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College Decisions

  1. Jan 26, 2010 #1
    I'm currently a senior in high school. I've wanted to be an engineer since pretty much forever, and I'm headed in the right direction as far as classes go (AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP Chem, etc).

    The concern I have is college. After 5 years of it, I'm pretty sure I'm going to want to start working. The question is, what will get me further: getting my master's in 5 years, or getting an undergraduate degree in 5 and doing a co-op program to get work experience as I go through school. My reasoning for both of these is that a Master's is becoming a norm for engineers, and having one would be advantageous in getting a good job. However doing the co-op program would give me work experience that would make getting a job after college much much easier.

    Currently, I've been accepted into Purdue, Ohio State, and I have yet to hear from Case Western Reserve. I really want to go to Purdue and do the Co-op program, but if a Master's degree is a much better option, then I would probably end up at Case, where I can also co-op.

    What do you guys and gals think of this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2010 #2
    I am actually currently doing my first co-op term. I mean, if you want your masters in 5, that means you will do a 1 year masters? It would be in your best interest to do the co-op program and then the masters. But i think the work experience is key. And there is a chance that you will come out of university with a job offer. To me, if I'm interviewing someone with their master's and limited work experience versus someone who has proven themselves over and over again in a similar job position, I think its an easy decision. I think co-op is a great opportunity, and you get some cash to pay for your schooling if you need it. and if your parents are paying for your school or you have a scholarship, then you can use the money to buy drugs and alcohol.
  4. Jan 26, 2010 #3
    The master's thing is a 5 year deal from Case that gets you doing master's classes as an undergrad to get both degrees in 5 years.

    Ewww.... Actually, I'd put it towards school. But even if I didnt need it for school it wouldn't go there.
  5. Feb 2, 2010 #4
    Anyone else? If I only had a Bachelor's degree in engineering, would I be able to get very far with a job, or would I have to go on to grad school almost immediately? Is that something that can be done part time, as I work?
  6. Feb 2, 2010 #5
    I've met several engineering majors that go to work for jobs that have nothing to do with engineering. If you want a better chance, then try the co-op. If you really want a good idea to think about, then you should consider the Airforce, or even the Air Guard. That way you can get through school, and actually use your degrees. Best of luck homeboy
  7. Feb 3, 2010 #6


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    I must say it is tough to say in this economy. When I was in school the 5 year option was not available. I would have jumped at the chance. I would say that if you can swing it, get the masters in 5 and then go to work. For the addition of only one year and a lot more work on your part, you will, IMO, be ahead of the game. Granted, co-ops are nice and get you something for your resume, but the masters will get you farther. Masters degree vs. one or two semesters of low level job experience? I go with masters.

    Again, this all depends on your personal situation.
  8. Feb 3, 2010 #7
    I'd probably go for the MS... that will be important on your resume forever, but the co-op experience will drop off after a few years in industry.

    Of course the really good news is that they are both good options, so you really can't go wrong with any of those programs at any of those schools...

    Good luck!
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