Should you take an engineering post-graduate degree?
There will be times in your engineering career that you will consider getting a post-graduate degree. It could be just yesterday or right now, a rekindled thought, because you have read of it here. At times when you feel like your career has gone flat, plus majority of your engineer friends are already getting their post-graduate degrees, you need to answer an important question first before joining that bandwagon: will it be worth it?
Engineering Post-Graduate Degree (Source: Harvard SEAS)
The truth about attaining a post-graduate degree, say an MBA, is that it gives you an opportunity to move up the work ladder or to work on your networking aspect. It’s more than just being insecure of the others who are already doing it because it is bigger than what it appears to be. Getting a post-graduate degree also increases your chance to be employed by bigger companies, or to get a raise in the same company you are in. Moreover, it solidifies your integrity and competency as an engineer having to acquire new skills and knowledge.
An advanced degree is an investment you should be ready to make. You are not only going to put money on it, but more importantly your time. The benefits are flashy but you will have to sacrifice a lot of things to survive the degree.
Engineering Post-Graduate Degree (Source: MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering)
However, not all successful engineers have post-graduate degrees. It’s not an assurance that an advanced degree will propel you to the highest ranks because it will still boil down to your capacity as an engineer. Another degree will be of no use if you don’t know how to translate it to your advantage.
To the question “will it be worth it?”, if you are to say no and are fully aware of the advantages of a post-graduate degree, that’s fine. You can work your way up the ladder by using your abilities. If you are leaning towards saying yes, that’s the greater risk: realize first what that degree means to you in the future. What is it for? What difference does it make to you? Once you have established clear, positive answers in your mind, then you are already good to go for that post-graduate degree.