Engineering vs Engineering Technology

While both engineering and engineering technology fields offer exciting study and career opportunities, one approach may be more appealing to you. Find what suits your interests and learn how you can prepare for what tomorrow needs at Michigan Technological University.

What are the differences between engineering and engineering technology?

Engineering graduates apply scientific, theoretic, and economic knowledge to research, invent, design, and build structures, devices, and systems, making for a broad discipline that encompasses specialized fields of engineering.

Engineering technology graduates develop, design, and implement engineering and technology solutions, typically pursuing engineering careers in manufacturing firms on design, construction, and product improvement.

Key Differences: Engineering and Engineering Technology

From academics, to careers, to degree options, there are several key differences between engineering and engineering technology fields.


  • Theoretical and conceptual design learning style
  • Emphasis on developing new methods and designs for complex problems
  • Coursework includes multiple semesters of calculus, statistics, linear algebra, and calculus-based physics courses
Engineering Technology
  • Application and implementation learning style
  • Emphasis on applying and implementing current practices to solve specific technical problems
  • Coursework includes multiple semesters of calculus, statistics, and algebra-based physics courses


  • Engineers
  • Innovators
  • Research, development, and design
  • Management or entrepreneurs
Engineering Technology
  • Engineers
  • Implementers
  • Testing, construction, or manufacturing
  • Management or entrepreneurs

Degrees at Michigan Tech

What are the differences between engineering and engineering technology graduates?

Engineering graduates are creative problem solvers. They use their creativity and imagination to find new solutions while working within various limitations, such as the laws of nature, the desires of clients and consumers, available materials, public safety, and more. Much more conceptual and theoretical, engineers typically use more math and spend more time on design than they do working with their hands. Learn more about what engineers do.

Engineering technology graduates are masters of technology, gaining a broad and deep understanding of the processes, systems, tools, and techniques necessary to construct, modify, operate, and maintain an engineering design. They act as technological integrators, bridging the gap between the skilled trades and engineering fundamentals. This is a great career path for those who enjoy engineering concepts but would rather spend time working with their hands solving specific technical issues than tackling broader, more complex design challenges. The degree is engineering technology, the career is engineering. Learn more about engineering technology.