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Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       04-12-2010, 3:35 PM Reply   
I have a few questions for some of you educated folks...

I'm on my senior year, but since I took a semester of just online classes and moved down to Florida to wakeboard for a semester I'm a not graduating in 4 years... I have 7 classes left to take over the 2010/2011 year.... 6 of which I can fit in the fall semester, leaving only 1 three credit course in the spring...

Since I'll have such a light load and if I'm approved my university allows dual-enrollment so I can work on a masters while I'm still working on my undergrad .... so with that light semester, this summer, and taking a class i need for undergrade (but take the grad version and get credit for both) I could get ~1/3 of my masters done ... in only a few months..... and they just started offering the whole Masters program online.... so when I leave with a degree I could still continue the masters program where-ever I am.

My degree will be in Manufacturing Engineering, thats what the masters would be in too, but I think I would rather get an MBA.... but I could not start that until after my graduation date

anyone have advice on which would be a better route to go? Bust out the ME Masters while I'm here/online and get it done fast, or hold out for an MBA?

** I'm really sick of school so either way I won't be happy**
Old     (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       04-13-2010, 5:46 AM Reply   
I think it depends on what you are wanting to do in life. Do you want to work as an engineer or do you want to work in business/management? Most engineers end up in management anyways, and in this case I don't know if either one is going to be more beneficial than the other. I would say MBA if you are not wanting to work in your field, otherwise the Masters in M. Engineering if you are wanting to stay in your field.
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       04-13-2010, 5:53 AM Reply   
I will get blasted for this, but the only people that will say an MBA is needed or so great are people that have them. The MBA is the new diploma nowadays, and it's sad, because a lot of the people that have them don't even know why they have them, just that it was the next step to them. It's also becoming the norm of if you don't know what you want to do out of school, or can't get a job, get an MBA. In your situation I'd go with the ME, then get 5ish yrs work experience and then go for the MBA when you can apply it to real life scenerios
Old     (JJ)      Join Date: Feb 2010       04-13-2010, 7:12 AM Reply   
I'm finishing my Masters this summer. One thing I have been told throughout this whole process is it really won't matter exactly what your masters is in, its a masters. I cold be in a different situation than you though because mine is a MS of Science with a thesis.
Old     (jyoungusa)      Join Date: Sep 2009       04-13-2010, 7:33 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
I'm finishing my Masters this summer. One thing I have been told throughout this whole process is it really won't matter exactly what your masters is in, its a masters. I cold be in a different situation than you though because mine is a MS of Science with a thesis.
Both JJ and BehindtheBoat are correct - if you are staying within your field- get the ME masters; if you are looking for Management go the MBA route - bottomline is that employers are looking for the sheepskin - it shows the desire and drive to complete a significant task beyond your undergraduate degree and they hope that it will translate into a better employee.

Ultimately, an employer will higher you for your experience or potential, a Master's degree sets you apart from someone who doesn't have one. I got one about 10 years after graduation (hate school too) and now looking to go back for a 2nd masters was also told about a Certification Program - which provide masters level classes but narrowly focused curriculum
Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       04-13-2010, 8:50 AM Reply   
You can never go wrong with an extra degree. I have a B.S.E. and M.Sc. (eg., w/ Thesis) in Mechanical Engineering, and have never said or thought that, the extra two years was a waste.

My only advice is, if you go to grad school for a technical degree, don’t think that you have to stay in the same discipline. One of my professors had a Math undergrad and Mechanical Engineering Ph.D, and specialized in computational fluid dynamics. My roommate had a Physics undergrad and got a M.Sc. in Nuclear Engineering (and has done regulatory work his whole career). Another friend got a Nuclear Engineering grad degree and has worked a high paying job in a university hospital his whole career.
Old     (boomboom)      Join Date: Apr 2008       04-13-2010, 9:01 AM Reply   
It also depends on where you're going for the MBA. I am going to Booth, where the MBA will pay off huge. If you can get into a top-tier school it is DEFINITELY worth it. If you can only get into a degree factory, I would stick with the Masters in Engineering where the education will be universally accepted as directly aplicable to your field. As mentioned earlier, engineers often find they are a good fit for management positions anyhow and work their way into them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying an MBA is not good if it isn't from a stellar school--it's just VERY common among your competition as you look for a job. Keep in mind also, a HUGE number of layoffs recently have been middle management who likely have an MBA AND experience. Don't put yourself in a bad spot straight out of school.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       04-13-2010, 9:39 AM Reply   
I talked to my fiance's dad about it too, he is VP of a company with Chem. Engineering - no business anything.... He made it sound like if you've got the technical side and aren't socially inept you can move to the business side pretty easy.

don’t think that you have to stay in the same discipline.
I thought about branching out, but I honestly really like what I'm into.... I think I'll prob go with the ME one with a focus on Quality (when I'm done I'll be six sigma green belt too)..... and the idea I can finish the rest of the program online is sooooo nice to me. Just get a job and chip away at credits for a couple of years would be ideal.

Thanks everyone!!!!! now just have to hope financial aid comes through.
Old     (boomboom)      Join Date: Apr 2008       04-13-2010, 9:51 AM Reply   
I think your pop-in-law is correct. Often times anyway, a Masters degree of one color is the same as any other--they just want to see that you are well educated and teachable. The disipline of the degree is often irrelevent.
Old     (lizrd)      Join Date: Jul 2002       04-13-2010, 7:45 PM Reply   
Three other thoughts for you and I am speaking from a Bachelors, Masters and PhD perspective.

1) If you get the degree right away you might be pricing yourself OUT of the job market. Now days who knows what employers are looking for but I bet there are many out there who want to cut corners by hiring people with fewer degrees.

2) Lots of degree programs are easier and more thought provoking if you do them with some job experience or while you are working. You will be able to immediately apply what you are learning to your situation and that makes the learning more likely to stick. If you have no practical experience some of the coursework might be hard because you just haven't seen the concepts in action.

3) Finally, some employers pay for you to go to school. I completed my entire PhD on my own dime and then was hired at a place that would have paid for all of my tuition and books. Something to consider with the costs of colleges these days.

Good luck - I didn't really like school at first either but now with a PhD I can easily say it was worth it. In fact, there are days I miss being in the classroom as a student.
Old     (humboldt9)      Join Date: Jun 2004       04-13-2010, 8:14 PM Reply   
Why not get both. If you can work on your Masters in Engineering while you're still working on your undergrad that would be the way to go. Go back later and get your MBA. Question for you. Are you paying your tuition out of pocket? I would imagine in this job market you will have no problem landing a good job out of school. Look for a company that provides tuition reimbursement and then go for your MBA. That's what I did and it was one of the best career moves I ever made. Either way it sounds like you're on the right track. Good Luck!
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       04-13-2010, 10:17 PM Reply   
I totally overlooked that some places will pay for your schooling.... which would be awesome to get that taken care of.

As of now I have made it through school paying my own way... this was the first semester I needed help, got some loans (they didn't give me ****) .... but I assume that I'll be needing more next year as well.....

What I think I'm going to do is push the two classes that would count for both grad/undergrad off until spring.... do my thing in the fall, then assuming I get into the grad school, start the grad work w/ the undergrade stuff.... hopefully getting 3 grad classes and 1 undergrad class, then I'll finish with my undergrad in may and 9 of the 30 grad credits..... hopefully get a job and just chip away at the Master in the M.E. program while I work and figure **** out.

Having never really worked 100% in what I would be doing for the rest of my life its just so hard to pick a plan right now.... hpoefully after some intern work and then a real job I'll have a better grasp of what I want to do.... nuts and bolts or manager type stuff.....

growing up sucks.
Old     (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       04-14-2010, 6:48 AM Reply   
Hey Nick - I've got an MBA (Business Undergrad) and the only piece of advice I'll say is that I believe that I got more out of my education (grad school) after going out into the workforce for a few years. In my grad program - we worked with our cohort/colleagues often and it was VERY easy to tell which students came straight out of undergrad versus those who had real life experience. My vote is that you are going to get your masters in engineering - go right into it but if you are going to take the MBA route I would wait a few years til you have some solid work experience and something to offer the program. Also, your employer is more likely willing to help pay for it after you've been working there a few years versus money out of your pocket or your families pocket.

Good luck man.
Old     (dcwillette)      Join Date: Sep 2005       04-14-2010, 11:19 PM Reply   
I agree with Jeff, it's usually really apparent who has significant management experience and who doesn't as soon as they open their mouth. I can't tell you how many times I witnessed a young 25 year old MBA student just not appreciating what the class was about because they had no experience to relate it to. I would get the ME and then enroll in an Executive MBA program 5-10 years later. You'll appreciate the lessons learned more then and the contacts will be more valuable.


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