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Programs Master's in Engineering Without Engineering Undergrad

  1. Oct 11, 2016 #1
    Hi,

    My undergrad degree is sort of nebulous; mostly math and physics, with some graduate math thrown in. I'm enrolled in UW Platteville's MS Engineering program for the Engineering Management emphasis. Although I'm impressed with the courses I've taken so far, I know that getting a job as a proper engineer is likely not possible given my non-engineering undergrad. I'd like to be able to break into an entry level systems, business analyst, project management, or IE-type role, but I've heard from friends (in government/government contractor jobs, which is where I'd like to work) that the lack of an engineering qualification would give my resume the old garbage toss.

    I thought I'd see if:
    a) Switching to an emphasis in control systems would make the degree more valuable. I know I said I'd rather do more systems-type stuff, but getting a job outweighs all that.

    b) Anyone has or knows anyone or has a master's in EM without an engineering BS and/or knows about UW Platteville's program



    Here is the page listing degree requirements:

    https://www.uwplatt.edu/distance-education/ms-engineering-degree-requirements
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2016 #2

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    I think everyone I know with an engineering management masters has an engineering undergrad. But if you are trying to be a project manager, you will still be a giant step ahead of a PM who has just a business degree, which you do see in corporate America.

    It's a large first step, so getting your first job may be a bit of a challenge, but once you get it, you'll have a faster track up the corporate ladder.

    Remember, when you are a project manager of larger projects it isn't possible to have all of the expertise of all of the disciplines you are managing and having a strong background in one of those areas doesn't help you with the others. What is imoprtant is a technical brain to understand problems you've never seen before, an analytical brain to make good decisions and people and communication skills to execute them (the decisions, not the people).
     
  4. Oct 13, 2016 #3
    Thanks for responding. I think I've heard of one other person (on a forum, not even in real life) getting an EM master's without an engineering undergrad. I forgot to ask of that guy got a job afterwards...

    Project management is something I'd definitely be interested in, but I assumed there would be a lower rung job before getting there. Would pursuing jobs with the 'business analyst' title be realistic? I suppose right now I'm a little worried about which search terms I'd enter into a job board (which, now that I say it, reminds me of what a strange world we live in).

    Also, I think I may have a developing interest in control theory. I've heard there are shortages in the field, so do you think switching my concentration-- which is only a three course sequence--- to control systems might make me eligible for entry level controls engineer jobs?
     
  5. Oct 14, 2016 #4

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    I would think the answer to both questions is "yes", but they are a bit too specific for my experience to be relevant.
     
  6. Oct 16, 2016 #5
    Ok, thanks again.
     
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