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Are there fields where a masters of science matters careerwise

  1. Mar 9, 2007 #1
    In biology or chemistry I have always heard it is either PhD or B.S. degree that determines your career & responsibilities. If you get the M.S. you are considered not much different than someone with a B.S. and a few years of work experience.

    However I want to look into masters that actually matter. What about a Masters of information technology in a scientific field, would that matter? Are there any masters that prepare you for a career in research that actually matter in the job market? The field I'm interested in is molecular biology.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2007 #2


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    If you're interested in molecular biology, just get a PhD in molecular biology. Why would you switch to IT just to get a masters instead of PhD if it doesn't interest you?
  4. Mar 9, 2007 #3

    Only 1/3 of students who start the PhD earn it, the rest get M.Sc. degrees. To me it seems wasteful to spend 2-3 years earning 15-20k a year and working 60 hours a week if I could get the same level of work experience working 40 hours a week and earning 40-45k a year as a B.S. biochemist. Why bother if you will walk away w/o any marketable career skills unless you are in the 1/3 who make it all the way? I'd like an educational situation where I don't feel like I've achieved nothing 2/3 of the time.

    Perhaps I shall look into programs with a high completion rate. I want a PhD though, and I'd gladly take that over a M.Sc. but I don't know for sure if I'd be one of the 1/3 who finishes the degree.
  5. Mar 9, 2007 #4
    In some fields (such as engineering, I suppose) this might be true. But there are other fields where a PhD is more or less required. Physics, for example, is a somewhat weak BS. If you want to be a physicist, you need to have a PhD. I guess this is why people go for physics PhDs.
  6. Mar 10, 2007 #5


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    Yes, engineering! We prefer MS or PhD, simply because the person has had exposure to research and advanced problem solving above and beyond BS. We would consider supporting a promising employee who pursues a graduate degree in a discipline releveant to our work.
  7. Mar 10, 2007 #6
    Masters is the best degree for engineering. A Phd is not required for most jobs and just a BS leaves you doing lower type work (not always, but a MS is a good hand up).
  8. Mar 10, 2007 #7

    D H

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    That is the exact same situation where I work (aeronautical engineering). We much prefer a MS or PhD over a BS. We tend to hire more MSs than anything else, but that is more just numbers than preference. BS graduates have to be extremely outstanding before we will consider them.
  9. Mar 11, 2007 #8
    True, I've always heard engineering is the one field where a MSc matters in the job market. But in fields that I'm interested in like biochem, cell biology or molecular bio it is a B.S. or PhD. I guess my best option is to find grad schools that have high completion rates for the doctorate. I do not want to waste 2-3 years of my life getting a degree (a M.S. in biochem or cell biology) that offers no real world benefit.
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