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Woman Engineer – Engineering: Graduate School

February 19, 2018

This one is going to be a short blog on school post graduation. I’m still very unsure of my decisions so please take my words with a grain of salt. To be honest, I don’t know what I’m doing either with this one. Read more to hear myself arguing with myself about this decision. 

So I’m in my last semester, graduate in May. Ever since I entered college, the decision to take on grad school has been split. Until the spring of my second to last year. Half of the people I knew said continuing for a masters degree would be useful. The other half gave the exact opposite opinion. So naturally I started exploring my options. To which I found that I didn’t have to take a technical route when it comes to grad school! Instead I could go for a management route i.e. MPA or MBA . I do work at a private firm so everyone here either has an MS or a PHD, that means I will have to get one of my own. Right now, my decision is to definitely get a graduate degree; however, I will look into different options such as an online program and other non technical routes.

Many people still say that it’s very important to get the P.E. ASAP. I’m still seeing on job applications that the professional engineering license is a requirement rather than the masters degree. However, I will continue into graduate school. I have decided that if I can get into the graduate program, I will continue with graduate school right away. I will focus in Environmental and Water Resources for my graduate degree.

The reason is that I don’t want to regret my decision of not getting a technical degree. I have a feeling that I will be out of touch with school if I wait some time to pursue my Master’s Degree. I have been told by those going back to school after 3+ years out of school that it is very hard to get back in the groove. So I decided that I will do it now before it’s too late. My mentor has also told me that a post graduate is necessary, so I will take his advice this time. Although he did say any type of Masters degree is good but I will go with technical degree for now.

Since I’m being very general about this subject, I have to say that not every engineering major needs a graduate degree. For example, when in Geotechnical, Structural Engineering (Civil Engineering in general) a graduate degree is a must. It used to be that one didn’t need much more than an undergraduate degree to get anywhere in Civil Engineering. But I’ve learned from talking to multiple recruiters and engineering firm presidents/CEOs a graduate degree is pretty much a must now. Although it does not have to be technical, it could also be an MBA. I believe a graduate degree is getting more attention in the electrical and mechanical engineering field but it’s not very popular as many schools do not offer these graduate degrees.

I will cut this one short for now and will update later on. But I just wanted to share some words for those in my position to not have to beat themselves over the decision to wait or continue graduate school right after post graduate. 

I hope this helped in some way.

Until next time,

Katherine

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