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Is a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering Worth It?

Jun 28, 2018

Obtaining a Master's in Electrical Engineering is no easy feat as it takes time and money to do so, but it can allow you to widen your career choices. This article will look at potential careers as well as the earning potential having a master's can help present.

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In the process of acquiring a Master's in Electrical Engineering, students gain in-depth knowledge in areas related to superconductivity, modern electric machinery, modeling and power electronics. You can find a list of five jobs below that recent graduates can pursue upon their graduation from a Master's in Electrical Engineering program.

Master's in Electrical Engineering Jobs

Depending on their area of focus, those with a Master's in Electrical Engineering can learn how to calculate power flow, install and maintain all types of electrical systems and learn how to design and assess the performance of linear systems. Those with a master's will have a deep understanding of current systems and have a better understanding of how to both operate and maintain them. Within the table below, you will find five jobs options for graduates along with their respective salaries. While most only require a bachelors, a master's is often required for advancement into management positions or go into research and development.

Job Title Median Salary(2017)* Job Growth(2016-2026)* Degree Required
Electrical and Electronics Engineers $97,970 7% Bachelor's
Aerospace Engineers $113,030 6% Bachelor's (Master's for research and development)
Industrial Engineers $85,880 10% Bachelor's
Computer Hardware Engineers $115,120 5% Bachelor's
Sales Engineers $98,720 7% Bachelor's

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Master's in Electrical Engineering Careers

Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Electrical and electronics engineers help to design, test and maintain various types of hardware and software related to electronic systems. They aid companies in ensuring that all electronic devices meet state and federal safety guidelines along with overseeing the manufacture and installation of such systems. These individuals also take part in evaluation of such systems and make recommendations as to what modifications in design need to be made. A Master's in Electrical Engineering is required for those who wish to go into research and development.

Aerospace Engineers

Aerospace engineers who have a master's degree tend to have higher-ranking management positions within this field and can work with companies or universities in the form of research or instruction. Individuals within this field aid in the development of satellites, spacecraft and aircraft and they work directly with government and company officials to determine if a proposed project is feasible. In addition, they manage the design, testing and manufacturing process that goes into any project. They also inspect all elements of said projects to ensure they meet quality guidelines. Having sound understanding of engineering principles, those with a Master's in Electrical Engineering will be well equipped to develop designs that have a high chance of success.

Industrial Engineers

Industrial engineers can be on the fast track to management thanks to their master's degree. Their daily duties include reviewing production schedules and manufacturing processes to better understand how both people and resources are being used during a project. They look at how all parts are manufactured and determine if and how they can meet quality control requirements while increasing productivity across the board. These same individuals come up with training programs and maintenance schedules to increase working productivity and safety.

Computer Hardware Engineers

Computer hardware engineers help companies to create new hardware as well as develop the proper systems for testing said hardware. They need to have a deep understanding of mathematical data in order to properly analyze test results and make modifications to the design during the creation process. Through obtaining a master's, prospective job applicants will have a good understanding of how various computer components work and be able to select hardware that works well with existing components.

Sales Engineers

Sales engineers concern themselves with increasing company revenue and work directly with customers to ensure their demands are being met. They work hands-on with product engineers to make certain that the company is developing products that live up to needs of a particular client. Furthermore, they are tasked with engaging in any and all product demonstrations as well as overseeing their installation. Lastly, these individuals are tasked with solving problems with equipment as well as suggesting new materials or machines to customers.

What It Takes To Obtain a Master's

Those who wish to obtain Master's in Electrical Engineering degrees can complete their graduate programs at some of the top universities for as little as $15,919 at a public institution and $47,073 at a private one in a time-frame of between one to two years. On average, students can expect to engage in between 30 to 45 credit hours of work, the bulk of which will come from courses such as project management, power systems analysis, linear systems and optimal control. The majority of prospective applicants into any given graduate program will be required to have Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry or a related field and have maintained a 3.0 GPA while having 30 credit hours related to their particular master's degree focus.

While having a master's degree isn't typically a requirement for entry-level electrical engineering-related careers, it aids prospective job applicants in obtaining a higher-end job within their respective career choice as well as helping to secure their future. The degree gives them the tools and education necessary to remain competitive and helps to expand upon their job opportunities.

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