Advice regarding grad school

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Gravice, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Gravice

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    0
    0
    Hi all,
    I completed my bachelor's in Electrical and electronics engineering and worked in a completely different field for 2 years but now I would like to do my masters in electrical engineering and would really love to do that in a very good school in the US.Before I was doubting myself and thought I would never get a good school and hence did not even bother to try.But at the same time I could not stand not trying and I have now decided I should give my 100 percent and try and even if I fail I would have the satisfaction of having tried.

    I have good gpa and I'm confident of getting a good score in GRE But I have no relevant experience or any publications .what can I do to better my chances of getting admitted.My plan is to try for internships and gain 1 or 2 years of experience.Is working in any one particular field (like signals and systems or control systems) enough ?would it count as relevant experience for masters in electrical engineering?or do I need more research experience in different subjects I studied in my undergraduation?I am 24 now and by the time I prepare myself and apply I would be 26.would it be too late?
    These are some of the questions that's been bugging me for a long time and thought I would post somewhere to get some advice/suggestions.


    Thanks
     
  2. Zazoo

    Member

    Jul 27, 2011
    114
    43
    Speaking only to your concerns about age, I wouldn't worry about it all. 26 is not old for a graduate student, not even close. I was accepted to a couple of graduate schools earlier this year, and I'm 33. My age never even came up. A lot of graduate students worked for some time before returning to school.

    Zazoo
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  3. amilton542

    Active Member

    Nov 13, 2010
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    I'd say it depends on how determined you are to achieve. I'm 22, I didn't listen at school (for some reason) now I want to go to University, but I have an unfortunate past against my name and they come down on you like a tonne of bricks.

    I'm at college, they rank my 2 year Higher Education EE program as a notch down from the degree, but in my opinion it's no where near. The management side is, not the engineering side; no way hozae.

    The engineering hasn't even started yet for me. I'm too busy with the math, physics and English (along side my course at home) in order to make up for lost time so as to just gain access into University. I've got another year left at this place until I'm finished, then I (hopefully) enrol onto the 'official' degree. This spans a 3 year time segment. Another year left for now + 3 years at Uni + 22 years of age = 26 years of age when I graduate.

    Now check this out. I'm power, I'm not electronic. Power engineering isn't even covered on the standardised degree. It comes after, unfortunately. So that's even more debt and time against my name so as to get that piece of paper in my hand so I can at least get a foot through the door with a power company. Now I'm pushing 28 nearly. Yes, I'm sure there are people out there wishing they were that age again, but as a freshman student who has just graduated with no experience, time's getting on.

    If I was in a University at the age of 18, the on-site entertainment would be too appealing for me. Leave it a few years later, however, and you're determined to be superior over the rest. Determination to achieve is the key to success.

    Now, this is the biggest joke of all. I have to sit here and lurk, whilst observing third-year degree students in their prime who can't even make a calculated attempt in starting a new sentence with a capital letter or even paragraph their own writing!

    It makes you wonder, how the F#*K have they wormed their way into the system so young?

    If I had it my way, I'd become competent in maths and physics, jump the degree, and be thrown straight onto a PhD involved with particular areas I've specifically chosen.
     
  4. ramancini8

    Member

    Jul 18, 2012
    442
    118
    I was 26 when I got my BSEE. I got an ME (equivalent to MSEE) later. I can say that getting a higher degree never made me a dime. It is a waste of time unless you want to teach college.
     
  5. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    3,577
    463
    College/university is mainly for networking and/or to spend money.

    If you don't have money, and uphold the belief that you will learn something relevant to actual current commercial technology, good luck.

    You need top class advice for the right institute.

    When I visited college I had the impression some people just attended for the paper, not actually to learn something. They had many books at home, with lots of topics, and in class we handled only the basics.

    I would check very carefully if the degree etc. you want to archieve really will be actually useful for your carreer, and if the teachers/supervisors at the institute really have a clue + can eventually help you.

    If you read some phony statements on their website they would be working together with the industry, this indeed does not have to mean much. It could mean there will be some old teacher grinding with basics, some teachers will changer during duration of the course, and eventually towards the end, some recruiters will be around and contact some students just on the margin.

    Really make it up in written what's relevant for your chances to get a job, for your carreer etc., and see if you can get through the topics with one of the supervisors. Or if you just get wishy-washy replies and phony promizes. Actually exchanging teachers is a common trick to do away with eventual responsibilities.
     
  6. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,737
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    I guess it's up to me to defend the honor of graduate schools -- boy are they in trouble! ;)

    Are there schools out there that aren't worth a plugged nickel and will give you a worthless degree and little, if any, education to go along with it? Yep. A lot of them. Most of the really bad ones tend to be for-profit schools, but some of the best schools you will find are also for-profit. It's just that, like anything, an industry that has a lot of money flowing into it attracts unsavory characters. So beware. Also, don't assume that a non-profit or a public institution is automatically good, a bunch of them are worthless as well. So check out any that you are considering very thoroughly and don't take anything they say about themselves or about their competitors at face value.

    Whether graduate school will be beneficial to you depends on what you want to do professionally and what you choose to do in graduate school. First, don't worry about the age. I completed by B.Sc (Engineering Physics) at 26. I completed by M.Eng. (Engineering Systems) at 30 (but didn't actually finish the last requirement and get the degree until I was 39. This year, at 47, I completed my PhD (Electrical Engineering) and, along the way, all of the course work (but not the thesis) for an M.Sc in Computer Science.

    Spread throughout that time is pretty much continuous employment. I strongly recommend that you be employed while going to grad school, especially if you can find an employer that will pay for it! But, more importantly, it allows you to always view what you are learning in grad school from the perspective of the practical world. That makes it much easier to discover and cultivate those links between theory and practice.

    There are very few classes I've taken that have not benefited me in my professional life. In many cases, because I always try to understand underlying concepts and not simply memorize mechanical procedures and formulas, concepts from one course have been useful, sometimes just as a mental framework, for completely unrelated problems. As one example, when I had to tackle an asynchronous event-driven design with sub-nanosecond delays in which no clock was available, I drew on semaphore concepts from operating systems to develop a set of building blocks that performed two way handshaking with low latency using a very minimal amount of circuitry and those building blocks are still used over a decade later in new designs.
     
  7. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    Your age isn't allowed to come up, that called ageism. I actually recently remember a grandma that went back to school and got her masters or phd at 75.

    But about going back to school just make sure its a proper accredited school. The line between real universities and scams are getting thinner every day. I had one guy tell me the Acadamy of Art and Design was a great college. I just laughed and said if your schools commercial says Credits will not transfer to other universities is a dead give away its a scam.
     
  8. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Unfortunately, part of the thinning line is that there are scam accreditation services out there. So just being accredited does tell you much any more. You have to find out whether the accrediting board is legit. There's actually an accrediting board that accredits accrediting boards!

    And even then, what satisfies even legitimate accrediting boards is getting weaker and weaker all the time.

    There aren't any easy answers, but there IS a lot of good, solid education out there to be had.
     
  9. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    I only recognize accrediting from state universities. No independent crap.
     
  10. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I don't really even know what that means.

    Are you saying that you would recognize the accreditation of Bob's College of EET and All Night Video Rental as long as it had its accreditation from some state university?

    Are you then also saying that state universities shouldn't be accredited at all? That their quality should just be accepted at face value solely because they are a state university? Or that they should accredit each other?
     
  11. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    No quite the opposite, I only recognize creditations from state Univ, Like FSU, UF, UG,TN State, UC, etc.. If you can't transfer your credits to any of these schools your at a scam place. Community colleges don't even accept many of the scam ones.
     
  12. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Saying that a state school accepts transfer credits is not the same as the school has somehow been accredited by the state school. So that was making it very confusing. If you metric is that you want to be sure that a state school will accept transfer credit from the other place, then that isn't too unreasonable, I guess. I basically did the same thing in reverse. When I applied to colleges, I went to the one that accepted the fewest credits for my AP course work.
     
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