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Graduate school in Chemical Engineering good for career in industry?

  1. Oct 18, 2014 #1
    My post concerns getting jobs after my Masters degree in Chemical Engineering.
    I am currently in my 4th/senior year for a BS Chemical Engineering degree. I got accepted in a fifth-year program, so I can spend one more year at school and get my Masters degree.
    I am excited because I love the idea of taking advanced courses on the subjects I love. I didn't plan on doing a research thesis, although I have the option if something inspires me. I was hoping to just volunteer a bit in a professor's research, maybe in environmental fluid dynamics or chemical processing research, not the chemical/materials/nano scale stuff that most ChE research is about.

    Question 1: Is it possible that my Master's degree in Chemical Eng will make me appear "overqualified" for some jobs? ("appear," not actually overqualified)

    Question 2: I think that if I choose my electives to focus on fluid mechanics, and combined with my heat transfer and fluids coursework, I could find jobs not limited to only chemical engineering, but also perhaps in the fields of mechanical engineering, civil engineering or environmental engineering. Does this idea make sense?

    For example, after I have taken graduate level fluid dynamics, maybe I can help design wastewater treatment plants (usually civil) or hydro-electric power engineering or geothermal engineering, etc.

    Question 3: I want to be more of a "traditional" engineer who helps design large-scale things, whether it is a large chemical reactor, piping systems, waste-water treatment plants, and other things related to chemical or environmental or mechanical engineering. This differs to some of my Chem-eng peers who seem to be more interested in small-scale laboratory chemical research. As someone who wants to end up in a traditional engineering role, would anyone consider my master's degree a waste of time for any reason?

    I feel really good about my Master's program. I have enjoyed all ChE subjects, but always think about jobs not in traditional Chemical Engineering.
    I just want to hear different opinions/experience on these questions.
    Thanks for any replies!

    My graduate classes will be:
    Fluid Dynamics A and B
    Heat Transfer
    Mass Transfer (Diffusion/convection)
    Reactor Engineering
    Advanced Numerical Methods x2
    Electives x2 (I would like to focus on fluid dynamics, compressible gases, or similar)
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2014 #2
    Thanks for the post! Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
  4. Nov 30, 2014 #3
    Q1: Yes
    Q2: You can do that already with a ChemE degree. I know people working in instrumentation (EE/MechE type job) as well as control system designs for wastewater (EE/Civil) as a ChemE. Depends on what you want to do. Don't need a masters unless you want to do research.
    Q3: Working in Industry teaches you things far different from college. If your goal is for academia/research or laboratories: get a masters in Chemical Engineering.

    Otherwise, work in Industry and get an MBA :cool:
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