Is a Master’s Degree in Engineering Worth It?
by UTEP Connect
Engineering can be a lucrative professional field even without committing to a graduate program. So, does earning a master’s degree in it make sense? We think it does, and here’s why.
The Impact of a Master’s Degree
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduate education directly correlates with increased weekly wages and lower unemployment chances. In 2017 alone, full-time workers over the age of 25, with a master’s degree, earned an average of 19.4% more than those with only a bachelor’s degree. The same group of graduates saw an unemployment rate of just 2.2%, which was about 50% lower than the national average for that year.
The Salary Outlook for Engineers
A bachelor’s degree in engineering can help you gain entry-level positions in the field, and it is also enough for a noteworthy salary. Glassdoor reports an average annual base salary for engineers of $89,179, ranging to well above $100,000 depending on the engineering focus one chooses.
There are, however, some engineering specialties, such as systems engineering, that may require graduate degrees in order to gain the proper in-depth field expertise. And with the demand for systems engineers steadily increasing, having a master’s degree will not only show that you have the proper knowledge credentials, but it will also give you an advantage in future salary negotiations. Engineering positions requiring a master’s degree demand significantly higher salaries, with a median of $130,000 in electrical engineering and $129,000 in computer engineering, per monster.com.
More Opportunities for Career Advancement
Beyond giving you a boost when negotiating your compensation, a master’s degree can be a wise long-term investment that will open doors to greater opportunities for career advancement. For instance, if you know that you want to move into a management position, a master’s degree is highly recommended. Completing a graduate program speaks volumes about your personality traits, such as determination, patience, leadership, foresight, ability to overcome challenges efficiently, team work, and project management. These soft skills continue to be highly in demand, according to recent studies. Additionally, pursuing a master’s degree in a complex field like engineering demonstrates commitment to learning, improving, and growing your skills – another quality that employers value.
At The University of Texas at El Paso, we offer a flexible online Master of Science in Systems Engineering to all those systems engineers who are ready to take their careers to the next level. The program is designed to address systems integration, project management, and essential leadership skills needed to manage complex systems in a wide range of private and public sector industries – manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, defense, healthcare, and software. This graduate program will also prepare students for the International Council on Systems Engineering ASEP/CSEP certification exam and will provide the advanced interdisciplinary knowledge required for management-level positions.
A master’s degree in engineering is not always required to work in your specialization of choice, but it will certainly move your career forward by giving you a leg up in salary negotiations and by opening the door to greater job opportunities. We invite you to explore your graduate education options and see what it will take to make that next step into your profession.
If you are interested in learning more about our team and UTEP Connect’s 100% online master’s and graduate certificate programs, reach out. An enrollment counselor will contact you directly.