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B.S.M.E. needing a second opinion on M.S. program

  1. Dec 2, 2017 #1

    I graduated with a B.S.M.E and minor in Applied math in 2014. I have a few months of experience with an engineering consultant firm, but quit because of a series of bad experiences and extreme negativity from the boss/owner. Ever since, I've submitted 200+ job applications but have had no luck, even with an EIT certification and 3.95 GPA.

    I have been working retail for the last 4 years because it seems like there is either not enough Mech E jobs, there are too many applicants, or I need to go back to school for a master's and work on new skills.

    I enjoyed learning what I did in engineering school, but I think I enjoyed it more for the mathematics and physics I was learning and applying, rather than the engineering process. I chose engineering because I wanted to apply math and physics to solve interesting problems, not anything else in particular. My expectations fell a bit short when I was in my engineering job, but it could have been just an isolated instance of bad luck.

    Long story short, I want to apply for a master's program and I am strongly considering Applied Mathematics, Physics, or M.S.M.E., in that order of preference. I prefer applied math because the courses I took were the most enjoyable; linear algebra being one of my favorite courses.

    My fear is graduating and finding out that the job market is just as tough if not worse in Applied math. My goal is to work in something where I can solve interesting problems, or maybe teach if industry doesn't work out for me. I have Physics on my list because I have a lot of curiosities that I'd like to learn about, but it seems like Physics is not as big of a field in industry. Lastly, I have M.S.M.E. here because it might be the most practical path. I ended up choosing my B.S.M.E. because everyone agreed it was the most practical path, but I feel it comes short in terms of the depth of math and physics that I will learn.

    Is it too drastic and impractical to try the applied mathematics master's program? and in your experience, how is the field in terms of job security?

    I appreciate your time and I hope this wasn't too lengthy or convoluted.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2017 #2
    You do not tell us anything about where you are, so that leaves a lot of question marks in the air.

    In general, I think you will find a MSME more employable than either of your other two options. It will also put you back in touch with the placement process of the university.

    A word to the wise, however: If at all possible, never quit a job without having another in hand. It is always easier to find a job when you already have one than when you do not.
  4. Dec 2, 2017 #3
    I used to live in the Orange County, CA area, but I am currently in Las Vegas, NV. I couldn't afford Southern California. So I am considering applying at UNLV.

    I will look into the MSME more, I appreciate the feedback.

    I agree, it isn't a good idea to quit without a backup. It was a very dreadful, negative environment and things were only getting worse. I was getting panick attacks. Experienced engineers were leaving. Boss talking negatively about others behind their backs, etc.
  5. Dec 3, 2017 #4
    Was your BSME program ABET accredited? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABET If not, that may be contributing to the challenges of your engineering job search.

    Is your search a national search or a local one? Local variations in job markets can be pretty strong, and working with geographical constraints can make searches more challenging.

    It may also be worthwhile to consider whether there is some factor other than a soft job market that is keeping you from finding an engineering job. Criminal convictions or someone with the same name with criminal convictions showing up on background checks? An unappealing social media history? Poor appearance or communication skills? Problems of this nature may require an approach different from additional education and degrees.
  6. Dec 3, 2017 #5
    Yes, the engineering programs at my university are ABET accredited.

    I have been applying mostly local: Previously in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, now currently in the Las Vegas area. I have definitely submitted applications in many other states too, even outside of the country.

    No criminal convictions. Not even minor traffic citations. I've had copies of background checks sent to me from my current jobs and everything checks. Always tried my best to keep social media professional. There is always room for improvement in appearance and communication skills, but I don't think it's far from average.
  7. Dec 3, 2017 #6
    As for someone with my name having criminal convictions showing up under my own background checks; that I wouldn't know. I recently received a copy of a background check from my part time tutoring job and it all checked.

    The most logical thing to me is lack of experience; that job with the bad experiences being my only engineering job on my resume. But it is possible that something else might be showing up in background checks not belong to me. I'd have to find out how I can run one on my self to figure it out.
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