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Career and school advice for a recently graduated mechanical engineer

  1. Jul 4, 2011 #1
    This straddles the line between academic and career guidance, so I picked what I think it's more of.

    First, some background: I just received my BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland. I have good grades and (I think, at least) good summer job/research experience. Yet I've had difficulty finding a job that I would enjoy. (It doesn't appear to be impossible, just difficult.)

    My original plan was to attend grad school at UMD, but I canceled that plans for a few reasons. Unfortunately, as my plan was to attend UMD and I did not need to take the GRE, I did not, and by the time I decided not to continue at UMD it was way too late to look into applying to other programs for fall 2011. So now I'm looking for a job until I decide to enter a PhD program (or if I decide to enter a PhD program; there's a distinct possibility I won't care once I settle down) .

    And now for my questions:

    1) What are the most mathematical jobs I can get with a BS in ME? I've found most jobs I've applied for to be hopelessly boring, mostly because they don't use enough math. I always thought math was generally the most powerful tool in my toolbox, and I'm saddened that most engineers today seem to hate the stuff. (I love applied math. I took a grad level numerical PDE class and found it to be both incredibly challenging and interesting.)

    2) Should I consider starting a PhD program in spring 2012? Are there any significant disadvantages to starting in spring? Most of the programs I've looked at don't admit students in the spring, but a few do. I think I need to see if any program I would want to attend does not have spring admission before deciding, and I'd appreciate any advice.

    Any other advice would be helpful. And I'm sure I'll have some follow-up questions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2011 #2
    If a phD is your goal, that is a good one. But a masters degree in mechanical engineering and substantial work experience will qualify you for positions that involve calculations and analysis.
  4. Jul 5, 2011 #3
    Thanks. I have noticed that a MS and work experience could lead to positions I like better. But I'm not asking about what I can do down the road. What sort of jobs should I be look for now to fill in the gap between graduation and grad school?
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