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Doctorate in engineering?

  1. Aug 12, 2005 #1
    I am currently a junior electrical engineering student (might possibly double major in computer engineering). I know for sure that while I am working I will pick up a masters in ECE by going to night school part time. I can do this in 2 years. However, I am wondering whether I should keep going to school to get a doctorate in engineering (possibly manufacturing systems or ECE). I can do this in about 6 years on top of the master's degree when going to school part time. My question to you is, how beneficial to an engineer is graduate study up to the doctorate? What kinds of opportunities are available to an engineer with a doctorate? I know the Ph.D is extremely important in the sciences, but is it as good of a degree to have in engineering?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2005 #2
    Previously you were talking about a physics/math dual major with chem minor or physics major with chem/math dual minor. You seriously need more time to think about your career yourself, otherwise your going to end up throwing money out the window or end up wasting time altogether. It seems to me that you have already given up your ambition in one week and you still don't know what for sure your going to do in your life. For what reasons that this insecurity has caused you to change your mind so quickly is none of my or anyone else's business but your going into your third year and you should have a good indication of what your going to do. If not, then stare deeply at yourself in a mirror.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2005
  4. Aug 12, 2005 #3
    All last week I've been thinking about it and talking to advisors, and electrical engineering is where I should be, for a number of reasons. So far, I've only "wasted" 13 chemistry credits. Everything else I've taken goes toward my degree. I haven't yet taken any serious physics. I've only had the physics classes that engineers are supposed to take, nothing more. Also, I still plan on graduating on time since I am going to go to school in the summer while I work.

    Now, could someone answer my questions?
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2005
  5. Aug 14, 2005 #4
    from what I heard: unless you want to teach/be a professor ... masters should be sufficient for finding a good job in corporate world. You seem to be driven by mere sense of achievement rather than interest.
  6. Aug 14, 2005 #5
    That's what EVERYONE on this forum thinks when you start a thread like this. Regardless of the possible position I could get with the doctorate, or the prestige, I am probably going for it, because yes, I am strongly interested in the subject matter.
  7. Aug 14, 2005 #6


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    If you are honestly, truly interested in the subject matter, then indeed you may only have a career in academia. And pursuing a Ph.D is probably the first step to all of that. I personally find that despite having a good interest myself, the intense mathematics associated with it makes it somewhat distasteful. But if that does not mind you, it would be cool indeed to be paid to do your hobby.
  8. Aug 14, 2005 #7
    Well, I would agree that going all the way up to a doctorate might limit my employability in industry as an engineer and it might force me to work in academia. However, if I were to work in industry while going to school part time for the doctorate, I might have more options.
  9. Aug 16, 2005 #8
    It's important to have a Ph.D in engineering if you are going to go into academia or research. If you're just going to work in the corporate environment, a master's would suffice. If you REALLY love the material -- go for a Ph.D. Nobody in engineering goes for a Ph.D. for the money; it is for the love of the subject.
  10. Aug 23, 2005 #9
    A Ph.D in engineering won't limit you to teaching; this is a myth. Do a job search for engineering jobs, there is plenty of demand for Applied Sciences Ph.D. for high level engineering jobs. Do not write it off as such, I am saying this because I am undergrad mech. eng. and I want to certainly do my masters, maybe Ph.D and I heard the same comments. After looking into I am convinced otherwise that it limits you, it open the door to teaching, but also plenty of other job opportunities. However, it is true you must be pretty passionate to pursue a Ph.D.
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