Digital Transformation, then you’ll want to check out the Digital Manufacturing & Design Technology Specialization on Coursera.
This nine-course specialization is designed for learners of all levels and taught by the University of Buffalo. Topics include Advances in Digital Technologies, Intelligent Machining, Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise, and Cyber Security in Manufacturing.
This program is most beneficial for people with an interest in manufacturing and understanding the latest and greatest in factory technologies.
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2. Digital Transformation
Continuing with Digital Transformation, the University of Virginia and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) put together a single course on the subject.
In this course, you’ll learn two paths of Digital Transformation: the pace of change and what it’ll take to win in business with digital technologies. At the end of the course, you’ll be introduced to BCG’s proprietary framework, which helps you identify key areas to digitize, including strategy, core processes, and technology.
This is a beginner-level course that should take you about 20 hours. Of the students who completed the course, 34% started a new career and 27% received a tangible career benefit from taking this course.
If you’re looking for a quick way to get into the Digital Transformation field, without focusing on the technical jargon, then I recommend taking a look at this option.
Advanced Manufacturing Courses
Once you have a few years of experience in manufacturing, you’ll want to graduate to Advanced Manufacturing topics. In this section, we’ll explore advanced topics in manufacturing, that will help you hone your skills and develop a specialty.
3. Autodesk Generative Design for Manufacturing Specialization
Your Design for Manufacturing (DFM) skills will be put to the test as you explore principles in generative design and additive manufacturing. This specialization is a series of four courses curated by Autodesk.
Course 4: Generative Design for Part Consolidation
You can take the courses separately or enroll in the full specialization. Expect to spend about five hours a week for five months on the Autodesk Generative Design for Manufacturing Specialization.
This specialization is part of Coursera Plus, so if you have additional courses you’d like to take over the next year, you’ll save money with the annual subscription plan.
In addition to a Coursera specialization certificate, you’ll also receive recognition from Autodesk. The Autodesk Credential comes with a digital badge and certificate, which you can add to your resume and share on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
The course will focus on developing CAD and CAE skills using Autodesk Fusion 360, so it’s a good option if your company currently uses Fusion for manufacturing.
4. Autodesk CAD and Digital Manufacturing Specialization
Autodesk offers another manufacturing specialization focused on CAD and Digital Manufacturing. You can expect to finish this specialization in three months.
Practice your CAD/CAM/CAE skills and learn about industry trends, while creating your drone. If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to manufacturing career development, then this looks like a fun course to take.
By the end of this Specialization, you’ll have a working drone and an understanding of trends that are influencing the future of manufacturing.Sign up on Coursera
5. Principles of Manufacturing (edX MIT MicroMasters)
If you’re a corporate employee working in manufacturing, then the Principles of Manufacturing MicroMasters should be on your list of professional development programs. The “degree” is hosted on the edX platform and designed by professors at MIT.Based on their curriculum, I’d say that you’d have the most success in this program if you have a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Business. Topics include controlling rate, quality, and cost in a manufacturing enterprise.
Eight courses cover the fundamentals of Process Control, Manufacturing Systems, Management Engineering (Strategy and Leadership), and Supply Chain (Inventory and Capacity Analysis).
As someone who’s completed a Leadership Development Program at a Top 50 Fortune 500 company, I can safely suggest that this program is packed with topics for individuals looking to climb the corporate ladder.
If you’re currently going through your performance feedback review, and you’re looking for professional development or continuous learning opportunities, check this program out. And, who knows, maybe your company will cover the tuition costs!
Should you consider the edX MIT MicroMasters in Manufacturing?
Short answer: Absolutely, yes.
Long answer: Yes, but it depends.
If you complete the online Principles of Manufacturing MicroMasters, you’ll be awarded 48 academic units at MIT, which is the equivalent of 1/3 of the Master of Engineering in Advanced Manufacturing and Design degree. (In my opinion, this is the coolest part of enrolling in this program.)
For a $1400 accountability investment, this isn’t a bad deal at all. Additionally, if you’re not looking to live in Cambridge and finish your degree at MIT, many other schools around the world will accept the MIT MicroMasters. Pretty convenient, right?!
Here’s the shortlist. You can read more about the degrees you can earn on the MIT MicroMasters page.
- Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
- The School of Business at Royal Roads University (Canada)
- RMIT University (Australia)
- Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
- Kangwon National University (KNU)
- The Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK)
- Galileo University (Guatemala)
- Covenant University (Nigeria)
Before jumping into this program, you’ll want to make sure you have the time to dedicate to graduate-level studies. However, if you’re looking for a professional development boost, and don’t want to commit to a complete master’s program, the MIT MicroMasters in Principles of Manufacturing could be exactly what you’re looking for.
And, while you’re working towards the MicroMasters, you’re also earning future credits towards a Masters in Engineering, MBA, or Masters of Science. Pretty cool!
Learn more about the edX MIT Principles of Manufacturing MicroMasters here.
Other Areas in Manufacturing to Learn About
If you’re coming from an engineering background, it’s natural to want to take courses on manufacturing so that you’re ahead of the game.
Here are some additional areas related to manufacturing that you may want to consider:
- 3D printing & Additive Manufacturing
- Lean Six Sigma
- Industrial Design
- Quality Engineering
- Project Management
Action Items: Where should you go from here?
Manufacturing is an expanding career choice. No matter if you’re just starting, or you’re looking to grow your career in corporate operations, these courses can help you hone your skill, and get to the next level.
Furthermore, the best way to advance your career is to take action. Pick a few of the courses from this list and do some research.
- What courses are most interesting to you?
- Which courses fill knowledge gaps that are critical to your current (or future) job?
- When will you set aside time to learn the material?
- How will you pay for it? (Some companies offer tuition reimbursement. But honestly, all it takes is a promotion, and you’ve already 2-5X your investment.)
Take 10-15 minutes to figure out whether you’re ready to commit to an online development program, and then decide how you’ll make it happen.
And lastly, you’ve got this!
Are you working as a Manufacturing Engineer? If you’ve taken an insightful course, be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Have a friend who needs some professional development inspiration? Send them a link to this article!