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Ph.D or Masters?

  1. Nov 17, 2011 #1
    Hi guys, thought that I could use a little more guidance and advice from those who are already in the field. I've searched around, but the situation I am in is rather different.

    I'm from a very tiny island in south-east asia and have a BEng in Engineering (Automotive) from Australia. The problem is that where I come from, there is little or no industry that I am interested in. The level of engineering isn't that fantastic, and more towards application engineering (which I'm not very excited about). I've worked for a couple of months back home and left primarily because it wasn't challenging enough and I felt like I wasted money getting a degree.

    My primary goal is to work for an automotive consultant company or similar, preferably doing design, innovation or research work. I've always loved cars and did my final year project with my uni's formula sae team.

    My next step is to get a graduate degree, as I felt that undergrad wasn't detailed enough in theory and I want to learn more. I've applied to Melbourne University's MEng program and was accepted. However one thing is constantly on my mind: What is the actual value of a masters degree over a bachelors, and over a Ph.D? I don't mean returns of investment since I'm not on a loan (which is what most articles are about). I'm talking about chances of getting hired by potential employees and the job scope. Will a masters degree give significant advantage over a bachelors + 2 years experience? By the way when I was working, I noticed the difference between 2 years of employment and 2 years of experience. The former is merely following orders from higher ups and basically just surviving/existing in the company.

    Would it be more worth it to strive for a Ph.D instead? Since some people view a masters as a neither here-nor-there qualification stuck between a bachelors and Ph.D.

    Also, are there any ways or paths to getting the kind of job I'm interested in overseas? Unfortunately in most countries, a work visa is required before they even consider your application. I understand that the automotive r&d hubs are in Europe, UK and in the US. Since I've not much work experience, are there any ways to get a job overseas? I'm willing to work for less salary just to do something that I really like. Another reason of getting a graduate degree is hopefully more opportunities to work with the industry, but I might just go with formula sae again. =/
  2. jcsd
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