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Second masters degree?

moneyisimportantmoneyisimportant 82 replies14 threads Junior Member
I have a BSMET and a MSME degree. I am considering going for a second masters degree, this one would be a BS in Product Development Engineering. My employer will pay 100% of the costs, I just have to contribute the time. Wondering what folks thoughts might be?
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Replies to: Second masters degree?

  • moneyisimportantmoneyisimportant 82 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Made a typo above. "MS in product development engineering", not BS.
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  • PublisherPublisher 8976 replies107 threads Senior Member
    edited September 29
    Thoughts about getting a free masters degree in a subject valued by your employer ? Seems like a wise use of your time from my viewpoint.
    edited September 29
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1330 replies19 threads Senior Member
    edited September 29
    Not sure we can conclude that without more data. Will you be taking time out of the workforce? Is there a reason to believe you will increase your earnings with another MS?

    Are you changing careers to something you will enjoy more in the coming decades?

    Financial and personal happiness considerations both factor in.

    I was very pleased increasing my earning potential and broadening my knowledge/capabilities with a Masters. But I wouldn’t have been up for another one. My Dad has a PhD, he always told be not to.

    I had a client once who had something like 12 degrees. He was a mid-level manager at a public utility, but enjoyed the learning process.
    edited September 29
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  • PublisherPublisher 8976 replies107 threads Senior Member
    Job security & employability (if moving to another company or to a different part of the country in the future) are other factors to consider. Doesn't always have to be about more money.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9050 replies79 threads Senior Member
    Is it possible to take the first class and afterward decide whether to continue?
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  • boneh3adboneh3ad 7479 replies132 threadsForum Champion Engineering Forum Champion
    edited September 30
    If your employer has already expressed a willingness to do this for you, that means they value it. I am assuming here that your employer has expressed this willingness to you and it is not just part of a blanket policy, which may or may not still apply to getting a second MS.

    The bottom line is that if your employer thinks it is valuable enough for you and them that they are willing to pay for it, then where is the question?
    edited September 30
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  • BrianBoilerBrianBoiler 738 replies15 threads Member
    I have two Masters Degrees. One in engineering (PU) and an MBA(Kellogg).

    Here are my thoughts:
    1> Will you get tools that will help you do your job better? Or is this a resume ornament? If the former, getting more tools is always good. If it is the second, at this point, you probably don't need this type of ornamentation. You should be striving for accomplishments at work to put on your resume.
    2> What kind of hook does your employer have in you upon completion? If they pay, are you obligated to stay on for a certain number of years? I did this with both of my Master's programs and can tell you, especially after the second, I didn't like the hook. I ended up paying 33% of my second degree back to the company to leave for a more appropriate position.
    3> What do you give up to do the second degree? Family time? Hobbies? Is the benefit from the second degree worth what you lose? For both my MXX degrees, I had small children at home and ended up giving up sleep over family time. For two years in my MBA I was sleep deprived as I promised my family that I'd not do homework until the kids were in bed. It was worth it, but cost much more than just money.
    4> Is the second degree preparing you for something that you can't get without it? I've never heard of an MS in Product Development. Most of the PD people I've worked with were BS in ME, IE, AE, ChemE, etc. What tools does it bring to the table?

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  • moneyisimportantmoneyisimportant 82 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Thank you all.

    There are some good, insightful questions that are good. To answer a few of them:

    1) The MS in PDE is interesting. The above poster is correct to say that it is unusual. What I can say is that courses are traditional engineering courses and it fits well with my previous education. My MSME covers the technical details about design - mechanics of materials, FEA stress analysis, corrosion, etc. The MSPDE would cover everything in product development except for the technical design itself. Things like economics of design, systems engineering, project management, collaborative engineering, and the like. The two degrees would mesh well together with little overlap.

    2) From a high level perspective, I am a product development engineer with a very specific role in a particular area of product development. The degree would broaden my technical knowledge and I would be able to apply the knowledge learned in the degree to my daily job.

    3) The sacrifice that I would be making would be sleep and family time. Sacrificing sleep isn't a huge deal, but sacrificing family time is. I have to carefully think about this.

    4) Yes, I can complete a course or two before applying to see if I enjoy it and want to keep pursuing it. In fact, I am doing 1 course right now to see how it goes.

    Thank you for your comments.

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  • PublisherPublisher 8976 replies107 threads Senior Member
    edited September 30
    OP responded:

    "The degree would broaden my technical knowledge and I would be able to apply the knowledge learned in the degree to my daily job".

    "It fits well with my previous education."

    "The two degrees would mesh well together with little overlap."

    Since this would be an employer paid degree, what is the issue ?

    Do your licenses have a continuing education requirement ? If so, then the time & effort spent would accomplish several important work related & professional objectives.

    P.S. As an aside, I am going through a very similiar discussion with a family member. I paid all tuition & fees in advance for the family member. Would satisfy CE requirements for several professional licenses & establish the family member as a professional in his field beyond his very specialized practice area. Necessary because of meetings with clients, attorneys, investment folks & superiors occur weekly. Why not better understand one's profession ? A broader view leads to better understanding of others' concerns which leads to better solutions, better client relations & increased business.

    OP: Can any, or all, of the courses be taken remotely online ? If so, at your discretion or at predesignated times & dates ?

    If you miss a class, can you view it online ?
    edited September 30
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  • moneyisimportantmoneyisimportant 82 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Last post - to answer a couple questions.

    1) Yes, the courses are 100% online. I watch videos of the lecture and then turn in homework (via e-mail / upload) per the instructors schedule. No commuting time and no classes in person.

    2) The sacrifice that I am making is giving up time to do courses.

    Decision - I am going to try one class this fall and if that goes well continue with the program. I can do 1-2 years as a pre-admitted student and if that goes well can submit to be accepted into the program.

    It will take approximately 4 years total to take all of the courses, 1 course per semester. With luck, I will graduate in 2023 or 2024.
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5604 replies122 threads Senior Member
    You are living the counterargument to all those who say "just wait for graduate school until you're employed and your company pays for it." Life gets in the way once you're out, requiring some pretty serious compromises.

    That said, it sounds like a great opportunity to not only make you better at your current job, but more valuable to future employers should you choose to leave your current company.

    If you don't know them, you should look into Scott Young and Cal Newport. They are both into efficient learning. Young finished the MIT CS curriculum, including examinations, in 12 months. Newport, a CS prof at Georgetown, recently wrote Deep Work. Since you will be in video format, there's a good chance that you can speed up the process and maybe not spend as much time away from the fam.

    Good luck!
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  • WaterguruWaterguru 8 replies0 threads New Member
    Do you want to earn the degree? Stay with that employer? If so, it should be a win / win. I'm betting you are burned out on school though, or you wouldn't be asking this question.
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