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Certificate program in IC design or Master's in IC design?

  1. Jul 24, 2016 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I have a BS in EE and a BS in physics and I am wrapping up my MSE in electrical engineering from a large university in the southwest. My MSE concentration is semiconductor devices. I don't know anything about IC design really, but I would like to somehow break into the field. I figure the best way would be to get some education in the area. I am considering either the certificate program in IC design from UC Berkeley Extension or the Master of Advanced Study in IC at Berkeley Online. The pros and cons I can see are below.


    Pros: Much cheaper (~3700 dollars), faster completion time, (~1.5-2 years or 150 hours of instruction time plus assignments and some proctored exams)
    Cons: Less prestigious and probably less rigorous. I am guessing it will use a watered down layout package but I don't know for sure.


    Pros: Much more prestigious and I will probably get a much more thorough education, probably access to better software (Cadence)
    Cons: It is almost exactly 15 times the cost (55,000 dollars), will take longer most likely.

    It is clear to me which one is "better" but will the certificate be adequate to break into the field or do I really need the MASIC? Is the MASIC worth 15 times the cost? Keep in mind I nearly already have a masters in a related area (semiconductors device physics) and will finish that in a couple semesters.

    Also, those that might have second hand or first hand knowledge or the certificate program (and the masters), do they give access to software packages that are relevant to industry, such as cadence?

    Thanks everyone in advance for your insight.


  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 24, 2016 #2
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  4. Jul 25, 2016 #3
    64 views and no replies? I guess nobody has any experience with these programs?
  5. Jul 25, 2016 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    My servants! Attend me!

    You are asking people for a favor. You don't have a right to demand an answer, much less demand it in less than 24 hours. You might want to think about adopting a tone more in line with asking a favor.
  6. Jul 25, 2016 #5

    I apologize if I came across as demanding. It was not my intent to demand anything. I am just curious that nobody here has heard of or has any experience with these programs, hence the comment "I guess nobody has any experience with these programs"...maybe they are not as sought after as I suspected.

    That's the problem with forums. You can't really extract information about a person's "tone". I typed that in the friendliest tone possible.
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