By Jeff Willadsen, Global Campus Senior Writer
Sometimes you need the right degree to achieve your dreams.
For Dan Simpson, that degree was the Electrical Power Engineering Professional Science Master’s program at WSU Global Campus. Finding this degree program was the opportunity of a lifetime, giving him the ability to earn this innovative degree 100% online while continuing work and building valuable experience in his field.
In 2014, Dan was working as a System engineer at Okanogan PUD in Okanogan, Washington. He greatly enjoyed his work in the utility industry, but he was afraid that his career would stagnate without a boost from earning a high-level degree. However, he didn’t want to upend his career or relocate to earn a degree on a physical campus.
“I would have had to probably quit my job and move without Global Campus,” says Dan. “When I was looking for a master’s program, flexibility was very important to me. Learning online with WSU allowed me to maintain my career in the utility industry and achieve my educational goals at the same time. It was a great decision.”
An innovative and relatively new type of degree program, a Professional Science Master’s, or PSM, trains students in an advanced scientific field while also teaching them the skills to be leaders and managers in a professional environment. This unique mix of disciplines is designed for career advancement in scientific and technical fields.
“The PSM program had the higher-level engineering courses that aligned with my career growth,” said Simpson. “The PSM program also had additional management, legal, and financial courses that a person needs in order to be a well-rounded manager. I was able to apply the concepts in these courses directly to my position as a general manager in the utility field.”
According to Simpson, he was very pleasantly surprised by the innovative teaching methods and techniques used by his Global Campus professors, especially in a highly technical field like electrical power engineering.
“My experience at WSU Global Campus was very positive. This was my first experience taking online courses and I did not know what to expect,” said Simpson. “I was worried that some of the engineering concepts could not be taught outside of a classroom environment. However, the courses were taught by the same instructors teaching on physical WSU campuses. The material is the same material used in the classroom environment.”
“The technical courses in the program definitely gave me a better understanding of how the power system works,” he said. “Additionally, the legal and financial courses gave me a deeper comprehension of how the utility business works. That kind of knowledge is invaluable for advancing in the industry.”
While still in the Electrical Power Engineering PSM program in 2015, Simpson took a position as the general manager of Nespelem Valley Electric Coop. Since graduating from the program in 2019, he has advanced his career further, returning to Okanogan PUD in the position of chief engineer.
“I would highly recommend the PSM program and Global Campus to any working engineer,” said Simpson. “The PSM program directly related to my career as a utility engineer and a manager, and the concepts taught in the program could be applied directly the work I do every day.”
Explore more innovative online degree programs on the Global Campus All Degrees and Majors page.