Masters in Mechanical or Nuclear for useful in the industry

In summary, the individual is considering pursuing a master's degree and is wondering if it would be more beneficial to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering or nuclear engineering. They mention their interest in two phase flow and thermal hydraulics and question how a master's in nuclear engineering would be viewed by other employers. They also note that they are looking at online programs and ask for recommendations for distance learning master's programs in mechanical engineering. The conversation also includes a discussion on the differences between ME and NE and the potential overlap between the two degrees in the nuclear industry.
  • #1
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Hi all

I am happy to announce that I have made it into the industry. Of course the learning train never stops and I will need to think about a masters. What I have noticed is that there seems to be a greater need for ME and EE in industry than NE.

With that being said do you think it makes more sense to pursue a masters in mechanical?

I really like the study of two phase flow and thermal hydraulics which seems like a tweener topic anyway.

Also from the career flexibility standpoint how would a MS in NE be viewed to other employers or is a masters a masters.


Side note I am looking at online programs since I will be working while attending school
and I have the following schools programs pretty good but I am looking for comments

Pstate vs NC STate for MS Nuclear

Need a good recs of ME distance learning masters

Thanks in advance
 
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  • #2
Well, a lot depends upon what you want to do (I assume you mean the nuclear industry). An ME or EE will gear you more towards Control Systems work whereas an NE will gear you more towards reactor functionality work. This doesn't mean an ME will keep you from reactor-based work (and vice-versa), it just means you're more apt to find jobs specializing in those areas.
 
  • #3
I have an MSME and was working with naval reactors (getting PhD now). An interesting tidbit about NE is that most graduates don't want to go into areas like PRA, which also happens to be a high demand area. As a result, a lot of those people have degrees in ME, EE, stats, etc. Most of the thermal modeling folks I know actually have MEs rather than NEs too. I suppose if you want optimize fuel configurations than an NE is a plus, but in general I see a lot of overlap. Much like Aero Eng, NE is a degree created to serve a particular industry. It has a lot of overlap with other degrees. If you know for sure you want to work in the nuke industry, go for it. If you think you'll want to move into something else, maybe ME is a better option. Like daveb said though, it's not like it's going to wall you off from changing your mind. Not all MEs work in thermal and mechanical design, not all EEs work in power disteributon/control, and not all NEs only design fuel pellets.
 

1. What is the difference between a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Nuclear Engineering?

A Masters in Mechanical Engineering focuses on the design, development, and operation of mechanical systems, such as engines, machines, and structures. On the other hand, a Masters in Nuclear Engineering focuses on the study and application of nuclear energy, including power generation, propulsion, and radiation protection.

2. Which degree would be more useful in the industry?

Both degrees have their own unique applications in the industry. A Masters in Mechanical Engineering is typically more versatile and can be applied to a wide range of industries, such as automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing. A Masters in Nuclear Engineering is more specialized and is primarily applicable in industries related to nuclear power, such as energy production, research, and defense.

3. What skills can I expect to gain from a Masters in Mechanical or Nuclear Engineering?

A Masters in Mechanical Engineering will provide you with a strong foundation in mathematics, physics, and engineering principles, as well as practical skills in design, analysis, and problem-solving. A Masters in Nuclear Engineering will also cover these topics, but with a focus on nuclear systems, materials, and radiation. Both degrees will also develop your critical thinking, communication, and project management skills.

4. Are there any specific job opportunities for graduates with a Masters in Mechanical or Nuclear Engineering?

Graduates with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering can pursue a variety of roles in industries such as automotive, aerospace, energy, and manufacturing. Some common job titles include mechanical engineer, design engineer, project manager, and research and development engineer. Graduates with a Masters in Nuclear Engineering can find opportunities in industries related to nuclear power, such as energy production, research and development, and nuclear waste management. Some common job titles include nuclear engineer, radiation protection specialist, and quality control engineer.

5. Can I pursue a career in both mechanical and nuclear engineering with a Masters degree in either field?

While a Masters degree in one field may provide you with some knowledge and skills in the other, it is not common for individuals to have careers in both mechanical and nuclear engineering. However, having a strong foundation in engineering principles and the ability to learn and adapt to new technologies can make it possible to transition between industries. It is important to carefully consider your career goals and choose a degree that aligns with those goals.

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