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What is an MSEE worth?

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Before I begin, I just want to emphasize that I'm seeking an objective response based on real personal experiences, but I still understand that there is no real "right" answer to this question.  So, in terms of career advancement, is an MSEE worth the time and cost?

First, a little about my particular situation:

I obtained my BSEE from a respected school and have a little over 5 years of engineering work experience in aerospace; however, the type of experience that I've gained is not design-oriented enough.  At my current job, I feel that emotional intelligence and interpersonal communication skills are the most important talents/skills that are necessary to succeed.  In other words, my ability to tolerate difficult personalities and play office politics is what's keeping me on the payroll.  Obviously, we ALL have to deal with some degree of this at work.

Ideally, I'd like to land a job in a niche technical field that values my analytical and technical skills as my primary asset.   I'm sure we've all come across an eccentric and/or arrogant engineering guru who is tolerated by many because his/her skills are THAT indispensable.  Well, I don't need to get to that level, but I'd sure like to be valued more for my technical abilities rather than my butt-kissing skills.  In other words, I'm not interested in climbing the corporate ladder at some mega-company.  Also, I'm a bit wary of entering a field that's likely to be off-shored in the coming decades, as tech jobs seem to be fleeing the United States in droves.  I understand that all these demands constitute a tall order, but hey -- you gotta shoot for the stars but prepare to settle for the moon.

Anyhow, so to that end, is an MSEE worth it?  Will it help me land that dream tech job?  Or, am I better off self-studying, volunteering in projects, and tinkering/hacking on my own?  In other words, what's an extra degree if I have no practical hands-on design skills?

That depends on what you want to get out your degree. For starters, having a MS will in most cases increase your pay. If you are not happy with your professional experience a masters can be helpful if you get in a program doing research in an area you are interested in. Even better, a lot of programs PAY YOU (including myself) to come and learn.

Post graduate study and the phrase "I'm not interested in climbing the corporate ladder at some mega-company" as a general rules don't go hand-in-hand!
But that's just my experience here in Australia, YMMV.

If you want to do the MSEE for personal enjoyment or fulfillment, go for it, but if it's just because you think you need it for some dream job, then I'd say you'd be doing it for all the wrong reasons.
There might be SOME technical jobs that favor (or even require) an MSEE, but I'd say there are a lot more jobs 9the vast majority) that simply care about your experience and background.

It is fairly clear that you are unhappy/unfulfilled in your current position, so in that case I'd recommend you simply get out and find another job with more technical work and less of the Dilbert world.
In reality the MS won't really help you get that more technical job, you'll still have to same problems finding a job that you like. So just keep moving until you find one that suits you.


Generally an MS will get you a higher starting salary, but as time goes on, your skills and the ability to use your knowledge are greater factors in your career, in my experience.  I give no deference to an MS or PhD when interviewing and hiring.

MS is great in academic like settings, and in some large corps that value such stats.  Most sharp engineers are that way not because of the advanced degree, but how to apply themselves.


A-sic Enginerd:
From what I've seen it translates to equiv 2 yrs experience on the job. So with 5 yrs under your belt already, you're at that threshold whether it's worth it or just a waste for the purpose of being able to put it on your resume.

However, something that was kind of danced around in other replies is: use that MS to specialize a bit more in a particular field.....meh, that might open a few more doors. You'd have to do some homework on your own to determine that.


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