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BS in Electrical Engineer. Full-time employee. Is it worth doing Masters ?

addtd2sd 1,404 320 July 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM
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I've a dilemma. Hope someone can point me in the right direction.

I've a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering and i've a stable full-time job. Is it worth quitting my current job to pursue masters in either ECE or Computer Science ? It will cost me ~$22k ($8.5k per semester *2 + summer tuition).


Are there any advantageous ? I've 2-3yrs experience in this field and most people i've talked to advice me not to do it because my experience has "more value" than a MS. But then, some have advised me to do it before "you're too old".

Does an MS degree give me any advantage when it comes to promotions and stuffs or will they look at your experience and skill sets only ?


Any help is appreciated.

Edit: I work as a developer. (not sure if it matters)

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#16
I would suggest sticking with your job for now if you like it - but keep your eyes open for another one, and see if you can get one that will pay for you to get your masters - even if it's only 1 class at a time
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#17
In a technical field such as electrical or computer engineering, I find that the masters programs don't do much for your job unless you want something more research oriented. Most engineers learn the job-specific functions directly on the job since most college programs don't teach the real skills that are needed on the job.

Stick with the job until you need a tech refresh down the line.
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#18
I got a BE and ME in Computer Engineering at the same time so there was no added tuition cost for me at my school. I guess the only thing I missed out on was 1 year of earnings since it was a 5 year program instead of 4. However, that is made up by the salary boost in the long run. It got me a 10k boost right off that bat at my first job.

I agree with most here, the field experience is far more valuable than anything you would learn in class for a technical masters. The paper you get is basically an entitlement to a salary boost which of course will vary from company to company.
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#19
BS in Electrical Engineer. Full-time employee. Is it worth doing Masters?

No!
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#20
From a financial perspective if your paying for it and your currently making decent coin Id say probably not. From a personal standpoint only you can answer that. Some people love school.
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#21
I've been working in the engineering industry for about 3 years now. I decided to go back for my Masters in Mechanical Engineering. My only reason for doing so is because my employer is paying for it 100%. I would not have done it if I was required to pay out of pocket. I believe the experience at this point is more important that the masters degree, but since my employer is footing the bill, it was hard to pass up.
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#22
If you're working as an engineer I'd recommend you focus more on getting your PE rating as opposed to MS.
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#23
I think that depends on where you can go. If you can get your Master's at an Ivy or a school with a large network than it could definitely be worth it.

Also 100% yes if employer pays for it.
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#24
Quote from zzyzzx View Post :
BS in Electrical Engineer. Full-time employee. Is it worth doing Masters?

No!

100% agree, No no no!! Unless it is at an ivy (the connections are worth it) but for 22k a year i am guessing it is not.keep your job!
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#25
Thanks guys. really appreciate the inputs.Smilie

i think i'll wait couple more years and find a job that pays for MS program. i'll look more into management programs too if i decide to do it.
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#26
I'd just note that most people will tell you to roll into a graduate program out of ugrad because when you get a job and all the lifestyle upgrades that go with it, that makes it so much more difficult to go back.

There is an opportunity cost for going for the grad vs going to work. I'm not sure what it's like in EE but for my first masters I was making about $17k/yr (plus free tuition) and for my doctorate it was closer to $30k with free tuition and healthcare. If seen this way the cost/benefit is much easier to digest. (I f you count tuition, working and going to school are probably on par with one another value wise)

In fact many people ask me why I'm getting my MBA and I say - why not? I actually had thought about going BSEE or ME, but these programs are near impossible to find PT, whereas MBA's are tailored for PT. In the end, it's about $45k for a degree that I'll probably spend less than $500 for. I see it as free money, a benefit that few use (about 5 of us out of 300!).
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#27
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
I'd just note that most people will tell you to roll into a graduate program out of ugrad because when you get a job and all the lifestyle upgrades that go with it, that makes it so much more difficult to go back.

There is an opportunity cost for going for the grad vs going to work. I'm not sure what it's like in EE but for my first masters I was making about $17k/yr (plus free tuition) and for my doctorate it was closer to $30k with free tuition and healthcare. If seen this way the cost/benefit is much easier to digest. (I f you count tuition, working and going to school are probably on par with one another value wise)

In fact many people ask me why I'm getting my MBA and I say - why not? I actually had thought about going BSEE or ME, but these programs are near impossible to find PT, whereas MBA's are tailored for PT. In the end, it's about $45k for a degree that I'll probably spend less than $500 for. I see it as free money, a benefit that few use (about 5 of us out of 300!).
$45k for an MBA - UMUC?
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#28
Quote from dealgate View Post :
$45k for an MBA - UMUC?
Well it's alacarte, like $2100/class, 19 classes ~ $40k. If you add books and cases, probably about $200/class, that's another ~ $4k. My company pays for it all. Actually I charge the fees, get the 1% or whatever and they reimburse me (so you could say I actually make ~ $400 on the whole thing, but not really when you consider gas). Not UMUC - UCONN, actually.
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#29
Quote from dealgate View Post :
Don't waste your time on a technical Masters. Get a managerial masters like an MBA. You are not going to learn anything technical in a technical masters program that will help you in your job. You will, however, learn a ton of useful management information in an MBA. And as you move up the ladder, you will be moving more and more towards management. Most employers would much rather see you with an MBA that an advanced engineering degree. And the bonus is the managerial masters is 100x easier than the technical one.
This is exactly what the EE friend I have has done. So far it seems to be paying off for him rather nicely. It's a good way to move up in the company too, since the boss is rarely the smartest engineer. The boss is a smart engineer who can manage the people, clients, and customers while understanding whats going on to make the right decisions.
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#30
I agree with others that it's better to take classes while you're working and have your company pay for the degree. I got my MS Computer Engineering this route shortly after I graduated from college and started working. I think classes were around $2000 each and I needed 9 total to graduate with the master.

No, I never saw any sort of pay/promotion increase because of the degree. I agree that you're more likely to benefit with an MBA as your second degree.
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