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Engineering Is an Engineering Doctorate worth it? (esp in UK)

  1. Aug 27, 2008 #1
    Just a quick question for anyone here with a EngD or PhD in Engineering.

    Has it helped your career at all?

    Or is it an time-consuming, expensive, career-postponing indulgence?

    I know that academically it's meant to improve your life and make you thinner and give you nicer hair but I have never spoken to anyone who actually has one

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2008 #2


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    You haven't spoken to anyone who has an Eng PhD? What about your professors?
  4. Aug 27, 2008 #3
    I meant people who actually work in industry, not academics.

    apols for confusion
  5. Aug 27, 2008 #4
    All of my professors that worked in industry said it was worth it because when you get sick of all the BS you can go into academics which they say is a LOT easier.
  6. Aug 27, 2008 #5


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    I always thought it was harder to gain tenure than rise in industry.
  7. Aug 27, 2008 #6
    Defennder: It's a different set of office politics. In academia you need to produce and actually be smart, most coworkers are smart.

    In industry they are greedy bastards that would sell their own mum. Or so they say. ;)

    But seriously, it's a whole different experience according to alumi I've spoken to. Taking a doctorate is nice and all, but it postpones your salary somewhat, although you get more stimulating work. Like different things very often.
  8. Aug 27, 2008 #7


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    disclaimer - I work in engineering with a physics PhD, I have never met anyone with a an eng PhD.
    Yes, it puts you above everyone else with a BSc - or at least gets you an interview.
    Consultancy companies like it because "Dr." looks good on reports to clients.

    Yes - and is this a bad thing?

    You forgot the irresistable to women/men/sheep (delete as appropriate)
    Career-wise a CEng (or PEng) is probably more use, especially in Civils.
    Doing a Phd because it's good for your career doesn't work - you aren't going to make back 5years of poverty and lack of experience. Doing it to become a world expert in a field you love might be worth it.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
  9. Aug 27, 2008 #8
    Cheers. That advice actually helped!
  10. Aug 28, 2008 #9
    In my experience its the other way around. We have had a lot of difficulty working with academia. In industry, your job is to get things done and do it quickly. In academia, your job is to get it done eventually with a very high price tag.

    mgb_phys, thats good advice. I'm looking to get my PhD in ME and there is always that little bit of uncertainty if your doing the right thing.
  11. Aug 29, 2008 #10
    Topher925: Of course industrial technologists will be more productive, it's in their scientific paradigm. My point being is that in industry you can be a total dunce and still be productive, of course being smart helps being productive. I am totally with you on your critique.
  12. Aug 29, 2008 #11


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    I work with several PhD engineers, one of whom worked at one of the national labs. Since they are probably all millionaires, I'd say it has worked for them. Many of the senior managers I know have PhD's, and that's more or less a requirement for the upper level spots in science and technology.

    A PhD implies a certain originality in R&D, and that's what these guys have done. If one does something original, the more demand there is for that technology, the more economic potential there is.

    I'd do a PhD over a DEng anyday, but I know guys who went the DEng route.
  13. Aug 29, 2008 #12


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    What's the difference between a PhD in engineering and a DEng?
  14. Aug 30, 2008 #13
    My guess is that Deng is a Diploma engineer, that is a MSc, Phd is a doctorate. But astronuc could enlighten us but what he means :)
  15. Aug 30, 2008 #14


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    DEng is a Doctor of Engineering (almost the same as a PhD).

    DEng programs are designed for working engineers in an industry whereas PhD programs are geared toward academics.

  16. Aug 31, 2008 #15
    hehe, my guess was wrong then.

    So Deng is actually what we call "industrial PhD" in europe? Where industry sponsor someone for doing very practical PhD-work?
  17. Aug 31, 2008 #16


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    a D.Eng. might not have the same dissertation requirement as a Ph.D. i'm sure there is some independent research/design that is well documented (sometimes they call that an "independent study report"), there might even be some publication. but it's probably not as "scholarly" as a Ph.D.
  18. Aug 31, 2008 #17


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    Of course, what each degree means depends upon which country you are in and also depends on precisely what degree you are talking about. Over here in the UK, degrees like D.Sc, D.Litt, D.Eng, etc.. are higher doctorate degrees which are usually presented to academics who have especially excelled in their field, and are thus the highest degrees that one can hold. However, the degree mentioned in the OP is an EngD degree, which is, according to wikipedia (and the sources referenced therein) is equivalent to a Ph.D.
  19. Sep 3, 2008 #18
    Thats how you get into upper management. :smile: Completely screw everything up so they promote you to a position where you can do more damage.

    I've never heard of a "Doctorate of Engineering" before. Maybe its because I live in the US but all schools I have looked at only offer PhDs in Engineering and thats it. :confused:
  20. Sep 3, 2008 #19


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    According to wiki, Doctorates of Engineering are given out at "many US universities."

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