Best Graduate Degree to accompany my BSEE?

I am getting ready to graduate with my BSEE in June and am thinking ahead to my masters. I am not to sure that a masters in EE would be such a wise idea considering the market for engineers right now. I am thinking that it would be wise to diversify and get my masters in something else.

What would be a good degree that would give me versitility and an edge in the market? Or would it be wise to go forward and get my MSEE?

I am thinking maybe an MBA or some sort of management degree would work well with a BSEE to give me more to offer an employer. It seems that a MSEE would keep me in the same boat as I am with just my BSEE and would pigeon hole me into an “engineering” job and limit my chances to make money in other fields.

If I was to go for an MSEE I would want to specialize in power engineering or control theory. But I don’t want to limit myself to EE. At least I don’t think.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the field and wish that it was more stable but the fact of the matter is that I have to make enough money to make my time in college worth it.

Any ideas?

Sounds like IMHO territory.

For what it’s worth, I’m an EE and am currently working toward a MSEE. I think this route is more valuable than getting an MBA or “management” degree. But here’s they key: Make your electives business-oriented. As an example, my electives are “Engineering Cost Analysis” and “Engineering Systems Management.”

I like Crafter_Man’s response.

You might also want to consider going for a master’s in computer science. But, if you really like EE, go for that. Maybe shoot for a PhD?

For most good MBA degrees, you can’t get in without real world working experience. Your experience is more important at this point, unless you happen to have a doctoral.

I have a BSME and a MSME.

Don’t get a PhD unless you enjoy research or want to go into academics. If you want to go into applied engineering, a PhD can be a detriment.

If you can afford it and you still enjoy school, I would highly recommend a MSEE, especially given the crappy economy. In the year or two it takes to get the MS, the economy may improve dramatically. Even if it doesn’t, MS may be the edge you need to beat out the other applicants. I have found that the MS has served me very well.

As for an MBA, it’s great if you want to take your career in that direction but it won’t impress anyone looking for an entry level engineer.

I have to run off to work. Feel free to email me if you want to discuss this some more.


I disagree somewhat with hajario. A PHD in Electrical engineering does not relegate you to academia. There are many people with PHDs where I work and all of my friends with EE PHDs work in industry. I agree that a masters is a good thing to get. Most of the Engineers are like myself and have a masters.

You can also get a law degree and become a patent lawyer. It is a vary lucrative career because there are not that many patent attorneys. You need to have a science or engineering degree plus to law degree to practice.

This will be a matter of opinion, so I’ll move this thread to IMHO.

moderator GQ

I was going to suggest this career option as well. If you’re not sure you’ll like patent law or want to attend law school (and trust me, it’s not for everyone), try to get a job as a patent agent at a law firm. See how you like the job and take it from there. Chances are, if you find a firm hungry enough for you, you could do your masters while working (patent prosecution is fairly portable) and someday, the firm could pay you to attend law school. You’d only have to give up your sou – you know, the usual things.

Bottom line: there are loads of other options out there with an EE degree.

MBA…or a master’s in operations management --that is if you want to get into operations mgmt later on (doing more than just engineering).

I would also recommend spending some time in the work force before you get your masters…you get a better understanding of what it is you want to do, and you’ll appreciate going back to school in whatever you may choose to concentrate in (MBA, Eng. Mstrs, etc.)

In my short experience (10 yrs) employers prefer people with engineering (IE, EE, ME) Bachelor’s degrees with an MBA in mgmt or ops mgmt.

Good luck!!! :wink:

That wasn’t what I said. I said either academia or research. I’ve worked in industry for the last 13 years and have worked with many PhDs. Virtually all of them were in R&D with an emphesis on the R part.


I’d also vote for a law degree. I got an MS in CE and I’m not so sure it helped me. Like InTransit suggested, check it out and see if it’s for you.

Stinkpalm as early as 15 or so years ago, a bachelor in engineer coupled with an MBA would land you a very good job. Nowadays, alot more engineering firms want an MSEE and don’t care a hoot about MBA’s.

One thing to think about is the possibility of getting a job now and letting your employer pay for your masters. Also if there are a few new employees at the company you land a job with, you can have an instant study group with those also going for their masters on the employers nickle.

The biggest factor weighing of whether to get an engineering masters or an MBA should be going for you like. And since it is engineer, continue that field.

If you like engineering, then being “stuck” in research is not a bad thing. But with the right job you should be able to do the fun new development stuff and if you are practical be able to see those development being put into practice.

Another thing to think about is what you like to do. I got a bachelors degree and went to work in environmental engineering for a couple of years… found out that I don’t particularly enjoy being a practicing environmental engineer. If you get an MBA and then find out you don’t really like being a manager, well, that doesn’t sound like the best situation.

What about a master of engineering degree? I’m not too familiar with them, but they seem like a combination of MS and MBA - more engineering work, but with a definite slant toward management and business aspects. They’re sometimes referred to as professional degrees, and they’re often a lot easier to get into than MBA programs, especially if you don’t have any professional experience.

I am commissioning back into the USAF this summer for sure, and they will pay for my masters. I am just afraid that if the job market stays in the dumpster like it is now that I will just be expanding my hole by getting an MSEE and keeping my options just as limited as they appear to be now.

I have a child to support so I cannot take a pay cut to do some CO-OP at $12 an hour just to get exp. This is one of the reasons I am going back in the AF. I have got a developmental engineering slot right now.