Gap before Masters?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by ActivePower, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. ActivePower

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 15, 2012
    155
    23
    I would be graduating with an EE Bachelor's this spring and while I originally considered taking up a job after graduation as my first choice I am having second thoughts on that decision now.

    I would like to get a Master's eventually but I always thought I'd get a couple of years of 'real-world' experience before I do so.

    To cut to the chase, on-campus recruitment has been kind of lean this year and I find myself with a non-EE job at the moment - software engineering, to be precise.

    Post-graduate engineering education in India isn't all that popular and although I do have that option open, I'd probably try and apply internationally (US, probably, as that seems to be the easier/preferable choice). Having missed the Fall '14 deadlines because of my indecision I find myself in a mess.

    As many members here have probably been through grad school (or at least based out of US) I'd perhaps benefit out of getting an insider's view of the matter.

    Is it considered detrimental to apply for grad school after a break in education?

    I'd probably spend the year slogging it out at the software firm before I apply this fall. Would the supposed 'change in stream' affect my post-grad prospects?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    Hi there,

    I'm in my first year, but I'll share my thoughts.

    Many universities (in the UK at least) actually encourage students to spend a year in industry, to let them get some practical experience and to have something on the CV. Normally this is done between second and third year BEng, however, if you have not already done a placement in industry, I could only see it as a strength that you did your BEng, spent some time in industry and then made the decision to continue with your education.

    Sparky
     
  3. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
    998
    I'd be tempted to take the software job. Engineering jobs are scarce right now, and any opportunity to work in the fiels, even if it's software, is very attractive. You might even consider a career in software because there is just more opportunity, though I'm sure you'd rather do hardware ( we all would ) Good luck with whatever you decide.

    PS, I've been doing hardware for 20 years, and now I'm finding I need to rev up my software knowledge. You really can't do HW without SW these days.
     
  4. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,031
    3,802
    Engineering schools don't discriminate. They usually want GRE test results less the 3 or 4 years old with your application. In the US, I rarely see an employer looking for a maters degree engineer. Most would prefer someone with industrial experience. In general, an engineer is "a problem solver" and knowing how to help a company make money, make money faster, make money with fewer resources, or make money in new ways is what they prefer. In a tight job market, you can specialize by getting a masters but specializing through experience is usually viewed as a better career option (from my point of view).
     
  5. tvtech

    New Member

    Mar 18, 2012
    6
    14
    Hi Guys

    I am not an Engineer by any standards. No official Degrees or anything for me.
    However, before I started fixing CRT years ago I made sure that I went on at least one course that showed me the basics of how not to kill yourself with EHT.

    That has served me well over the years and I have gained lots of knowledge in the meantime. Stuff I now know about CRT and EHT in general that started with a solid base.

    Sorry to digress...but I once read somewhere that University gives you the tools to both accept and understand stuff. A University educated person is not necessarily Technical when it comes to stuff....however they are taught the tools and skills to learn quickly and process information and options quicker than a simple Tech.

    Am I correct?

    Regards,
    tvtech
     
  6. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
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    Yes and no. An education is usually short on practical experience. That is expected to be picked up in the field. Students are given the tools (well, they acquire the tools through hard work) to learn and adapt technology and engineering principles. But I wouldn't say they aren't technical. Engineering cirriculums are heavy in technical issues, but with emphisis on theory and numerical methods.
     
    Sparky49 likes this.
  7. tvtech

    New Member

    Mar 18, 2012
    6
    14
    Hi Danny

    Here we had learning institutions that tried to cross that bridge. It was simply called a Technikon. We had many here before now.

    What a Technikon did was to take bright Students. Train them from the basics up. Everything from how a Transistor works and Diode junctions and resistors and how to calculate values and everything one ever needed in real life.....

    Very, very successful. No talk about Ions and positive charge and physics and stuff.
    No useless never again used formulas..

    Some of the Guys I was with were at the top of their game....

    Until politics stepped in and they had to give up all the knowledge and experience and make way for Politically affiliated idiots...

    Enough.

    I just want to go Political again :mad:

    Regards,
    tvtech
     
  8. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
    2,449
    428
    we had good technical schols here too, now the school I went to is 1.5 years at half a day per. I went to two years with full days.I guess there isnt as much to learn now.
     
  9. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    2,498
    507
    Not necessarily. But make sure you know exactly what job you are trying to get. The degree MAY tend to pigeon hole you into specific areas in the minds of employers. If you are a hands on lab rat type, a Masters may not be that valuable. For upper management tracks, MS is probably mandatory.

    I always remember a technician who was applying for an engineering job at my company a long time ago: he had one of those two year tech degrees and had worked as a technician for three years..... and quit to go back to school to get his BSEE. So, we couldn't hire him as an engineer. He was overqualified as a tech and underqualified as an engineer.

    Bottom line, get the degree(s) that take you where you want to go.
     
  10. ActivePower

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 15, 2012
    155
    23
    Thanks for all the replies. I figured I'd better get to the software/IT job seeing as I probably don't have a lot of options and it is indeed quite tight out there. I do want to get a postgraduate degree some day (I want to end up as a teacher). I'll see how it goes from here.


    Thanks.
     
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