Engineering Grad School or Industry?

<p>Sorry for asking a similar question as other posters. I bet you guys get tons of these.</p>

<p>But right now, I am having a hard time deciding between going for a job, or grad school right after college. I need opinions. Honest to be told, I have grad school aspiration, but I have low expectation because of my low credential, especially my GPA.</p>

<p>I am currently studying Electrical Engineering at Penn State. I have 3.15 Overall GPA and 4.00 EE Major GPA. This discrepancy is due to my first three years in college, when I was studying Biology to get in Med School. But I did not do too well; my overall GPA sank to 2.82 at this point. However, since then I changed my major to EE, and I have been doing well afterwards. I will be entering my sixth and final year this fall, again this is due to changing my major very late.</p>

<p>I do know that this will also depend on GREs and work/research experiences, but I just want to know if I even have a shot at grad schools. I hear, most school screens out people with 3.30 or lower. If so what school, should I look at? Should I not even consider top 30 Engineering schools? If I don't have any shot, I am thinking of getting a job for few years, before I apply for grad school.</p>

<p>I think if you are unsure, enter industry first and from that point, judge whether or not you really want to pursue grad study. Grad study is all about doing research in one very specific area in which you are really interested and shall become one of the few to have expertise. In particular, while in industry, you will have the time to discover what really interests you, and it's never too late to apply to grad school.</p>

<p>However, get your recommendation letters before hand and do the GRE now, as these will be not as easily achieved later when you are out of school for a year or two</p>

<p>my 3 cents.</p>

<p>Actually, I WANT TO go to grad school right afterwards. But I don't know whether I can get it in, thus I am having the current dilemma.</p>

<p>I suggest you to ask your advisor at Penn State. He will know more about this.</p>

<p>I guess my suggestion is to fully analyze what it is that you want and are looking for. Why do you want to attend Graduate School? Do you want to go to grad school to learn information and enhance yoru skills OR to do research? Many corporations will pay for you to go to grad school or offset the cost by paying for smoe tuition reimbursement. That makes the financial aspect a lot more ideal. However, if you want to go to grad-school to research this may not be possible. Many corporations do reimbursements while you go to school part time and work full time. This all depends on what you are looking to do. I am currently working full time and going to graduate school at UofM part time. Though it is challenging to balance work, school, and personal priorities, I don't have to leave my great job for school. And, I'm able to turn around and apply my course-work to my daily work at the office. I don't have aspirations of doing university level research - I want to use the advanced degree to enhance my knowledge and skills to develop innovative products. </p>

<p>It comes down to what YOU want out of the degree.</p>

<p>There are not a lot of jobs available right now for EEs, so it's good to have several options. Our S got a job in EE with the federal government. At the engineering career fair, they only had 50 companies rather than the 150 they usually have & only a few ere hiring (the others were just keeping communication lines open). IF you can get a job and do well, it may help you sort out what sort of research you'd want to do in grad school. Some jobs will even pay for you to go to school part time, like the poster above. </p>

<p>S's employer has also indicated that it will pay for him to go to grad school if he wants it. He does want to go to grad school but wanted a break from all the schooling he's been taking non-stop since pre-school. We're all excited for him to begin his new job. Before it starts, he plans on visiting friends & family over the summer & early fall.</p>

<p>I agree that your advisor should be able to help guide you on what your realistic options are. Once you've worked a bit, your GPA is somewhat less important than if you're applying straight from UG.</p>

<p>thank you. Sorry for the late reply though. I will take all that into consideration.</p>

<p>Shuvy, first of all, go talk to Dave Salvia - he does an annual presentation on grad school and has a ton of information. Most importantly he can give you some ideas on where to apply.</p>

<p>After that, I suggest you do what I did - apply to both. I spent the fall of my senior year applying to grad schools, and then spent the spring applying to jobs. By April I had offers from both in hand and could compare and decide. I picked a great job over a pretty good grad school offer, and a few years later was able to swing a fantastic grad school opportunity.</p>

<p>As rkd noted, many companies offer tuition benefits to professionals like engineers - my company pays 100% of tuition with automatic approval for degrees in your own field (i.e. engineering / hard sciences). The down side is that there are few research-based degrees that you can combine with job, and most companies are very reluctant to fund a PhD. If you want a doctorate, it is likely that sooner or later you would have to quit your job and take a huge pay cut.</p>