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How Relevant is Master's Research to Career Choice?

  1. Apr 5, 2013 #1
    Hello forum,

    I am concerned with choosing the correct area of specialization within the electrical engineering masters program I will be starting this Fall; I hope to choose a research area that will prepare me the most for working in the space technology industry. My ideal career would be working on space technology such as rocketry components, satellites, rovers, etc. Companies such as SpaceX, JPL, and NASA would thus be ideal for my career.

    My first question is, how important is the research and your area of specialization during your masters to your career choice? I am worried that if I focus on a certain area of research, that I will be limited to what type of work I can do once I graduate, which would then make my decision as to what research I get involved with all the more important. Or does having a masters in electrical engineering mean that you can subsequently find a job in any area of electrical engineering. If the research you do during your masters does not weigh so heavily on what type of work you do when you graduate, then I would feel that I have more flexibility. I am hoping to gain some insight from professionals in the field that may be more familiar with this process.

    Recently, I was admitted to several electrical engineering masters program with my top choice being the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The area of specialization is "Electronic Circuits and Systems" which you can read about here: http://www.ece.ucsd.edu/node/67 [Broken]. So for example, if I knew that research in "RF Devices and Circuits" has large applications in the area of space technology, I would probably try to find research in this area if it meant I had a better chance of establishing a career with these companies. But if I knew that it didn't really matter, I would probably choose to research NEMS technology because right now it sounds interesting to me.

    My next question is then, does the specific research you do for your masters affect what you will research for your Ph.D.? If I decide to get my Ph.D. after my masters, would my research have to be similar to what I did for my masters?

    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
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