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P.E. versus Masters Degree


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#1 mbparksPE

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 01:29 AM

Seeing as this a board more dedicated to the P.E. than graduate education. I am curious to see what peoples opinion of getting a graduate engineering education as compared to pursuing the P.E. Especially if like me ( as a computer engineer) the P.E. isn't really needed/required. Obviously both would be better for a resume. But from a practical, real-world perspective which would be better?

#2 mbparksPE

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 01:30 AM

QUOTE (mbparks2 @ Jul 21 2007, 11:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Seeing as this a board more dedicated to the P.E. than graduate education. I am curious to see what peoples opinion of getting a graduate engineering education as compared to pursuing the P.E. Especially if like me ( as a computer engineer) the P.E. isn't really needed/required. Obviously both would be better for a resume. But from a practical, real-world perspective which would be better?



test 1 2 3

#3 singlespeed

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 12:48 PM

Some hiring managers put a lot of stock in letters after your name, some don't. I can't comment specifically on your area in terms of whether MS or PE is better. However, folks don't normally use "yourname MS" on their business card, while "yourname PE" is common.

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:16 PM

It also depends on your career objectives. I have a Masters degree in engineering because I liked the challenge and research at the time. It also keeps a door open for PhD and teaching/research if I ever want to go that route. Not to mention, you do get a lot more in-depth knowlege of your area. I am by no means discounting the value of PE (I just passed the exam this April). PE is surely a good thing to have if you are practicing engineering in your work, promotion potential and peer respect.

#5 Capt Worley PE

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:20 PM

I've already got my Masters, and will hopefully get my PE this winter. Having (or trying to get actually) both, I'd say a PE is more valuable. I've never heard anyone say, "Maybe you should leave your PE off your resume," as I have heard people say about a Masters.

#6 ktulu

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 03:03 PM

QUOTE (Captain Worley @ Jul 24 2007, 09:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've never heard anyone say, "Maybe you should leave your PE off your resume," as I have heard people say about a Masters.

You've actually heard someone say this? That's crazy...I am proud to have my Master's, and I think it shows that you have a good bit of dedication. No way in Hell I would leave that off my resume..

#7 Capt Worley PE

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 03:10 PM

QUOTE (ktulu @ Jul 24 2007, 11:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You've actually heard someone say this? That's crazy...I am proud to have my Master's, and I think it shows that you have a good bit of dedication. No way in Hell I would leave that off my resume..


That was my response.

The theory behind the statement to remove it comes from both 'more education= more money' and 'more education=no real world experience' schools of thought, or so I've been told.

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 05:04 PM

I think that I took in more direct, job related knowledge while studying for the PE than I did in the time it took me to complete my masters. Just my opinion.

#9 mbparksPE

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 06:01 PM

That has been my thinking. The P.E. gets you more practical, whereas the Masters seems to gear you towards the R&D world, that is to say a bit more theory over practicallity.

#10 kevo_55

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 11:53 AM

I've got a buddy who is an EE.

From what I gather, the EE profession really just doesn't go for the PE. He says that most EE's get an MBA and become management.

What sucks is that he'll always make more $$ than I will. smileyballs.gif

#11 Dleg

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 11:25 PM

I think it is completely dependent on your field. Perhaps in computer engineering, the MS is more worthwhile. In anything related to construction or development, I would say the PE is more worthwhile. In environmental, both are important, but if given a choice I would take the PE over the MS, and I did - I gave up an admission and fellowship several years ago at UVa to stay on the job and work toward my PE instead. But that said, I would not advise anyont else to pass up an opportunity to get a graduate degree. You can work on a PE at any time. Going back to school is bit more difficult to fit in with the rest of your life.

#12 JeffC

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 11:55 PM

I have both, a MSEE that I earned in 1986 and PE that I earned in July 2007. As to which is more valuable, well that all depends upon your personal situation. When I did interview with other companies they looked favorably upon a MSEE. May be they would have looked upon a PE license just as favorably, I donít know. My current employer doesnít pay me anymore money for having a MSEE or PE.

So why get a PE? I will allow me to work for myself. I am currently employed, but in two to five years I want to retire. I want to supplement my income and work when I want, not full time. Even though I am an electrical, chances are good that I will be doing residential septic system design. I have been on the town planning board for a number of years, so I have considerable exposure to this. Also, ever since I got my PE the town supervisor has asked me to review legislation that pertains to wastewater and storm water run off. So I am familiar with regulations in the town and state. So, when you get your PE, be prepared, life can change.


#13 squishles10

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 05:51 PM

I have both. I got the Masters ~ 2 years ago. It DRAMATICALLY increased my income, but it also came with a job change and went from a very low paying employer so its probably not ACTUALLY as much as it looks like on paper. I was going to get a promotion before a lot of people that didn't have the MS but actual change in income would have been $1-2 an hour. Probably closer to $1. They offer the same increase for the PE, so I guess I'd be $1 ahead, and at an increased job level. It would take a while for it to pay for the MS at that rate.

Since I got canned the week I got the PE I don't know what kind of increase I would have gotten there.

Now that I am job hunting again, the Masters in intriguing, but the PE is required (or is quite often the case). I got the MS bc my BS isn't Civil. You cannot substitute the MS for the PE- you still have to have the PE. Experience can be substituted for an MS very often.

#14 Freon

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 06:50 PM

I have both also; PE as well as a "mixed bag" of degrees, BSChe and MSEE. And I will echo peoples comments above, it depends on where you work, what you do and you industry. In the oil business, you see damn few PEs. So it is an attention getter on business cards and resumes when dealing with other engineers. When I was job hunting, the MS got the attention of the HR people but I doubt many of them knew what a "Professional Engineer" meant.

I believe I said it before in other threads, but I'll risk repeating myself. We as engineers have an identy crisis. Hell, I think I'll start a new thread to get people's blood boiling before we hit the bars this afternoon.

Freon, P.E. & P.M ( Professional Engineer & Professional Malcontent)

#15 squishles10

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 02:18 AM

^^ good point. HR will always know the MS, but if it's a diverse company, they might not know what the PE is.

#16 Vinsanity

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 06:07 PM

QUOTE (squishles10 @ Jul 12 2008, 02:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
^^ good point. HR will always know the MS, but if it's a diverse company, they might not know what the PE is.


They two different things, these are my personal opinions and experience, I have BSCE and MS

PE, can make you stamp drawings and documents and standout new engineers or EIT's, while MS will mostly lead you to a broader horizon, like, advancement in knowledge compared to a BS with PE, more academically efficient and can readily correlate research and real world application. MS is harder to achieve than a PE obviously, MS or PHd doesnt expire will PE licensure can. I have licenses as an engineer in different countries, still from my experience MS is more difficult to attain and I'm working towards my third licensure as PE in US.

#17 IlPadrino

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 06:24 PM

QUOTE (Vinsanity @ Jul 12 2008, 02:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
MS is harder to achieve than a PE obviously


Anyone, and I do mean *ANYONE* with a BS can easily get an MS in their same field at *some* university without anything more than minimal effort. You can't say the same about the PE...

I have very little pride in my MS, but I have TONS of pride in my PE-ness.


#18 Vinsanity

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 10:44 PM

QUOTE (IlPadrino @ Jul 12 2008, 06:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anyone, and I do mean *ANYONE* with a BS can easily get an MS in their same field at *some* university without anything more than minimal effort. You can't say the same about the PE...

I have very little pride in my MS, but I have TONS of pride in my PE-ness.



there are a lot things why an indivudal cant be proud of their MS,
1. They took an "easy" MS, MBA or without thesis.
2. Their thesis topic is very easy, or their professor had made everything ready for them.
3. They took an MS not inline with their major.
4. Their thesis did not contribute for the good of their profession or dont have new application in real world.

Have a look on how to achieve these two, MS takes a long time and years to achieve, while you can study PE in as short as 6 months.

#19 Dark Knight

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 11:20 PM

QUOTE (Vinsanity @ Jul 12 2008, 06:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
there are a lot things why an indivudal cant be proud of their MS,
1. They took an "easy" MS, MBA or without thesis.
2. Their thesis topic is very easy, or their professor had made everything ready for them.
3. They took an MS not inline with their major.
4. Their thesis did not contribute for the good of their profession or dont have new application in real world.

Have a look on how to achieve these two, MS takes a long time and years to achieve, while you can study PE in as short as 6 months.


The time that it takes means absolutely nothing. Sray has a point and I think is valid. While you are saying something that is also tru, about the time it takes, we are comparing apples and oranges.

The MS or MBA is going to be valid depending on what kind of industry you work for. The P.E. has another kind of value if you are going to be in the consulting business. There are companies that will hire somebody's MS without any hesitation because that is the policy inside the company. They will not pick a P.E. vs a MS.

But the MS will not give you the "right" to stamp a drawing. Only the PE will do that but then, you have to be working on consulting. Outside that world, the PE just looks nice at the end of your business card and that is it.

To be honest, and for reasons I cannot explain, I think the MS is more valued than the PE. That has been my experience before due to the kind of industry I work. There are tens of non engineeers and engineers without EITs and/or PEs in managerial positions at the company I work for. Good for them. I only know one P.E. that is a supervisor and the reason for that is because it is a highly specialized field.

If I can express my opinion and for what it may worth...I do not give a hoot.


#20 squishles10

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 04:05 AM

A PE is required for a job I interviewed for at the DoD. That is not consulting, in fact the title doesn't even include the word engineer. The Masters was not required but sure the hell bumped up the salary.

#21 IlPadrino

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 02:00 PM

QUOTE (squishles10 @ Jul 13 2008, 12:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A PE is required for a job I interviewed for at the DoD.


That's what makes the Civil Engineer Corps and NAVFAC such an interesting organization - you can't be an O-5 in the Civil Engineers Corps without a PE or an RA. NAVFAC brings Real™ Engineers to contingency construction, something you don't usually see with the ACOE.

#22 Freon

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 02:50 PM

I spent six months on loan to the ACOE during Iraqi Freedom. Our main job was to rebuild the oil infrastructure to pre-war levels. I worked with several civilian PEs, all good people, but they were civil engineers. Buid a dam, contract a runway - they were great. But they were a little lost in the oil patch. The uniformed talent in that organization was a little light on education. We had a total of four uniformed "degreed engineers", and no PEs (It was before I became enlightened)

An important point to remember is that most military engineer units are not staffed with officers who are degreed engineers (Sapper is an exception). Being a PE in those situations can be fun at times! But USN Construction Battalions are staffed with mostly degreed engineers as officers as well as several PEs.

Freon, P.E. and Alumni of the Infantry

#23 Capt Worley PE

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 03:36 PM

QUOTE (squishles10 @ Jul 13 2008, 12:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A PE is required for a job I interviewed for at the DoD.


Granted, it was a long time ago, but when I worked at the DoD the emphasis was on the MS. They even paid for me to get mine.

People who got PEs (they were very rare) got laughed at because it didn't get them anywhere with the gov.

Times change and winds shift, I suppose.

#24 kevo_55

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 05:21 PM

QUOTE (Vinsanity @ Jul 12 2008, 05:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
there are a lot things why an indivudal cant be proud of their MS,
1. They took an "easy" MS, MBA or without thesis.
2. Their thesis topic is very easy, or their professor had made everything ready for them.
3. They took an MS not inline with their major.
4. Their thesis did not contribute for the good of their profession or dont have new application in real world.

Have a look on how to achieve these two, MS takes a long time and years to achieve, while you can study PE in as short as 6 months.

In principle, I must agree. But.... an MS isn't the end all be all.

My question is if a BS+MS=BS+PE, what happens if you take more PE exams? The MS may take two years and ONE PE exam may take 6 months, but what about three PE exams?

I would argue that if you can take and pass more than one PE exam, you've got more than a masters degree.

Just my 2cents.gif

#25 Vinsanity

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 05:30 PM




I remember there was one project that involves a specialist and I was hired to do the job because one of my researches in Graduate studies on Structural Engineering was applicable, and an ordinary PE without this expereince or Graduate studies wont qualify to do the job and my paper was about "Seismic Retrofitting of Reinforced Concrete Members", this involves acual modelling of scaled framed structure and specimens and they were subjected to lateral forces on the beam column joints to cyclic loading, till failure. Measures to design structural members were carefully considered after the outcome of my research and apply it it an actual real world structure.

#26 kevo_55

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 05:33 PM

^^ That might be true in one case, but can you generate reliability factors for every building you design? Would that be cost effective?

Also, who would seal the cyclic testing report? A PE would still have to seal it. If the ordinary PE who hired you sealed the report himself I would argue that he is practicing outside of his area of expertise.

#27 Vinsanity

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 05:38 PM

QUOTE (kevo_55 @ Jul 14 2008, 05:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In principle, I must agree. But.... an MS isn't the end all be all.

My question is if a BS+MS=BS+PE, what happens if you take more PE exams? The MS may take two years and ONE PE exam may take 6 months, but what about three PE exams?

I would argue that if you can take and pass more than one PE exam, you've got more than a masters degree.

Just my 2cents.gif


Actually kevo, I have a PE license in my home country ( written it and pass) and I got it at a very young age of 21 years old, after that I pursue MS and Structural Engineer in my home country.

Now, I'm here in North America and I'm trying to get that US PE and SE License or PhD if I have more time, and this is just an add on to my own achievements and dreams and as a professional, if I could get that then that's fine, if not, no worries for me.


#28 Vinsanity

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 05:43 PM

QUOTE (kevo_55 @ Jul 14 2008, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
^^ That might be true in one case, but can you generate reliability factors for every building you design? Would that be cost effective?

Also, who would seal the cyclic testing report? A PE would still have to seal it. If the ordinary PE who hired you sealed the report himself I would argue that he is practicing outside of his area of expertise.


Yes, and yes. Yes I sealed it, our seal as Structural Engineer back is "DRY SEAL" not rubber stamp with ink. I have designed almost all types of structures there, from Concrete to Timber to trusses to 3-D trusses, DAMS, high rise etc. I have been practicing it for 12 years before moving in North America.


#29 kevo_55

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 05:44 PM

^^ No worries Vinsanity. If you go for the PE here in the US you'll get it. Be proud of your achievements!

#30 mudpuppy

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 10:33 PM

QUOTE (kevo_55 @ Jul 14 2008, 01:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My question is if a BS+MS=BS+PE, what happens if you take more PE exams? The MS may take two years and ONE PE exam may take 6 months, but what about three PE exams?

I would argue that if you can take and pass more than one PE exam, you've got more than a masters degree.


Interesting point.

Are you talking about three related exams, (say PE Civil/Structrual, SEI and SEII)? Or three unrelated PE exams (say, PE Civil, PE Electrical and PE Chemical)?

#31 kevo_55

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 11:31 PM

^^ Well that would be something if one could take and pass the Civil, Electrical, and Chemical PEexams.

... But I was speaking about the PE: Civil, Structural I, and Structural II.

#32 gymrat1279 PE

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 01:38 PM

I have both my MSCE and PE. I am very proud of them both, I worked hard to get them. I don't think either of them really helped me all that much for work, but the PE did get me a promotion a year earlier so I guess that was more important for work. I work in the electric utility industry. It was a personal goal of mine to get both and I'm very happy I accomplished that goal. I'm now thinking about an MBA... we'll see, the jury is still out right now.

I think I have also inspired other people to get their PE now. One person took it in April and I think 2 or 3 more are taking it either in October or next April.

#33 Geotech.PE

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 05:53 PM

Here is my story. Sorry, I posted it on Electrical Engineering.

Edited by iGesFE, 21 July 2008 - 06:04 PM.


#34 ron1218

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 04:54 PM

QUOTE (kevo_55 @ Jul 14 2008, 10:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Vinsanity @ Jul 12 2008, 05:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
there are a lot things why an indivudal cant be proud of their MS,
1. They took an "easy" MS, MBA or without thesis.
2. Their thesis topic is very easy, or their professor had made everything ready for them.
3. They took an MS not inline with their major.
4. Their thesis did not contribute for the good of their profession or dont have new application in real world.

Have a look on how to achieve these two, MS takes a long time and years to achieve, while you can study PE in as short as 6 months.

In principle, I must agree. But.... an MS isn't the end all be all.

My question is if a BS+MS=BS+PE, what happens if you take more PE exams? The MS may take two years and ONE PE exam may take 6 months, but what about three PE exams?

I would argue that if you can take and pass more than one PE exam, you've got more than a masters degree.

Just my 2cents.gif



Based on my work experienced and working for a major City in US (govt employee), this argument is like "Apples and Oranges"
In order to pass a PE one must have.
1. BS Eng'g degree + 4 years of Professional Eng'g experience = qualify for PE exam.
or
2. Bs Eng'g degree + MS + 3 years of Professional Eng'g experience = qualify for PE Exam.

(Having said MS = 1 year of experience, having said this, it may not be true for R&D because MS weights more. In my job there are even 4 PhD guys who are teaching in the university but they don't get credit for the degree. Now, if they work for R&D or teaching they are valued more).

#35 ipswitch

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 03:20 PM

I have a Master's and a P.E. and it does give you an edge in specializing. I specialize in the structural design of bridges in NY. I was thinking about qualifying my Master's degree and experience by passing the SE even though I know it's not necessary.

#36 Peele1

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 07:09 PM

Do both the MS and PE, preferably when your employer will pay for it.

I did my MS as a grad assistant, which paid for the tuition, and then worked for 12 years, and found a boss who liked certifications. They paid for 4 certifications, then the PE. I have two kids now, so, no more time for school, study or certifications, just the continuing education for the certs and license.

If you are single and no kids, then do both, ASAP.

The MS can be done with less intensity - you can do one class at a time. You have to master (to passing at least) ALL of the subjects of the PE to pass.

The MS never expires and never requires additional education or annual fees. The PE does.

#37 DaveW

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:17 PM

In Architecture, the requirement for a Master's Degree is literally, not an issue of prestige or opening doors anymore. It's a set in stone requirement if you want be able to:

1.) Practice in any of the 50 states;
2.) Streamlined reciprocity

That is of course, if you get a Masters Degree that qualifies as a professional degree.

#38 DaveW

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:25 PM

My advice, is that for a P.E., you don't need a Master's Degree, unless you're an academic, or you want to move up a corporate ladder to a managerial position. If you want to run your own firm, you have to become good at running a business along with being competent in your discipline. There is nothing in Academia that will teach you how to run your own firm, unless you go take some business classes, but those courses rarely apply to running a small firm operation.

Most engineers get 4 year degrees, and develope their skills with experience, self study, and continuing education. All three of those are complementary, and you should get a good mix of that afterwards.

#39 VTEnviro

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:25 PM

^Engineering licensure is going the same way with the B+30 thing.

#40 DaveW

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:38 PM

^Engineering licensure is going the same way with the B+30 thing.


I'm sorry, could you elaborate on what a B+30 is. My guess is that it is a Bachelors + 30 Credit Hours to a Graduate Degree. Correct?

#41 willsee

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:16 PM


^Engineering licensure is going the same way with the B+30 thing.


I'm sorry, could you elaborate on what a B+30 is. My guess is that it is a Bachelors + 30 Credit Hours to a Graduate Degree. Correct?


Yes

I have both and I feel my PE is more valued in MEP Consulting. Just depends where you work as I have friends that work in design and testing where the PE would be worthless and the Master is more valued.

#42 Jaylaw_PE

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 01:29 PM

i don't think i planned my course out that well in advance, but i think i lucked into doing it "the right way"

which was...

1) undergrad
2) work for 5 years
3) continue working full time but do part time grad school
4) get PE at same time as Masters
5) get new job double salary

I maybe should have gotten the PE a bit sooner (was 8 years out of undergrad) but otherwise this progression worked well.

It's true that having the masters too early can HURT your employability (ie too much salary demand too little experience). i think people want to see 5 years of experience to make sure you can actually perform in a work setting not just academic along with your MS before they lay a big salary on you.

As for MS/PE, for me, i've never been the strongest TECHNICAL engineer, and more of a manager type. I will basically NEVER use my PE for stamping or do any design, but it's nice to have! I am personally much more proud of my Master's because i know the effort i put in 3 nights a week for 3 years while working full time was A LOT! And while i admitted i am not the strongest technical engineer, i have always been a GREAT test taker. I had a B- average in undergrad, and then 8 years later without studying a millisecond i failed the PE test by 1 or 2 questions. 6 months later i studied about an hour a day for two weeks leading up to the exam and passed. While it seems to impress people that i have a PE, it didn't feel like anywhere near the amount of effort for me to obtain.

#43 pgm44

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

I have been involved in hiring staff for consulting industry positions for many years now. When I evaluate for a position I would give significantly more weight to having a PE vs having a masters degree.  I have both and did go the route of working on both concurrently by going to school at night after work for the masters.  In addition to the consulting industry I also work with professionals in the R&D field.  In talking with them my impression is that in that field they value the masters degree more which makes sense because they are generally not signing drawings for construction.  As it relates to obtaining a job, many firms including my own would value having a PE at a higher level than valuing a masters degree.  This often holds true for my evaluations even for positions that don't require a PE.  This is because the growth and responsibility potential of a PE is much higher than a candidate without a PE because they could at a future date be fully in charge of their own projects and provide direct guidance to clients on projects where someone without a PE, even if very capable  would ultimately need sign off from a PE.  Our clients also know this and always ask who the PE on their projects will be.

 

I think the masters degree is great to provide an engineering base of knowledge and to understand why codes and configurations require us to prepare designs the way we do, and also helps to provide the knowledge needed to prepare new out of the box solutions when they are needed.  I have seen over the years that the engineers with a masters degree have this out of the box thinking ability more than those who have mostly designed to code so there is still great value in getting a masters.  

 

I suggest getting both of them concurrently is a good approach if you have the time and resources   If not, I would suggest that the PE provides more value even if the initial pay rate for the position is comparable with either the license or the masters. Often I have to base the salary on the position and what the market rate for the position so we can be competitive with our industry so the pay rate for the position is often limited by this range.  So from this perspective the pay rate for an initial position with a firm may be the same with either a PE or a masters but I would hire the PE for the reasons noted above.  If there has been demonstrated industry experience with references the initial pay and the growth pay for a PE would be greater which is also confirmed when comparing to industry salary surveys such as ZweigWhite.



#44 JB66money

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 03:34 PM

I just recently passed the PE and I plan to start studying for my Masters in EE next year God willing. I always try to keep up with the job market, and what I see constantly peffered when it comes to getting electric power, civil / structural and construction jobs is a PE license. A MS is hardly ever mentioned. I work in a utility and most of the people who advance in technical path have PE licenses and not MS dgrees. I had a former co-woker who had a PHD an a PE license, but he was respected for his experience and PE and not his PHD. In fact his job title was classified as a career engineer, while there was another co-worker with only his BSEE and PE license, but had more years of experience but his title is classified as a consulting engineer which within our company is higher than career engineer. The career engineer title is for a well established copetent engineer and the title consulting engineer is for an engineer who is a subject matter expert within the company. 



#45 iwire

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 06:51 PM

Does Masters in EE has additional beneficial if you are working as a engineering consultant, designer etc? I always thought unless you are doing PHD, masters doesn't bring ROI than maybe getting a MBA? 



#46 Ken 2.0

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 10:23 PM

I was advised by a former employer that he would take a PE over a ME any day of the week. Seems to make sense in the consulting world, PE are more marketable.



#47 knight1fox3

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 10:25 PM

MBA in my opinion are that everyone seems to have them now a days and it isn't very distinguishable anymore.  It also depends on what engineering career path you decide to follow.  Do you want to go the management route?  Then MBA is probably a good choice.  Or do you want to go the senior/lead project designer route?  Then MSEE is probably best.

 

In my experience as a consultant, the material being presented in my MSEE is extremely relevant.  To the point where I can use some of my notes at work when specifying transformers or synchronous machines.



#48 solomonb

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 11:30 PM

This question is not one sided.  My answer is that you should do both-- however, I would suggest getting the PE first, then the MS.  Why?  Graduate school is most beneficial and valuable when you have 4-7 years of real work experience under your belt.  You understand the concepts that they are teaching, have probably been introduced into some of them and have a much greater grasp of the "big Picture."  Folks who go directly from a BS to a MS really cheat themselves-- they don't have the experience to be able to really argue and make great points in a controversial discussion.  Not a knock on them, they just don't have the experience.

 

You can get your PE 4 years after your BS.  Anyone with a BS should be working on his/her PE as soon as they graduate.  Those 4 years come and go FAST!  Get your PE and then go to graduate school.  Many companies will pay for a graduate degree-- in fact, most good universities will offer scholarships for American students in graduate school.  If you check out most good graduate programs, almost 95% of the students are foreign students.  Why?  American students are making money in their profession.  The foreign students want/need the graduate degree either to stay here or go back to their home country.  Most after being in America, desire to stay here and hope to get visa sponsorship with their graduate degree.

 

The NCEES B+30 rule which will be enacted in 2020 strongly suggests getting a graduate degree-- in fact, most masters degrees are about 36 hours beyond a BS.  Now, many states have NOT and I suspect, will not, agree/concur with NCEES and require the +30 hours for the PE license.  However, you can see that sooner or later, it will happen.  There is precedent-- in order to become a CPA, you have to have 150 total credit hours to sit for the exam.  Some folks just take another 30 hours in subjects which they enjoy.  However many folks go on and get a Master's degree in Accounting, which fulfills the +30 hour requirement.

 

It will only be a matter of time before engineers will be required to have the B+30 credit hour rule.  It may be 2030 before it happens, but it will happen.

 

OK, my take--- get the PE ASAP.  As is cited above, you need continuing education hours, but you have the PE.  AFTER you have the PE in hand, then go for graduate school.  Get into the BEST graduate school you can---- the best ones even have online delivery modalities which work.

 

The MBA-- the real truth to the question is that if your MBA is not from one of the top 10 MBA programs, it really is not as valuable as the admissions folks told you it was.  Granted, you will learn a lot of great material and will be able to use it in your job, however, the top 10 MBA programs are the ones that really command the real dollars.

 

Don't worry about dollars.  Dollars come-- maybe not as fast as you want, but they do come along.  Get the PE then the MS.  You will be golden at the end of the road.



#49 Lomarandil

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:49 PM

In my two industries of experience (EE-power and CE-structural/construction, both consulting), the general sense has been that a PE is much more valuable and marketable than an MS. I suspect most of the variety of answers can be applied to different industries and applications.

 

I actually have a PE, an "MBA" (technically Engineering Management, but very similar), and an MS in Civil (thesis based). I learned from all of those experiences, but if you count the work experience required to sit for the PE as part of the process, that far and away was the most valuable and most difficult of the three.






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