Degrees for Mechanical Engineering [Mechanical engineering]

Degrees for Mechanical Engineering

Is getting a master's degree in mechanical engineering worth it

Lisa Kirschner| By Lisa Kirschner

If you’re like most engineers, you may have thought about obtaining a master’s degree in order to make more money or gain a competitive advantage. But is it really worth the extra time, effort, and money that you’d spend pursuing an advanced degree? I’ll outline the advantages and disadvantages that you should consider.

The pros

There are a few reasons why getting a master’s degree might benefit you and your mechanical engineering career:

You’ll earn a higher salary

Since mechanical engineering is one of engineering's most popular fields, you’ll have a lot of competition at every phase of your career. There’s a constant influx of new engineers vying for available positions, and the majority of them only have an undergraduate degree. By obtaining a master’s degree, you’ll set yourself apart from other engineers at your company or other candidates vying for the same role.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that the average starting salary for mechanical engineers with a bachelor’s degree was $61, 300, while those with a master’s degree earned $71, 700. In general, engineers who have completed a master’s program will earn 20 percent more at any stage of their career than those with only an undergraduate degree.

You’ll more easily secure leadership positions

Your commitment to pursue and complete an advanced degree speaks volumes about you to current and potential employers. Whether you’re interested in moving up vertically within your current organization or joining a new company in a more senior role, an advanced degree will generally work in your favor. It could be the deciding factor between you and another candidate, because it demonstrates your ability to juggle multiple tasks (especially if you were working full-time while obtaining your degree) and see a goal or project through to completion

You’ll gain cutting-edge expertise and skills

While most mechanical engineers try to stay up-to-date on the latest best practices and industry trends, it can be difficult in a corporate or government setting. Graduate students are often closer to the action in terms of new and evolving technologies and advancements - including research, software and innovations. If you were hiring a new engineer, would you want to hire one who was sitting in a cubicle all day or one who was exposed to new and emerging technologies?

The cons

A graduate program is not always a good fit for everyone, though. There are a few

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