1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Does Course Selection Matter? (Masters Level)

  1. Jul 28, 2015 #1
    Preface: I have a B.S. in Applied Physics and minors in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics. At this point my intention is to go into industry rather then academia. The project I am working on now, and might be able to turn into a M.S. thesis, is in bioinformatics, more specifically using statistical and machine learning methods to predict drug efficacy among chemo-drugs. I believe work in this area might be useful in industry because, in my opinion, big data is going to become prevalent in prediction, diagnosis, and treatment of disease over the next couple of decades (i.e. IBM Watson, iwatch,etc)

    I am currently in a Master's of Engineering (Non-thesis) Degree Program for Biomedical Engineering but may have the chance to do a Master's of Science (thesis). The way my program works is that I get to choose graduate coursework throughout the different engineering practices with the requirements that some of these have to have biological content. So far I fulfilled half of the requirements for my program and Have concentrated on more core engineering classes (i.e. Finite Element Method, Micro-Electrical-Mechanical-Systems, Probability and Statistics for Electrical and Computer Engineers) and I continue with this trend the next 2 semesters of my degree.

    If I were to switch to the M.S., I would take fewer classes to substitute with thesis credits, take more research oriented classes, possibly get some of my costs paid for as opposed to taking out loans to pay for it, extend my graduation date.

    This has a couple disadvantages as I see it
    1. I have to take less core engineering classes to make room for other required courses and thesis credits. One of the reasons I choose to do a Masters was I was having a hard time finding work as an engineer without an engineering degree ,despite lots of undergrad coursework in engineering, so I wanted to build my engineering pedigree to be more competitive.
    2. More school

    1. Less debt
    2. Gained Expertise in a particular area.

    My question too more experienced people involved in hiring and industry is:
    1. Do the courses I take (i.e. more research based or more engineering based (particularly more grad level mechanical courses) matter?
    2. Does the letter after the M. play any significant role?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2015 #2
    Different hiring managers have different biases.
  4. Jul 28, 2015 #3
    In general no, the courses themselves don't matter to hiring managers.

    Not usually.

    However, in regard to both questions, every hiring manager that will interview you is different, as mentioned above.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook