Should I Get A Master’s Degree In Mechanical Engineering?
The straight answer to this question is no. The truth of the matter is that you can get an entry-level mechanical engineering jobs with just a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. These programs typically have internships and coops which introduce students to what real work in the industry is like. These opportunities will give you the chance to hone your skills while at the same time allow you to grow your network of contacts—something that is very important when you start looking for work after graduation.
That being said, pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering is going to be beneficial if you are already a working professional. This postgraduate degree will enable you to learn new skills which will make you more efficient in the work you do. Some employers even encourage their workers to enroll in these programs because it will equip them with relevant knowledge about the field which is rapidly evolving due to the influence of computers and technology.
A master’s degree is also going to enhance your credentials especially if you want to advance your career. With a postgraduate degree under your belt, you are prepared to assume technical leadership positions or even manage a group. While these positions do have more responsibilities, they also come with higher pay—another reason to strive for a postgraduate degree. Financial stability often results when you hold a leadership position which is another plus for pursuing postgraduate studies.
However, you don’t have to be already working in the industry to get the benefits of having a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Some programs award a bachelor’s and master’s degrees after five years for as long as all the requirements are complied with. With a master’s degree in your resume when you start looking for a job, you actually increase your edge over the rest of the competition. Employers are more likely to consider your application because you bring a more extensive skill set that will make you an asset to the company than an equally-qualified applicant with just a bachelor’s degree. The wage difference is another factor that you should consider when deciding for a postgraduate program in the field. Those who hold master’s degrees are paid more than those who only have an undergraduate degree in entry-level posts.
If you are planning to widen your opportunities and stretch yourself to the limit as a mechanical engineer, a master’s degree will also enable you to do so. With a postgraduate degree, you can go into the academe and teach aspiring engineers or you can do independent research about a mechanical engineering problem that you’ve been itching to find a solution for. You also get more respect with a higher degree if you intend to pursue a career as a consultant in the field. An advanced degree will also teach you the skills and necessary knowledge you need if you want to open your own business.
All in all, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering may not be necessary to get a job. However, if you want to advance to higher positions or widen the plethora of opportunities that you have as a professional engineer, it is highly-recommended that you get a master’s degree.