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To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

Hello all,

I am a 23 year old and have just graduated from a 5 year Mechanical Engineering program at a Canadian University and did quite well (3.9/4.3 GPA). I had a scholarship offer which would pay for my masters degree in Flow Induced Vibrations which would require two more years. I am a bit of an academic...I mean I enjoyed some of the courses and working though some of the assignments, but after completing my last year I was getting tired of it. I thought that perhaps the overspecialization would be a hindrance to finding work...is this true?

Although it was a good offer, I wasn't sure I was ready to commit two years (especially when someone else is paying) only to find out it wasn't for me. It would be nice to be able to try it...and have the flexibility to get out if it wasn't for me.

At the same time I wonder if it is what I am meant to do...since I did good in University and I like learning, and using the engineering theory. Some say it's really hard to go back to do a masters if you don't do it right after your undergrad BSc ME (due to financial, job and family commitment).

Does anyone have any input? What kinds of jobs can you do with a masters that you cannot do with a bachelors in engineering?




RE: To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

Now is a good time to be in education, specially if someone else is paying for it.

- Steve

RE: To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

Steve makes an excellent point.

In theory most engineering jobs do not require a masters; however, this masters might open doors for you in areas that right now may not be readily available to you.

Good luck, with whatever you choose!

RE: To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

Do a search on these forums to get a range of ideas about Master's degrees.  I have one.  I got it 12 years out of college.  Many of us have seen a BS immediately followed by an MS as a detriment to getting the first job.  Do a search and find out why.


RE: To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

I have it on good authority that you should not venture to grad school.  See for yourself.

Get authoritative answer here

RE: To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

From Purdue of all places (my Alma Marter)...it told me to attend

RE: To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not


What kinds of jobs can you do with a masters that you cannot do with a bachelors in engineering?

The question in this economic climate may not be which job can you do, rather which job can you get. You will need to make up your mind whether the MS improves or hinders your employment prospects in two years time. I can't comment because the North American job market is quite different to the UK one although both appear to be equally poor at the moment.

If we learn from our mistakes I'm getting a great education!

RE: To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

I agree with both SomptingGuy and zdas 04. Now is a good time to be in school on somebody else's dime. However, I also believe that often companies look at somebody who has gone straight through from BS to MS as still needing the same amount of training/mentoring as a BS alone, but they will have to pay more during the less-productive stage for somebody with a Masters.

However, I also wonder if that may change in the coming years as (I presume) more engineers are taking this time to get a masters or other forms of professional development.

In the end, I say if it interests you, go for it. I think you are probably better off looking for a job with a Masters in 5 years than looking for a job with a BS at the moment. Maybe I'm too optimistic about the economy, and in 5 years the economic outlook will be the same and you will have the "detriment" of a masters as well.

Although, I also think with good communication skills, the Masters doesn't necessarily need to be a detriment. If you get your masters and want to apply for jobs that are entry level for a BSME, I don't think you should rule yourself out for being over-qualified. If I were hiring and had the choice between somebody with a MS or BS, all else being equal, I would certainly choose the one with a MS. However, that "all else being equal" means that maybe your first job is an entry level BS position and paid as such, which means your time and effort to get the MS was somewhat of a waste (although if it put you ahead of other canidates for the job, that's worth something).

-- MechEng2005

RE: To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

I appreciate the input guys! I tend to be spinning my tires on this decision...I just need to decide and go with it. If I do the masters however I need to be sure it's what I want to do. I would not be comfortable at all if I found that it was something that my heart just wasn't in...especially if someone else was paying for it. It may be safer to just get into industry...find where my interests are...and take more courses/specialize from there.

Thanks a million folks!


RE: To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

Are you madly in like with 'flow induced vibrations'?

Seems to me if you were to switch to something more aligned with your interests then you might have a less dificult decision.

For instance a good knowledge of aero in the presence of ground effects=motorsports, or windmills, or production cars.



Greg Locock

SIG:Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

Great post, Greg. That question says it all.

"Are you madly in like with 'flow induced vibrations'?"

I think you really have enjoy what you study (ideally).

RE: To do masters degree (Mechanical Engg.) or not

Interestingly, my M.Sc. has to do with FIV (flow induced vibrations). smile If you don't love the subject you will regret it.



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