It is becoming a norm nowadays for engineers with undergraduate degrees to continue their education and pursue a masters degree in engineering. As the working world places more and more emphasis on paper education, it is becoming a no-brainer for anyone to pursue such a post graduate degree. Although there are definitely the positives in getting a masters in engineering, they are also some negativities which we will look into in this article.
There is no doubt that there is plenty of positive to talk about first. For one, getting a master degree will increase the technical background and know-how of the engineer. An undergraduate degree will basically equip the candidate with about 5-6 basic courses in engineering while in a masters program, the candidate will likely do at least 10 in depth courses in the engineering field of choice. Second, getting a masters degree will definitely distinguish the candidate from other people in the industry who do not have one. While it is becoming popular to have a post graduate degree, many engineers still don’t and with the world economy as it is, every bit of difference helps in securing a well-paying job. Lastly, doing a masters degree will also allow the engineer to conduct more thorough research into the field of choice. Most engineers in the working world will not get this opportunity to indulge any kind of research while working in the commercial field. These are but three of the pros that one can consider when thinking about getting a masters degree in engineering.
In terms of negatives, the most important thing to look at is definitely the cost, both actual and opportunity. In terms of actual cost, a masters degree could possibly be beyond the affordability of certain candidates who have financial issues. There are many cases of engineering post-graduates who become so laden with debt even before they start their first job. This is made even worse if the candidates’ graduate into a world economy in recession as it is now. Furthermore, one has to look at the opportunity cost the candidate will incur in getting the masters degree. This comes from the years of lost income and the career opportunities that may pass by during the years pursuing the paper qualification.
It is very difficult to make a decision on whether to pursue a masters in engineering degree. There are many factors and variables to consider, each with its own pros and cons. It is a decision that can only be decided by the candidate as it is definitely a life changing decision.