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Schooling Guidance Bachelors, Masters, PhD?

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  • Thread starter C268
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I am currently a Sophomore at Northern Arizona University in the Mechanical Engineering Department and I am struggling to decide whether or not I want to go to Grad school or not.

I recently talked to one of my father's friends who retired from Motorola, he was Vice President of one of the sectors over there. He graduated from ASU with a Bachelors in Electrical/Computer Engineering degree (back then the two degrees were together). I asked about getting at least a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and he told me he wouldn't recommend it as the two years spent in school could be spent with obtaining actual job experience. I thought about possibly getting a Master's in Business and he said that wouldn't be a bad idea as most companies would pay for it. He explained that he wouldn't get a Master's in the same field though (Mechanical Engineering).

I am fairly open to different jobs, I am a little partial to the Automobile industry or Aerospace though. Money isn't a huge issue, as I am sure I will live comfortably with any Mechanical Engineering degree, but how big is the difference in pay between a Bachelor's, Masters, and a PhD? From what I understand it isn't necessarily the degree you have, but the experience you have. Also, I understand a PhD is typically for those who want to teach, or want to do R&D. I like the idea of R&D, but teaching...not so much, not of any interest to me.

What are your guys' thoughts and opinions?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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As soon as you get an opportunity to accrue engineering experience in a field of interest to you, take it. Sometimes companies have a minimum criteria of Masters degree for engineering positions; however, this is usually not the case. Sometimes companies equate the 1 year of a full time masters program to 1-3 years industry experience. Sometimes they don't. Additionally, it is possible to work full time in industry and pick up a masters degree over 3-5 years part time.

Most companies I've worked for value ( experience >> level of degree).
 
  • #3
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As soon as you get an opportunity to accrue engineering experience in a field of interest to you, take it. Sometimes companies have a minimum criteria of Masters degree for engineering positions; however, this is usually not the case. Sometimes companies equate the 1 year of a full time masters program to 1-3 years industry experience. Sometimes they don't. Additionally, it is possible to work full time in industry and pick up a masters degree over 3-5 years part time.

Most companies I've worked for value ( experience >> level of degree).
Thanks a lot for the response...I have 3 years to decide what I want to do, but I figured I would get some feedback from others.
 
  • #4
turbo
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My cousin got a 2-year associates degree from a community college and started working for GE as a programmer on the backscatter OTH radar program here in Maine. He and his family have been moved all over the world (including 5 years in OZ) so he could supervise defense projects.

It's not the letters behind your name. It's what you can do with what you've got.
 
  • #5
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My cousin got a 2-year associates degree from a community college and started working for GE as a programmer on the backscatter OTH radar program here in Maine. He and his family have been moved all over the world (including 5 years in OZ) so he could supervise defense projects.

It's not the letters behind your name. It's what you can do with what you've got.
That seems to be sort of the universal agreement...its not about the degree, but experience and how you perform. Well thanks for the response!
 
  • #6
turbo
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That seems to be sort of the universal agreement...its not about the degree, but experience and how you perform. Well thanks for the response!
I hope this helps. We have to live our own lives and we should not have to buy a piece of paper to prove that we are worthy. What can can you do?
 

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