1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Msc in What?

  1. Sep 13, 2013 #1
    I am an Electronics Engineer and is heavily troubling my mind for one year already what master degree to pick up,i know i have to make a wise choice.This is how i define wise choice:

    1.A master degree should be a respected degree(obviously and the university) to a strict employer's eye.A respected degree means that the employer believes that the master degree is not a toilet paper!

    2.I do not want and it is not possible to knock the door at each employer and ask him/her directly,they have better things to do....plus, i do not believe what the universities advertise for their degrees and i do not know any master graduates to get a feedback on how their degrees have helped them to land a desired job(some master graduate do provide feedback at their university website,so that kills their credibility,it's more like an advert to allure more suckers to join).

    3.The degree does not have to be from the top 5 universities in the world rankings,because i am not that rich and i do not want to burn A LOT of thousands of money to get a degree that i might never be able to repay.

    4. from a student's perspective it will give real working skills(expertise) to stand out from the crowd and not theoretical nonsense to memorise just for the purpose professors to have exam topics for the semester exams!I am specialising in engineering not philology!Engineering=not talk about it but make a system work,get my hands dirty.

    5.the specific master(whatever it is that) will give me a good negotiation advantage to increase my salary demands.

    Considering the above,can you suggest some master degrees for an Electronics engineer you think worth doing and why?Which are respected and how do i discover the respected degrees???

    Fields that look appealing to me:mobile communications,Information technology,all kinds of networks and telecommunications,security,embedded systems,robots to name a few. I reject vlsi design,power electronics,analog design,degrees dealing with energy(eg green energy,energy production in factories etc),Quality assurance and standards,management and anything similar to that.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I would carefully rethink this attitude. It will end up limiting your capabilities in electrical engineering. I've worked with a lot of engineers who don't want to know any "theoretical nonsense" and they often don't know what they're talking about when there are problems. Their lack of theoretical knowledge typically makes them less valuable.

    As for the degree program, you're best off studying the thing that you're passionate about and fires you up. You will be better as a highly competent, driven engineer in a less-than-hot field than you will be as a mediocre, "don't care about theory" engineer in a hot area.

    Seriously, look at your list and decide what specialty fascinates you. Study that.
  4. Sep 14, 2013 #3
    Hi mynick.

    Well, let's start with 4 on which I agree with analogdesign. What will make you stand out of the crowd (as you said) is exactly this. The theoretical KNOWLEDGE. Not the information you get during a class but the knowlodge you gain after processing this information. So, you need to know the theory and you need to know how to apply it correctly.

    As for the rest, decide which field you want to specialise in. Then make a search about the universities that are active in this field, take a look at their rankings but don't look just the general ranking but also the ranking of their departments. More importantly, ask them to send you their syllabus and check to see if you are really interested in the MSc they offer.
    You don't have to go to Harvard if you can't afford it as you said but there are other good options as well, depending on where you live.
    Usually, those universities that are high in the rankings hold strong links with the potential employers. This doesn't mean that a university that is not so high in the rankings issues a useless degree, not at all.

    Don't expect anyone to tell you "go to this university and choose that MSc programme and choose those modules". This is a decision that has to be taken by you.
  5. Sep 14, 2013 #4
    thanks for the replies.I am hoping to get some feedback from people who have a master degree (or their friends) in a field which will be mentioned in the reply and share their experience on the job hunt and how the master has helped them.

    What fires me up: communication,networks and telecommunications,it was part of my degree anyway and i liked it.

    Decisive role which University to choose : if you will have the chance for support on lectures topics that are hard to conquer,professors might be too busy and unvailable.Only people who have attendend there know(or their friends for obvious reasons).

    I am looking over and over again with vivid interest the master programs:

    - ETH(zurich) master degree: electrical engineering and IT with a specialization track on telecom or networks.(tough university!)
    -Erasmus mundus master program: EMECS - European Master Embedded Computing Systems
    -Erasmus mundus master program:NordSecMob - in security and mobile computing
    -Erasmus mundus master program:COSSE - Computer Simulation For Science and engineering

    Erasmus mundus masters seem VERY approachable from a financial perspective,but the universities participating and awarding the degrees are in the very bottom of the world ranking lists in the engineering field i am interested(toilet paper degree...? ).
    There is a very expensive way to see if it is worth going there: spend a semester as a visitor,see first hand if professors are what you expect and the quality of the lectures satisfies you.Impossible solution, or get a feedback from people who actually were there.Possible solution.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  6. Sep 14, 2013 #5
    ETH is a really good option. Tuition fees are ok but I don't know about the cost of living in Zurich. There other universities in Holland for example like the Eindhoven University of Technology (http://www.tue.nl/en/education/tue-graduate-school/masters-programs/), Leiden University (http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/) or TU Delft of course (http://www.tudelft.nl/en/study/master-of-science/master-programmes/) that you should take a look at...
    I understand that you can't afford the UK that's why I don't suggest any universities there.
  7. Sep 14, 2013 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor


    Great. Study networking and telecom and be the best at it that you can. Aero_UoP has good advice about looking into universities in the Netherlands. They are truly top institutions (especially, in my opinion, Delft) and you get the benefit of living a few years in Holland which is one of the most lovely countries in the world. All three Dutch universities have excellent connections to the electronics industry and you should be able to get a good job if you do well there. One of the biggest electronics companies in the world, Philips, is in Eindhoven (but you needn't go to TUE to get access to Philips, they recruit across the Netherlands and throughout Europe.

    I would be careful about attending a low-ranked school if you have the capability to get into a higher ranked school. Typically the higher ranked schools have more connections with companies which is very important.
  8. Sep 14, 2013 #7
    You should only do masters if you are hungry for knowledge not because of prestige.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2013
  9. Sep 15, 2013 #8
    It's not exactly like that. On one hand you have to be willing to study harder and specialise on a subject area as you said. On the other hand, I think it's virtually impossible to get a job withough a MSc.
  10. Sep 15, 2013 #9
    I 100% agree with this one.I cannot find a job which will be electrical or electronic engineering ,the REAL deal.They always demand 2+ years experience,my bachelor seem not enough to convince employers to be recruited. :( The years go by and i must take action.
    I like studying,my degree gpa is 3.2, i am feeling forced to take a financial risk and invest on a Masters degree.No masters means doing stupid jobs....or worse totally unrelevant to my field.I do not want to throw my degree in the trash bin.

    Holland is a very nice country,best place to ride my bicycle,i am thinking about it, if i can find an affordable house with a small bedroom,a small kitchen and bathroom no more than 400euro/month including heating,electricity,water,internet.Rumor has it that it is veeeeery difficult to find an affordable house.....sometimes there is a waiting list(maybe just a rumor).

    thank you for your replies and your thoughts.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  11. Sep 15, 2013 #10
    Maybe you have to consider finding a room in a shared house. Shared kitchen and living room, private bathroom would be ideal (or else a shared bathroom as well) and I think you can find one at a reasonable price.
  12. Sep 15, 2013 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Good advice, when I was in school I lived in an apartment with two other students. Made the rent very low.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook