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Deleted My Master's Degree

Deleted My Master's Degree

Deleted My Master's Degree

(OP)
A few years back, I was looking for work. My interview request rate was about 100:1 for the applications submitted. I deleted my master's degree from my resume and my hit rate went to about 10:1.

Has anyone else also made a similar observation?

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

This question lacks context. What is your undergraduate degree and what is the graduate degree in? And what type of jobs did you apply for? Were those jobs related to the graduate degree? And what did you say you did during the time you were at graduate school?

From the information provided I assume the jobs posted were looking for less qualified people, or your graduate degree was useless for the job (Master of Philosophy for an engineering job). That McDonalds looking for a burger flipper doesn't want to train someone who isn't really interested in a fast food career and rather hire a high school kid who will stick around longer.

I never would get the idea to try out to leave out relevant achievements in a resume just to try out this theory. I bet many companies use AI to do a pre-selection of resumes if they get a lot of applicants per position.

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

(OP)
BSME and M.Phys applying for jobs appropriate to an engineer with 20 years of experience.

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

I wouldn't be surprised; a masters in physics would seem to be going away from purely ME, but you've not really indicated whether the increased interest was for lower-level jobs, or not.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

(OP)
I applied for level 3 and level 4 jobs with big aero companies who all seem to use that same sort of grading system. Whether or not increased interest skewed towards level 3 jobs with my bachelor's only is more fine grained than I accounted for.

I guess I could make the discussion a little more concrete.

If you are a hiring manager, would you count a master's of science degree for or against someone applying for a senior mechanical engineering position. The "for" case seems obvious to me. The candidate did the work, got more education, and showed motivation.

I am trying to understand the "against" case. I have a blind spot here.

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

Not a hiring manager, per se, but
> you might appear to be over-qualified, particularly for pure design role
> the lack of cohesiveness in your education might also suggest that you are not sufficiently focused, i.e., you didn't get a masters in ME
> while academic credentials are ostensibly good, you didn't give the background story, so I might wonder if you might suddenly take off and pursue a PhD in astronomy, or some such.

You also didn't indicate how much experience you actually have

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

The inverse is also true IME. So...causation does not mean correlation. Were there any applicant follow-ups to the 100 or 10 applied? My experience as you get older is that THAT is the move which will set you apart. It's almost too easy to apply for jobs now. I've done it in my underwear watching The Sopranos.

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

M. Physics might make one worry that you are more capable of creating science projects than engineering designs.

Or it could be that the HR screening software just rejects all non-engineering degree persons.

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

Many will assume that you pursued physics bc you couldn't complete a graduate degree in engineering, much the same as they do when an engineer gets a MBA. Those same folks are usually the ones arguing that engineering is this difficult, mystical profession that only someone with an engineering degree can understand. Personally, I base my opinion on what a candidate has accomplished rather than arbitrary nonsense. I have known highly educated people who couldn't design their way out of a porta-crapper and "poorly" educated people who were great engineers.

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

Even before your resume gets to the hiring managers, it gets screened by the HR folks.

I'm guessing the hiring manager would not react negatively to the extra degree (they'd probably react positively) but the HR person would react negatively.

HR folks are trained to look for good “matches”. Their definition of a match includes qualified, but not overqualified:

If you are overqualified, then in the mind of an HR person, it’s more likely that one or more of the following apply:
  • you couldn’t find any jobs commensurate with your experience, so you’re desperate and applying for a job you don’t really want.

  • Desperate implication 1: what’s wrong with you that you couldn’t find a job meeting your qualifications
  • Desperate implication 2: you might move along as soon as you find that better job meeting your qualifications

  • You might grow bored in a job that doesn’t fully utilize your education and later move on.
  • you may want more money as a result of your higher qualifications. That means after all the work to set up an interview, even if things go great and the hiring manager wants you, it's more likely you won't accept the offer. That's a massive waste of time on their part.
HR has a simple mindset to fit the candidate to the job like fitting a peg into a hole. With so many resumes why should they choose the one that doesn't fit?

Another aspect. HR has 500 resumes and is looking for any way to whittle the number down to make the selection process easier. You gave them a convenient excuse to do just that.

=====================================
(2B)+(2B)' ?

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

I don't know that it's only HR that considers that; I tend to look at that sort of thing as well, in addition to counting the number of jobs and the number of years to see if they are butterflies, i.e., they flit from job to job. Certainly, if someone is overqualified, I want to be sure that whatever investment I put in to get that person up to speed and productive isn't wasted because they finally found something more commensurate with their qualifications, leaving me with a hole, again.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

(OP)
Thanks for all the replies, folks. This gives me something to chew on. The hard part is that I don't want to believe any of it. Like I said, blind spot.

Cheers,
Jason

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

I know this item is not about engineering graduates, but it is reminiscent of what the OP was talking about:

‘Financially Hobbled for Life’: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay Off

Columbia and other top universities push master’s programs that fail to generate enough income for graduates to keep up with six-figure federal loans


https://www.wsj.com/articles/financially-hobbled-f...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-'Product Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

Behind paywall, but what I can read of it mentions "film program" so that's definitely not applicable to advanced engineering degrees. $30k/yr is less than 1/3 of some starting BS engineering salaries. Regardless, if you can't do the cost benefit analysis, or ignore it, you get what you get.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

OP, I used to be in a position of hiring engineers. I would never discount and engineer solely for having a master's degree, whatever field it was in, but I did experience that, more times than not, engineers with advanced degrees typically expected higher starting salary than their real experience was worth, or what we could pay for the position. When you have a stack of 50 or 100 resumes for 1 or 2 positions, you need to whittle that stack down to a manageable 10-15 people that you want to look into a little deeper. Each resume gets a quick few minute read-through, initially. Those that lack any semblance of the experience you're looking for, obvious lying, spelling/grammar errors, etc. that indicate lack of preparation or initiative are good reasons to eliminate a resume from the pile. For some, depending on the position, a masters degree in something unrelated to the field for which you are applying could be a reason to trash a resume...particularly if they've experienced some form of "entitlement" from the past master's candidates they have interviewed. That said, some employers really do value that additional education experience and will compensate for it when it's applicable to the job. In your case, a masters in physics may or may not be applicable to some jobs you are seeking, and if it doesn't help you with some jobs, then it's OK to leave it off some of your submitted resumes. I can see where some of your physics classes could be helpful in aerospace, but for the most part, I don't see that the masters in physics really gives you much more than the BS in engineering, except possibly and expectation to start at a higher position/salary than you would otherwise command for your experience. We would need to know a lot more details about your specific experience and the jobs you are applying for to give more concrete opinions.

RE: Deleted My Master's Degree

One issue you might need to consider is to be able to explain any experience gap that might appear in the resume if you delete your PhD, unless you did that part time, concurrent with working somewhere.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

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