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Field Engineer - Online MSME?

Field Engineer - Online MSME?

Field Engineer - Online MSME?

(OP)
I'm looking for a sanity check here. Anyone have any thoughts on online MSME degrees and their worth?

I'm a recent BSME grad field engineer working in construction as a field engineer - mainly piping operations on large power facilities. I can't seem to get this idea out of my head that 5 years of field experience in concert with a MSME would 'propel' my career forward. That said, I don't really have much desire to do much design - I loathe cubes. If anything, I have always envisioned myself in an ops management role. Whether that was in my coops in manufacturing, internships in powerhouses, and now in construction.

My employer will pay for most of my masters. I guess I'm unsure about pursuing due to long hours in the field in combination with graduate classes online would mean for not much time off, and essentially continuing the grind that engineering school was. That said, I am willing to sacrifice for the next few years if the tradeoff is worthwhile (we're essentially talking about giving up the rest of my twenties).

Any thoughts on the usefulness of a MSME for career trajectory while working in a more ops focused role? I am interested in pursuing an MBA later as well, but I am afraid that I would under utilize the education at this point in my career.

I appreciate any musings of you senior folks.

RE: Field Engineer - Online MSME?

I'm not senior by any means, but I'd like to chime in. If you're interested in the master's curriculum and it aligns even moderately with your objectives long term, take it; there's no better investment than in yourself, even more so if it's payed for by your employer.

If you think the investment may not be worth it, however, maybe it would help to write down and try to justify to yourself why you think this master's would propel your career: write down concrete and well defined objectives and how this degree will help you accomplish them.

Since you mention it, at my professional society I was also advised to hold off taking an MBA until I was in my thirties, as, I was told, the people you met there were as important, if not more, as what you learned in class.

RE: Field Engineer - Online MSME?

I wouldn't treat an online masters from a reputable program with any disdain. If I was an employer, I might prefer someone that continued working while working on a masters over someone that didn't have that additional work experience. I did my masters through an outreach program and have never felt like a fish out of water when around people that got theirs on campus. It is what you put into it. I think grad school in general is just about learning how to better teach yourself. Research is just going outside of the boundaries and figuring it out yourself because no one else has. I don't do research but the foundation that I got from my masters has helped me considerably.

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If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

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