Should I get MSEE, MBA or both?

In summary: She built a large image recognition machine that is used by Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. She uses her machine to improve the accuracy of their photo recognition software. I think this is an excellent example of how society can benefit from the work of engineers.
  • #1
hipsterfromiowa
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I am currently studying BS Audio & Music Engineering (EE with a musical focus, you can guess what school am at). I am a second semester freshman (as of Jan 2016).

My school provides an option of a 4+1 program with MS in EE, of which I was considering, but my parents want me to get an MBA (father is BS CS + MBA from MIT and mom two years at MISiS and Business Administration at UIowa).

My dream is to work in building and designing audio equipment and also work on complex EE design and innovation. I would love to work in a lab developing new technologies. I have also thought about starting my own audio engineering company like Bose Corporation, but I don't know how that will benefit society and improve life on Earth (I think about that a lot when validating my life choices).

What do you suggest? What experiences have you had with either BS + MBA, BS/MS, or BS/MS + MBA?
 
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  • #2
It's a tough one. Early in your career, an MBA does nothing for you - and extra technical education will - but later on, when you are ready to go into management or start your own business (age 30+ generally), an MBA would be useful. Of course, you could always go back for the MBA later. Either way, browse Monster.com and see what the educational requirements are for the jobs you want. Also:
...but I don't know how that will benefit society and improve life on Earth (I think about that a lot when validating my life choices).
A lot of young people put a lot of thought into that. You really need to set it aside for now because when you are young, you are searching for a reason why you should work and not yet grasping just how important the primary reason for working is: making money. After you graduate, it will quickly become clear. And if, after 5 or 10 or 30 years you advance past the point where you need to worry about making money anymore, then you can re-visit improving the world.
 
  • #3
Unless your primary goal is to get into some kind of business management role early on, I'm not sure than an MBA is going to do a lot for you. If your primary interest lies in the technical side of things then the skills and knowledge you would get from an MBA may become important later in your career, as Russ said. That would be if you got to the level of group or project management and even then, a lot can depend on the specifics of your situation as to whether an MBA would be of any benefit to you.

Based on what you've said, I'd suggest you aim for the MS in EE. You can always pick up an MBA later in life. That's a degree that can be done part-time. And some employers will even pay you to do it.

As to the "benefit society" question - my take is that this is something that just about anyone can do. Directly as an electrical and sound engineer you could look into options around audiology, or get involved with projects that reduce noise pollution or reduce distraction sounds. But your career doesn't even always have to have a direct and obvious benefit to it either. You could take a job that allows you to work on other projects that you're really passionate about in your down time. You could do volunteer work, coach, be a Big Brother or Big Sister, lead a scouting troop, etc. If you really want to make a positive difference in the world there's no shortage of opportunities to do that.
 
  • #4
Hey guys! Thanks for your detailed responses!

What I meant by "benefiting society" was that my research or company's engineering impacted society in a deep and meaningful way. A good example in engineering is Fei-Fei Li's ImageNet project (I am not a computer scientist though).
 
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Related to Should I get MSEE, MBA or both?

1. Should I get an MSEE, MBA, or both?

It depends on your career goals and interests. An MSEE (Master of Science in Electrical Engineering) will provide advanced technical knowledge and skills in the field of electrical engineering, while an MBA (Master of Business Administration) will focus on business management and leadership. If you want to pursue a technical career in electrical engineering, an MSEE may be more beneficial. However, if you are interested in management or entrepreneurship within the engineering industry, an MBA may be more valuable. Both degrees can also be complementary, providing you with a well-rounded skill set.

2. What are the benefits of getting an MSEE?

An MSEE can open up career opportunities in various industries, including telecommunications, power and energy, electronics, and computer hardware and software. It can also lead to higher salary potential and job stability. Additionally, an MSEE can provide you with advanced technical knowledge and research skills, making you a valuable asset in the engineering field.

3. What are the benefits of getting an MBA?

An MBA can equip you with business management skills and knowledge, making you a competitive candidate for leadership roles within the engineering industry. It can also broaden your career options beyond technical roles, such as project management, consulting, and entrepreneurship. An MBA can also lead to higher salary potential and a strong professional network.

4. Can I pursue both an MSEE and MBA at the same time?

Yes, it is possible to pursue both degrees simultaneously through a dual degree program. However, this option may require a significant time and financial commitment. It is important to carefully consider your priorities and goals before deciding to pursue both degrees at once.

5. Which degree is more suitable for a career switch into the engineering industry?

Both degrees can be beneficial for a career switch into the engineering industry. An MSEE can provide you with the technical knowledge and skills needed for a career in engineering, while an MBA can equip you with business and management skills that are valuable in the industry. It ultimately depends on your career goals and which degree aligns better with your interests and strengths.

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