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How many engineers here have a PhD?

  1. I have a PhD, and I work in Industry

    1 vote(s)
    2.6%
  2. I have a PhD, and I work in Academia (Researcher or Professor)

    1 vote(s)
    2.6%
  3. I don't have a PhD, and I work in Industry or Academia (Researcher/Other)

    13 vote(s)
    34.2%
  4. I am not an engineer (My opinion is unimportant for this poll =P)

    23 vote(s)
    60.5%
  1. Feb 7, 2010 #1

    Pyrrhus

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    ... and work in Industry or Academia?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2010 #2
    I had 3 Phd and 1 Masters engineers in my team at my last work.. I thought that was awesome!
     
  4. Feb 7, 2010 #3

    Astronuc

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    I started a PhD but left uni for industry before completing it. Several of our engineers have PhDs. Most of the work involves developing models from theory and experiment and applying the models in FE analysis.
     
  5. Feb 7, 2010 #4

    brewnog

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    No PhD for me, no intention of doing one either.
     
  6. Feb 7, 2010 #5

    Lisa!

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    I'm getting my masters right now! The poll is so incomplete!:biggrin:
    Can I ask why?:shy:
     
  7. Feb 7, 2010 #6
    I am applying for BME phd programs this summer.
     
  8. Feb 7, 2010 #7

    brewnog

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    Of course. Towards the end of my BEng I just got fed up with academia and longed to get a job. Five years on, my career is starting to become a bit less technical, a bit more managerial, and the field I cover is too broad for any further study (at least at PhD level) to have any real benefit to what I do.
     
  9. Feb 7, 2010 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Some advice that I got from an old aerospace engineer: Never let them turn you into a manager.

    I easily made the transition into the world of engineering with my BS in physics, but saw no value in getting a more advanced degree. For me it was a matter of age, experience, location, circumstance, and expense. The biggest problem was that we wanted to live in the sticks [rural areas]. Also, my degree meshed well with my previous career and experience. This in turn led me right into a field of work that can be quite challenging and one that I truly enjoy. It has also allowed me to have my own business and work from home.

    I went back to school in my late twenties and moved to Oregon midstream just to escape LA before we couldn't. Had I been a kid I probably would have continued to at least a Masters degree, but probably not in Physics. More likely it would have been in EE.
     
  10. Feb 7, 2010 #9

    Pyrrhus

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    In my case, I am already finishing up my Master's degree in Transportation. I am aiming to become hopefully a transportation economist or work in transportation economics (funny, I always tho I was more of a natural science guy). Anyway, I am planning to pursue either a MSc in Economics after I finish this one (there's a lot of overlap with the courses I already took, so it'll only be 1 more semester or 1 semester and 1 summer at most) or maybe even try for a PhD. Although, I am not interested in being a professor at the moment (maybe later on, but for now I will like to gain more work experience). My work experience is about a year and couple of months, and it was work I did after I got my Bachelor's (actually diploma ingeniero).
     
  11. Feb 8, 2010 #10
    I have a Ph.D. in Computer Science, and work in industry as a Computer Engineer (which was my undergrad major). I've worked with many people in the same boat.
     
  12. Feb 8, 2010 #11

    brewnog

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    It's a good call. The medium term plan is to remain as an engineer, but I'm not going to be able to escape a large amount of project management. I have no desire at all to give up all technical responsibility!
     
  13. Feb 8, 2010 #12

    Pyrrhus

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    Apparently from this thread you can gather that generally a PhD is optional (instead of required) for Engineers in Industry.
     
  14. Feb 9, 2010 #13
    Would you say that the job you are doing/applied for would have been possible with a BS in computer science instead?
     
  15. Feb 9, 2010 #14

    Gokul43201

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    The results appear to be perfectly symmetric (as of the time of this post, and was true yesterday too) with respect to the field of work (i.e., industry/academia).

    Also, how do you define engineer? Is a degree enough? I have a friend (:wink:) who has an undergrad degree in Engineering, but a PhD in Physics. I have a feeling it would distort the value of your poll if he voted in it.
     
  16. Feb 9, 2010 #15

    Pyrrhus

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    Engineer is one with a degree in engineering :tongue:, but I wonder how many physicist go into engineering or other and go all the way for a PhD in an engineering field or other instead of a PhD in physicist. I know for example of Daniel McFadden (U of Minnesota Alumnus and Nobel Laureate in Economics) which did his BS in Physics, but later on pursued a PhD in Economics
     
  17. Feb 10, 2010 #16

    mheslep

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    Interesting. That's fairly rare in my experience. When I was in graduate school (EE) the program had a number of students with a physics BS degree that the U. shot-gunned into the engineering department after a six week engineering jam session. They physics folks did well in the conversion; I'm told going the other way - engineering to physics - is harder.
     
  18. Feb 10, 2010 #17
    My plan is to be in a similar boat. I'm finishing up an undergrad in computer engineering, starting a PhD in computer science next year, and want to work somewhere at some point. I'm not sure if I'd ever be considered an engineer, even though I went through all that torture.

    What if you don't have a job or don't have one in industry/academia? Do non-engineering fields still count as industry? Does being a research assistant (grad student/undergrad research/etc.) count as an academia job? I work as a writing tutor for my school, but I don't think that's what you have in mind for "academia". I have a friend who teaches test prep and does marketing analysis with an electrical engineering degrees; he's a second degree student in ee who stayed in his pre-engineering degree career 'cause the market tanked.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  19. Feb 10, 2010 #18

    Evo

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    A Phd in many fields is the key to being successful, even necessary, a PhD in other fields can actually be a hinderance if you want to work and not go into academics.

    I have a friend that is an inventor for a huge computer company. He has a BS in Physics, but only got a masters in Computer Science. He felt that for what he wanted to do (R&D) a PhD would make him unattractive, salary and all that. He holds over a dozen US Patents for his inventions with the computer company he works for. He absolutely loves what he does, so maybe there is something to what he says. It's something you have to really look at, how many people in the field and level you wish to work in have PhD's? Will companies consider you over qualified or is it the key that will unlock the door to get you where you want to be?
     
  20. Feb 10, 2010 #19

    FredGarvin

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    For many of us, a PhD is simply not necessary. I work in R&D and I know many that do as well that don't have a doctorate. Gradually it is becoming more necessary to have a Master's though.
     
  21. Feb 10, 2010 #20
    I get my BSMET in May and will see how far that can get me before spending a dramatic amount of money on a MSME. I have a professor saying he wants to support me for my PhD, but then I'll have a PhD at 26 with very little work experience, which seems a tad bit late to move out and begin working.
     
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