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Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

Greetings all,

I posted my question also in the 'corporate survival' thread but as I saw there is a specific forum for geotechnical engineers, I'll post it here:

I am a junior structural engineer and I have recently completed a Master's degree in Structural Engineering.
Currently I have nearly a year of work experience. During my S.E degree I got interested in geotechnical engineering.

I have the ability now to pursue a Master in geotechnical engineering as a second degree while
working as a structural engineer at the same time.

To the geotechnical engineers here:

Would you recommend me doing this?
I surely enjoy the topic but would it also help me in advancing my career?
Maybe like starting an own company in a few years?
Is there any additional value of having a good understanding of both geotechnics and structures?

RE: Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

Having spent 5 years as an undergrad (required then at Cornell) and then 2 years for the Masters degree I can only say the masters gave me a significant leg up in the first and later jobs. Perhaps the subject of the thesis (underdrainage evaluation for highways - (5 installations) also helped a lot. Having a steel company donate the pipes for the projects and getting highway departments install made it go. A lot of field time spent.

RE: Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

I love the creativity of geotechnical engineering.

I love working with structural engineers - wouldn't want to be one. . .

Nothing wrong with diversity!


ípapß gordo ainÆt no madre flaca!

RE: Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

Go into medicine or law...


RE: Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

Many structural engineers have little knowledge of geotechnical processes and issues. Conversely, geotechnical engineers abhor structural issues! To have both will give you a tremendous advantage. Do it!

I am a structural engineer (forensic specialty)....but for 5 years I ran a geotechnical laboratory in an international geotech/materials firm and I was in the geotechnical/materials/structural testing and evaluation business for over 25 years). Great experience. I've done significant geotechnical investigations (many buildings and the entire harbour expansion in Nassau, Bahamas and many of the outlying islands).

Because of my structural background,geotechnical background, construction materials background and experience, I do not have an issue with designing or evaluating retaining walls, foundations (deep, shallow and mat), pavements and structures, both above and below grade.

RE: Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

If you are interested in the subject, your company are willing to pay, and it will be good for your career in the long-term, then it really is a no-brainer. Go for it!

RE: Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

Thanks for all the insights here.

I am especially interested that it can be useful for working abroad.
Do the geotechnical engineers here have any experience with this?

I live in the Netherlands and I can attend Delft University of Technology
which has a very good reputation (#7 in civil engineering) if I trust the QS ranking.
It would be great if I could spend a few years abroad like in the Middle-East, Southern-Asia, Australia or New-Zealand.
is it easy for geotechnical engineers to move around? As a structural engineer there aren't many possibilities unless you have a large network and some luck.

RE: Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

I am yet to hear of any country which says it has too many engineers. Civil engineers (which structural engineering and geotechnical engineering fall under) are in demand in all developed economies. If you want to work abroad it is generally easier if you work for a global company or you have contacts in overseas companies (as for any company, I guess). I don't doubt the combined structural and geotechnical knowledge will improve your employment prospects, but I take the view that a degree is only really good for getting you jobs early in your career - your quality of experience is what carries you thereafter. Having experience of structural engineering as well as geotechnical engineering will give you the edge against other candidates.

RE: Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

isok: In line with your update post, do some checking with the Grand Daddy of engineering and construction magazines, Engineering News-Record. I did a brief search of many you could make. They publish rankings by work load periodically. Here is only one of many they publish now and then. I'd write to a few of them with your current wishes and maybe get some added ideas on what to do now.


They also do lists for engineering firms

RE: Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

Go for it! Geotechnical and structural engineering is the best combination in my opinion... if you are familiar with both disciplines you will understand the requirements from each sides, without doubt, having knowledge in both areas will greatly help to advance in your career... Ron, gave a good example about himself...

RE: Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

Any education is a good one. The question is, will it pay for itself? I say yes. I agree with those above, a structural and geotech degree will compliment each other nicely. At one time the same could be said of obtaining an engineering and architecture degree but I think that's more of a rarity these days.

RE: Second degree in geotechnical engineering?

You could probably get into geotechnical engineering with the degree you already have. However, if your company pays for it then it couldn't hurt.

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