Masters in Structural Engineering - Civil Engineering - Engineer Boards
Jump to content
Engineer Boards
 photo CHPE_AnimatedWebBanner_650x1202_zps5704d467.gif
Sign in to follow this  
new_injuneer

Masters in Structural Engineering

Recommended Posts

How important is it to have a Masters if I plan to go into structural engineering? I am a nontrad student doing a 2nd bachelors in Civil Engineering. Close to done.

The thing is, I already have a Masters in a somewhat related field. Planning.

I have talked to professors at my university and they say it is very possible to get hired with just a BSCE, so I'm more concerned about the Masters in terms of advancement opportunities down the road, or applying to experienced jobs later on where they 'prefer' someone with a Masters.

Can my Masters in planning be an adequate substitue after I already have work experience?

In other words, it's going to take me about another year to finish a Masters in Structural Engineering. I'll be looking at some debt. I'm not sure how much yet. Will it be worth it when I already have a Masters?

I know, my educational background is messy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have mine and it hasn't seemed to help me all that much. I'd recommend taking all of the time, money and effort into directly networking with structural firms in your area. Volunteer if you have to (at least you're not accruing debt). My 2c.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know where you are in your career, but if you have a lot of time left to work, I would go for the Masters.

1. It's easy to knock it out if you're still in the school mindset - just another 3 semesters or so. If you go to an in-state school, the debt shouldn't be outrageous.

2. The classes really do help - especially design classes like steel, concrete, and timber. I found that it really helped me develop my understanding of structural analysis. Looking back to my BSCE, it's crazy how much information you don't have time to cover. Even the basics like steel connections or shallow foundations aren't usually covered, much less any kind of seismic design.

3. I'm taking the PE this year, structural depth, and I fully expect some of those extra classes to pay dividends.

It's a personal decision, but it has been a great benefit to my career. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I'll agree with thoughtofthis above. I may have assumed too much about a BSCE. I took all of the courses he mentioned undergrad, and my graduate studies focused on finite element analysis, earthquake engineering, prestressed concrete, bridge design, structural dynamics and advanced concrete materials. Among these classes, I don't foresee myself using them unless I pursue a very specific career in bridge design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How important is it to have a Masters if I plan to go into structural engineering? I am a nontrad student doing a 2nd bachelors in Civil Engineering. Close to done.

The thing is, I already have a Masters in a somewhat related field. Planning.

I have talked to professors at my university and they say it is very possible to get hired with just a BSCE, so I'm more concerned about the Masters in terms of advancement opportunities down the road, or applying to experienced jobs later on where they 'prefer' someone with a Masters.

Can my Masters in planning be an adequate substitue after I already have work experience?

In other words, it's going to take me about another year to finish a Masters in Structural Engineering. I'll be looking at some debt. I'm not sure how much yet. Will it be worth it when I already have a Masters?

I know, my educational background is messy.

In my opinion, if you can find and have a job lined up when you finish the BSCE, then take the job. If you can't find a job, then the decision is made for you. I always recommend taking the job: 1) to start getting the experience and to help guarantee that you really want to do structural engineering, 2) you might be able to get the company to pay for you to go back and get the masters.

It is not a necessity to have a master's to work in the structural engineering field, but I think it is starting to become more common. So, at some point in the future, it might put you on a level playing field with those who have the masters and are applying for the same position that you are.

Lastly, I'm not sure how a planning degree would help you in a structural design position. So, if you feel like a masters is truly needed and want to work in structural, I wouldn't "plan" on the degree you already have doing much. Like the previous post said, if you are in the school mode, and have the money, (and in my opinion cant find a job right away) then definitely just go straight through and get the masters. More education can never hurt.... except for the wallet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would incur the least amount of debt possible at this point. Your Masters's in Planning will be of value, may not seem so now, but it will be. Press on and finish the BSCE-- you have that done and can begin working as a structural engineer, gaining valuable work experience toward your PE license. NOW, if the school is willing to give you an assistantship or teaching fellow (no tuition and you get paid a stipend for graduate work) then get the Master's degree. In fact, many graduate programs will and do offer stipends for grad students. If that works for you, then do it. If not, get started in the work world.



Your Master's in planning will come in valuable as you move up in the company. It may take you 2-4 years before you see the value of this, however, I guess that you are about 35 years old at this point, right?



If you can snag an internship for a semester, that would be of value today as well. I certainly would not downplay the Master's in Planning, however, understand that at this point, it will be tangential to beginning in the structural field.



As said above, more education can never hurt--however, if you have to foot the bill, then we need to rethink how the program works. That is my advice. I give advice for a living!


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...