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Seeking advice for MS, Ph.D Program of Computer Engineering major

  1. Feb 6, 2007 #1

    First of all, I am an international student, currently a sophomore, 18 years old trying to earn a bachelor's degree in computer engineering major.

    My GPA so far is, not to brag or anything, but it is somewhat outstanding, and I'm trying to graduate with at least a cumulative GPA of 3.8.

    I'm definitely going to get my Master's degree after I graduate, which I will be 20 years old by then, and I'm going to attempt to get the masters in 1 and a half, two years or so.

    Suppose I get my masters by 20 : My question is how much of an advantage would it give me in terms of salaries, variety of positions etc. for my future career if I went for Ph.D in a degree related to computer engineering? I've heard that it can actually be Disadvantageous for international students since U.S is loaded with international students with Ph.D unless if you offer the same amount of salary as a person with master's would. If it is disadvantageous in any possible ways, how much would having a Ph.D at say, by 25 years old increase my odds?

    What are some possible fields I can work with computer engineering degree?

    I'm sorry for asking so many questions at once. I would deeply appriciate it if someone (preferably those who came from outside of us) can give me the answers I seek above.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2007 #2
    Its easy to keep a near 4.0 sophomore year, not until Jr. year is when the real classes come. Welll I wouldn't say easy, it takes hard work but when you hit your Jr. year you'll soon find, having 4 core classes is more work than having 6-7 classes Freshman/Sophomore year.

    If you want to do any type of hardware design your going to have to get at least a masters, at the PhD level you shouldn't have a problem.

    My professor told us the private industry is being more and more selective, they don't like to pay high salaries right out of the pocket to someone with a PhD but would rather take them in and "groom" them to their company at a lower degree level.
  4. Feb 6, 2007 #3
    I plan on going for a PhD in either electrical engineering or physics (solid state devices PhD, hopefully). I am currently a double major in EE and physics.

    I am not going for the PhD for improved job prospects...that's not a good enough reason to do a PhD....you have to just want to do it for its own sake...because of a passion you have for the subject.

    Chances are if you are seeking industrial employment, a PhD probably isn't much more valuable than a masters...however, the PhD gives you more options for government and academic employment (tenure track assistant professorship is often a nice place to be :) ).

    Also, whether or not the PhD is much more beneficial than the masters depends on the specific field you want to get into. If you are seeking to get into device physics and fabrication, then the PhD would probably be quite beneficial.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
  5. Feb 6, 2007 #4
    Also, a computer engineer could work in a large variety of different fields. For instance, they could be employed in VLSI, device physics, fabrication, logic design and VHDL, hardware sales, software development, verification, communications, etc.

    BTW, since you're only a sophomore, could I recommend that you consider majoring in EE, and then take some comp eng electives on the side? Overall, I have been told that EEs with comp eng background are more marketable than just comp Es. With an EE degree with comp E electives, you could also be employable in the traditional analog electronics subjects, antenna design, etc, and all of the other fields comp E fields.
  6. Feb 7, 2007 #5
    Can't do. I'm on a 3 and a half year plan (and therefore, taking junior level classes as sophomore) since our family is not too wealthy. (In fact, we're in debt) That's why I wanted to know the benefits of having a Ph.D, because although I do understand that one shouldn't aim at Ph.D only for improved job prospects, if it's one benefit that Ph.D will give me, then I would gladly shoot for Ph.D, but that doesn't seem to be the case here, so I'll have to reconsider.

    Let me ask another question while I have the chance : I was actually looking into the field of robotics. Is computer engineering a good major to get into robotics later? or is it more of a comp sci or electrical engineering thing?
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2007
  7. Feb 7, 2007 #6
    If you're into robotics I'd stick with the computer engineering major and consider taking some electives (if you have some) in control systems courses.
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