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Scope after MS in Mechanical

Scope after MS in Mechanical

(OP)
Hi!!

I was wondering , what is the scope of the career after doing MS in Mechanical (research in Fluids/Energy/thermal) in the energy industry? I mean, what type of job titles are common for the above w/o previus industry experience.

Regards,

T.M.



RE: Scope after MS in Mechanical

I have one of those. I got it in night school after working in Oil & Gas for 13 years. I continued in my previous job at my previous salary and responsibilities, I got the degree for me, not them even though my employer paid for it. I was a Facilities Engineer. When I was hiring facilities engineers, I considered an MS with no experience to be a huge liability and wouldn't even talk to anyone with that on their resume--they wanted more money than they were worth to me and tended to quit the minute they had a year's experience. Back when companies had research departments, an MSME and no experience would qualify you to clean test tubes for a PhD. Companies mostly don't have research departments anymore. All of their research dollars go to universities now. I think that is a bad trend, but it is certainly an unmistakable trend.

There are some of the very biggest consulting firms (Jacobs, Flour, etc.) that value an MSME with no experience, but I've heard they don't pay much for those guys (no personal experience). Sometimes the service companies do some research in fluids (Halliburton, Schlumberger) but the way I understand it someone has to die before there is an opening. The chemical companies like Baker have some lab staff, but they mostly look to the Chem E's.

I'd say that your best bet is downplaying the MS and look for an entry-level Production Engineer or Facilities Engineer role somewhere in this very depressed job market. The few entry level openings that I've heard about this summer are in really really crappy locations (Nigeria, far northern BC, North Dakota, the Gobi Desert).

Your most likely path to success is to obtain the title of "Student" and get your PhD. Then you have some options both in academia and industry. Industry just doesn't seem to value MSME very much at all.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Scope after MS in Mechanical

(OP)
I agree with downplaying the MS. But considering the next decade ,how smart is it to get a degree from Texas or Minn. and then scouting Dakota and Illinois for some work. Whats the rationale towards out-of-state degrees?

T.M.

RE: Scope after MS in Mechanical

You've been listening to your school's propaganda way too much. In this industry no one spends their career in the state they started in. No one cares what state your college was in. The Oil & Gas industry is truly global. My degrees are from Arkansas and Colorado and I've worked in every oil/gas producing state in the U.S. and nearly every Gas producing country in the world (not quite, but close). No one has ever asked why I'm working outside Arkansas.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Scope after MS in Mechanical

(OP)
zdas04 .. Thanks for clearing that up.. I was really stuck with the wrong idea in my head. Hope, the situation looks bright when I finish my MS.. I really want to work on something worthwhile to the industry. glasses

Thanks once again,

T.M.

RE: Scope after MS in Mechanical

I mostly agree with David's perspective. We have quite similar backgrounds. I got my BSME then while working obtained my MSME. I also work in the Facilities Engineering department. I'll differ a bit in my experience with David in that when I post for jobs either internally or externally, I usually require a BSME (or similar) and state "MSME preferred". For me, the MSME was a good extension of my education, and without it I probably would not have been considered (or I would not have been as strong a candidate) for my current employer. But there is a significant difference in my experience which differentiates my experiences from Dave's: I have the luxury of being able to hire strictly experienced people for long term roles on my team.

I would counsel against getting a PhD. While I see an MS as an advantage, I've learned to be wary of PhD's with no field experience.

Given the current era of $50 per barrel crude, many in the industry are laying off. But my company is not reducing it's college hiring, and generally speaking a MS is seen as an advantage. Those with an MS typically start at a higher salary, in effect they are one promotion ahead of their BS counterparts. And oil prices are very cyclical. Thus, if you are expecting to graduate with the MSME in a year or two, the hiring scene will likely be better.

As for location of the school... Might matter for your first job if the recruiter has a bias in favor or against, but is irrelevant for the next. My degrees are from two schools which are virtually unknown in the oil business, and I seem to have done alright. Getting an internship would be a good move... and in many cases setting up a summer internship means making contacts in the fall, so don't wait until April to start thinking about that.

RE: Scope after MS in Mechanical

Zdas , I have to ask, why do you regard Northern BC as a crappy location?? Nigeria and Gobi desert, yeah I agree but I have spent a lot of time in Northern BC... and long after I might have been regarded as a recent grad I might add , and if I were a recent grad, I would give my left nut to work there or in the Dakotas, that's where a guy with a good attitude can get a lot of experience and responsibility, way before his colleagues down south ever will.

RE: Scope after MS in Mechanical

Northern BC in the summer with the wind under 30 mph is glorious till the black flies and mosquitoes wake up. One of the prettiest places on earth a half dozen days a year. Northern BC at Arctic temperatures, 100 mph winds, 2 hours of "daylight", and zero visibility is not so attractive. Just like Alaska, if you can deal with the winters, the summers are fantastic. I can't deal with the winters anymore.

As to places to get a lot of useful experience very quickly, every one of the places on my list fit that bill. They are all "sink or swim" kinds of places. I spent time in several of those sorts of frontier plays early in my career and wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Scope after MS in Mechanical

Awe come on now. Even Yellowknife which is north of 60 gets about 7-8 hours of daylight, and Contywoyto Lake which is just south of the Arctic Circle never got less than 5 hours of daylight... altho I'll concede it was pretty scuzzy daylight , so there's no way that anywhere in Northern BC,, south of 60 gets less than 8 hours daylight in mid Dec. As for the wind , don't think I've ever experienced much more than 40mph , altho again I'll concede that at minus 30, that's pretty nippy.


I'm pretty sure we both have about the same number of years experience in our respective fields, but seriously you are doing the youngsters a disservice by stressing the downsides of northern work sites in USA or Canada. You wont get kidnapped by muslim extremists, if you get injured or ill you are never likely to be much more than a 2 hour chopper ride from world class medical facilities, and if you can prove to yourself and others that you can do it in the north , you'll have no problem doing it... whatever that might be somewhere in the south in 5-7-10 years. And lets be clear, for us Canadians, the Dakotas are down south. If the youngsters in the USA cant hack it, I'm sure there are a bunch of Canadian recent grads who will gladly come down south , and show you all how to do it... especially at $43 oil and the corresponding lack of opportunities elsewhere.

RE: Scope after MS in Mechanical

People that want the challenge will not be asking for advice, they'll be telling people they are going. People that ask are looking for excuses not to go. I've known a lot of both kinds over the years and I've never seen someone start a conversation like this one without the goal being to get reinforcement of what they already decided. Me telling the OP that he is doing himself a disservice going for his masters without spending a few years in Fort Mac might as well have been shouting down a well. His mind was made up before he came here looking for reinforcement.

You just can't keep someone with gumption from displaying it. You also can't get someone looking for the safe path to get on the rocky one. I respond to these kinds of threads for the lurkers. It is like the beginning of Heinlein's Glory Road when the hero shows up for the job interview and Ruffo says "one door is the lady, the other is a tiger, if I tell you which is which you'll call me a liar and take the wrong door, a Hero wouldn't ask and someone who would ask is not a hero" (or something like that, I don't have the book open in front of me).

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Scope after MS in Mechanical

Fair comment, I cant disagree with that point of view. It'll be interesting to see how/if the OP now responds. And yeah Fort Mac also builds character, I agree

RE: Scope after MS in Mechanical

(OP)
If I land a job w/o industry experience, i don't care if its mars, I am in it for the work .

T.M.

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