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Biomedical Engineering (no desire to become a doctor)

Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
One of my daughters plans to study Biomedical Engineering. She has no desire to go to any medical school later.

What are the career prospects and earnings potentials? Is graduate school necessary or highly desired or she will be able to find good job with undergraduate degree?

She plans to go to either Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins, MIT or Rice.
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Replies to: Biomedical Engineering (no desire to become a doctor)

  • eyemgheyemgh 5569 replies121 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Most will tell you that a BS only in BME isn't very employable because the biology classes dilute the engineering coursework. An advanced degree or a BS in ME are probably the best way to go.

    As for the school list, they will be very different experiences. If there's something more than prestige that unifies the list for her, good. If not, she should learn more about what it will be like to be an undergrad at all of them. Once she finds out what she wants, her list might change. For example, if she likes the size of Rice, she may want to add Case. If she wants a big school like GT, she might add a school like Purdue.

    Finally, unless she's been accepted to those schools, she needs a safety or two. They are competitive for students with top stats.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8905 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Finding BME employment without a grad degree can be tough. As discussed in other threads, it is possible to work in biomed field with other, less specialized engineering degrees. Do you know what drew her to BME?

    Is the student a high school senior or junior?
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  • SkrunchSkrunch 237 replies26 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Kid is a BME at GT. Agree with the above comments. I've heard of kids getting degrees in EE and ME and then getting a masters in BME. It's a broad degree---almost too broad.
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    She is a junior. She is in top 5% of her very competitive school, has been part of the school science Olympiad team since 8th grade, has been taking BME research course in partnership with state university, got 1540 on her SAT, takes 6 AP classes.
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  • Materof2Materof2 260 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited March 16
    I was at a congenital heart disease conference and met a brilliant young man who was a sales representative for a company that specializes in making 3D images of organs pre-surgery. Specifically, in this case, it was hearts of babies born with complicated congenital heart defects. Surgeons could have a 3D “to scale” model to plan for the surgery and truly visualize the heart and it’s specific challenges pre-surgery. The young man was a biomedical engineer, very outgoing, well spoken, and just beyond brilliant.

    I don’t know all the interesting careers that biomedical engineers can enter, but this one helps save the lives of babies through innovative medical technology.
    edited March 16
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5569 replies121 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Please don't take offense to this. Her accomplishments are impressive. It's just that all of those schools, with the possible exception of Georgia Tech, will have more students apply with that level of accomplishment than they can accommodate. There is a certain level of luck. Assuming her GPA is very high, she could very well get into all of them. She could also get skunked. Every year, students with high stats post here about getting locked out because they didn't apply to a sure thing. Don't let her be one of those. Good luck.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6989 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Many of the BMEs at my daughter's school do ME with a concentration in BME to keep their job prospects more open. The BMEs seem to all go to med school or on to graduate work, very few directly into the work force. That said, there seem to be an abundance of BME internships and co-ops.

    I also agree to be sure that your daughter has match and safety schools on her list. The four you listed are reaches, including GT if you are OOS.

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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8905 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Those are nice qualifications, but yea ... can't hurt to add a safety school or two.

    "has been taking BME research course in partnership with state university, - Wow, that's terrific. She should definitely ask the professors there for advice. They will probably have some great advise, tailored to her interests and strengths.
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited March 17
    Both my daughter and I understand that getting in any Ivy league level school is a lottery. We have few safe schools, state university being one of them.

    I am more interested in employment opportunities for BME major and if undergraduate degree is enough or not and if master degree is a requirement will she be able to get it while working.
    edited March 17
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  • elodyCOHelodyCOH 385 replies23 threadsRegistered User Member
    My son wants to do biomedical engineering, but he's going the chemical engineering route. That's another option. It depends on whether your daughter is interested in biomedical devices, or is more interested in the tissue engineering side. If devices, then EE or ME. If tissue or drug delivery systems, then ChemE.

    He plans on specializing in grad school. Ultimately he wants to go the PhD route for biomedical research.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom 27663 replies152 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    My best friend’s daughter graduated from a California UC with a BME BS degree 2 years ago and has had no problem securing a job with just her Bachelors. Getting a few internships in the field was very helpful and she may be the exception to the rule.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8905 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    " I am more interested in employment opportunities for BME major and if undergraduate degree is enough or not and if master degree is a requirement will she be able to get it while working."

    I'm a Mech Eng myself. But based on my reading in these threads the past few years and experiences from a young friend BME from a less-known school; later retrained with 2 year Med Tech degree) ... I'd say don't count on many employment options with BS/BME. As the prior poster mentioned, certainly internships will improve the odds.
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    "My best friend’s daughter graduated from a California UC with a BME BS degree 2 years ago and has had no problem securing a job with just her Bachelors. Getting a few internships in the field was very helpful and she may be the exception to the rule."

    Do you mind sharing where she got the job and how many and where she got internships while studying?
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  • GumbymomGumbymom 27663 replies152 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    @A173: The UC she attended offered little help in finding her some internships, so she spent a lot of time doing research and applying to over 50 internships during her 2nd year at the UC. She lucked out and was accepted into an internship that a graduate student turned down at the last minute. It was with medical device company in the San Diego but was geared to the marketing end of the company. She got good experience and they liked her enough to offer her another internship in the R&D department the following summer. She worked for this company for about another year after graduation before accepting another job at different medical device company in the Sorrento Valley area of San Diego. The SD/La Jolla area is a large tech hub. My own son, an SDSU CS grad, works in the same area as a Cybersecurity analyst.
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  • MomOf2TeenGirlsMomOf2TeenGirls 316 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    My D graduated with a BS in BME last year. While she chose to go to grad school (wants to do fundamental research), she had three internships as an undergrad and most of her friends that wanted to enter the workplace had little difficulty finding jobs. I would look at the career placement stats for the colleges of interest (some are on line, some you may have to contact the school). Georgia Tech, e.g., gives a Spring 2018 BS job placement rate for BME of 78%, which is even with their overall BS engineering placement rate. See https://webapps.gatech.edu/cfcampus/adors/commencement/salary_report_result.cfm?termcode=201802&college=3&level=1&surveyid=105&Submit=Submit.
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1052 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    A friend of mine's daughter is graduating this year from WPI with a BS in BME. She has recently been admitted to PhD programs in a number of outstanding BME programs with very competitive awards, including JHU.

    If not already on your list, I would add, JHU, U of PA, CWR, and WPI. WPI is the least competitive for admission with an average GPA of 3.89.
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  • jmk518jmk518 325 replies2 threadsRegistered User Member
    BIL works for a medical devices company and he says they they hire a lot of undergrad BMEs. What the competition is for those openings I don't know. Networking and internships will help. Most engineering majors come in higher and move up the employment chain faster with a masters.
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1052 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Go to the following website to see the job and graduate school placement for BME from WPI for 2018. On page 13 of this PDF report, the average salaries, employers and graduate schools are listed for 2018. The concentration of BME activity is very high in the Boston area.

    See https://www.wpi.edu/student-experience/career-development/outcomes
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  • jmk518jmk518 325 replies2 threadsRegistered User Member
    ^^^ That is where my BIL works and my D starts BME at WPI - 3rd generation - this fall.
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  • floridakiddofloridakiddo 5 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    My daughter (and I as the chaperone) had the opportunity to attend the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting last year held at Atlanta, Georgia as part of the few High School Expo participants. We eventually attended the Engineering Info Session at GeorgiaTech on the same week. From what I gathered, graduates from engineering programs with co-op experiences are highly employable even with only a bachelor's degree. However, if you are just a bachelors degree holder from a subpar university and no actual work experience, employment is difficult. Most of them usually aim for postgraduate degrees. I also had a colleague at work, who was a ChemEng graduate from GATech. I told him about my daughter's plan. He highly recommended taking advantage of the coop program. He did not do it, and regretted it.
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