Question for Systems Engineers and Education

  • #1
142
4
I work as a systems engineer for electrical systems.

I did my undergraduate in electrical engineering, and have a masters in electrical engineering.

I'm currently in a graduate certificate program for systems engineering, and am considering upgrading it to a flow blown masters degree, so that way I would be a dual major.

Is anyone here a systems engineering can provide any insight on the benefits of getting a masters degree in Systems engineering? Systems engineering is sort of a unique field, and I know there's been a push to get some systems engineering courses in undergraduate engineering programs.

It's kind of like you can be a systems engineer that works on mechanical systems OR electrical systems OR fluid systems OR cybersecurity systems etc.. So it's useful to have a solid education on the type of system you work on (electrical, mechanical, cybersecurity, fluids). Is there a benefit to get both a masters degree in systems engineering and a masters degree on the type of system you work on?

Thanks on any advice. It seems obvious that there would be some benefit, directly related to career path, but I figured I would ask someone else that has done this, and if it was worth it or not.

I'm asking this question in terms if it would benefit my career or would be a complete waste of time and money.
I can safely say that for me, the masters in electrical engineering has defiantly helped me out.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
DaveE
Gold Member
874
636
I don't have the systems background to answer your question. However, I think the real value of an educational program is what you learn, not the title you get at the end. My experience in industry was that people can get promoted/hired to do a job if they have a reasonable minimum educational background and convince their employer that they will perform well.

When I was hiring EEs, for example, I wanted to know what their degrees were, but that wasn't anywhere near as important as how they answered technical questions or demonstrated good skills (problem solving, communication, leadership, etc.), In short, I didn't care where you learned about Laplace transforms, for example, I just wanted to see that you knew about them.

So, If I were you I would skip it if you think you won't learn good stuff, and I would do it if you think you will. Your resume shouldn't be your biggest concern at this stage.
 
  • #3
CrysPhys
Education Advisor
720
391
To: OP. I'm a PhD physicist, who at one point transitioned to a career as a systems engineer in wireless telecommunications.

A lot depends on whether you plan to transition to a career as a systems engineer with your present employer, or whether you plan to apply for a job as a systems engineer in another company. If you plan to stay with your present employer, you should have the inside scoop on whether a graduate certificate or a MS in systems engineering makes any difference. If you plan to immediately apply for a slot as a systems engineer with another company, though, a graduate certificate with no systems engineering experience will carry far less weight than an MS in systems engineering. On the other hand, if you stop with the graduate certificate, stay with your present employer, transition to systems engineering, and gain several years of experience, then you'll have a solid launching pad should you choose to explore opportunities elsewhere. Once you have a solid body of experience, and a solid portfolio of accomplishments, whether you have a graduate certificate or MS in systems engineering won't be of much consequence.

A certificate per se has substantial value only in certain cases; e.g., a PMP Certificate for project managers; or a Cisco or Microsoft Certificate for IT staff.
 

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