If I hate doing research should I not even think about grad school?

<p>I'm a civil engineering major and I had a research assistant position this summer. However, the experience made me realize I hate research with a passion, so I quit. I hate being stuck in a lab, doing tests, and redoing them if I get them wrong. I just dislike the whole academic setting sometimes. But nowadays I hear an M.S. is the new B.S. so it must mean going to grad school is becoming a must. So what should I do? I'm confused...</p>

<p>There are plenty of coursework only (i.e. non-thesis) MS programs. You'll have to pay out of the pocket for those, though. You might never make back the money vs. just going to work after the BS.</p>

<p>Maybe you just had one bad experience</p>

<p>Don't listen to people who say the new B.S. is the M.S. The truth is that the new B.S. is finding a way to get legitimate work experience. If I was an employer I would much much rather hire someone who got a job right out of college than somebody who went to grad school because I would be led to assume the grad student couldn't/didn't want to find a job or didn't do any long-term planning so decided to just stay in school.</p>

<p>Correct me if I am wrong - because I have only heard this on unconfirmed posts on this forum - but don't most engineers only have a BS degree? I remember threads talking about how a Masters degree in engineering really only raised salary by 10k.</p>

<p>These are just rumors that I was hoping to clear up... I still plan on going for my masters for personal reasons.</p>

<p>Inmotion12, it is a good think you aren't a hitting manager then, because that is an incredibly asinine thing to say and do. In fact, you just managed to belittle some of the greatest minds in America. Good job.</p>

<p>And you can still do grad school without research if you want, but it is pretty darn expensive, so you are going to want to get a job first at a company who will fund your MS.</p>

<p>Don't let that one bad experience discourage you. The breadth of your involvement in research (i.e. setting up experience vs. menial tasks) really depends on the PhD student or professor you work with. Some people will throw you some great work right away while others will have you doing menial tasks. It really depends on the person and what sort of work that department needs done asap.</p>

<p>Also, it's better that you did research than did nothing relevant at all. Had it not been for my prior work and research experience I would not have been sitting on multiple internship offers for this summer (and I know a lot of people that didn't even receive a call back from firms I applied to). Being active in your field outside of your coursework can only really benefit you at this stage.</p>

<p>Immotion12, your statement is way too general and doesn't really have much validity. In fact, there are a lot of positions where MS or PhD are preferred and in some cases required. I've heard the work experience argument before but in my opinion, I don't think anyone will ever regret getting a gradute degree in engineering. In consulting and even at most companies, I think it will be an advantage in terms of career advancement.</p>

<p>And I also find it funny that some people say that a MS will increase a starting salary by "only 10k". Actually, as far as staring salary is concerned, this is pretty good, especially if the MS was funded. I think it would be extremely unlikely that someone who started working with a BS would get a 10k raise in 1-2 years (I'm not saying it is absolutely impossible). So not only is the starting salary going to be higher but you are going to have an advanced degree. In the course of a career, the 1-2 years of work experience that you lost while getting the MS won't be that significant and you will have gained research experience. Keep in mind that you will always have the advanced degree that will be worth it for the opportunities that it could provide.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Inmotion12, it is a good think you aren't a hitting manager then, because that is an incredibly asinine thing to say and do. In fact, you just managed to belittle some of the greatest minds in America. Good job.

[/quote]
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<p>Well, in his defense, I know a few people who took that route: they were pretty good in school but couldn't/were too lazy to find a job and so they just took the path of least resistance and applied to grad school. Of course, I do not not believe this is anywhere near the majority of cases, and so overall I still agree that he's wrong.</p>

<p>Definitely as an employer I would view having no work experience as a red flag, which is why many of the engineering Ph.D students here take at least one summer off to work (well, disregarding that the pay is 3x better :P ).</p>

<p>Anyone who thinks graduate school is the path of least resistance is very misinformed, especially if they are going to do research and write a thesis. Research is very challenging. In my opinion, it takes a lot of discipline to get a graduate degree. Anyone who attempts to go to graduate school by default will be in for a surprise at a legitimate institution.</p>

<p>
[QUOTE]
And I also find it funny that some people say that a MS will increase a starting salary by "only 10k". Actually, as far as staring salary is concerned, this is pretty good, especially if the MS was funded. I think it would be extremely unlikely that someone who started working with a BS would get a 10k raise in 1-2 years (I'm not saying it is absolutely impossible). So not only is the starting salary going to be higher but you are going to have an advanced degree. In the course of a career, the 1-2 years of work experience that you lost while getting the MS won't be that significant and you will have gained research experience. Keep in mind that you will always have the advanced degree that will be worth it for the opportunities that it could provide.

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<p>I guess that was indirectly... directed at me. My apologies, I wasn't really trying to offend anyone, just merely clearing up somethings I learned on this forum. Thanks for clarifying. While we are on the topic of Grad degrees, what would you believe is more useful, MEng or MS? Ive asked this a couple times, but I haven't gotten a concrete answer. I would like going into industry, which an MEng is specifically for, but an MS seems to serve for both. I think one of the main differences is in funding - where MEng students are generally unfunded, while MS students are - just what I have atypically noticed.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Anyone who thinks graduate school is the path of least resistance is very misinformed, especially if they are going to do research and write a thesis. Research is very challenging. In my opinion, it takes a lot of discipline to get a graduate degree. Anyone who attempts to go to graduate school by default will be in for a surprise at a legitimate institution.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Oh I agree they are misinformed, but bright kids will find grad school (at least a course-based MS) easier than waking up at 6am every morning and working an 8-5 job. Even at a "legitimate" institution, you're going to find kids that do it just so they can sleep in for a couple more years. I think the real problem is that "legitimate" institutions use these kids as student loan cash cows and they are none the wiser as they graduate with more debt and few job prospects regardless of whether they went to MIT or Southeast Nebraska State.</p>

<p>"I just dislike the whole academic setting sometimes."</p>

<p>Sounds like you should find a job, work for a few years, and then consider going back (with your company paying for it).</p>

<p>If you job goal is academia, do the PhD program.</p>

<p>If your job goal is industry, do the MS program. Maybe eventually MBA also.</p>

<p>lkf725, did you even read the rest of the thread? Your post is irrelevant.</p>

<p>How's that? The op questions research vs something else, as well as the merit of a ms vs bs degree. </p>

<p>xinio654 has found that research is not something he enjoys doing. It has been my experience that when one is in college, there is a lot of pressure for undergrads to apply to PhD programs. This is understandable, I guess, since your profs like academia and want you to like it too. A masters degree is sometimes viewed like somewhat of a second-best choice. My point is that an MS is probably a better choice for a person who will likely work in industry than in academia. And a coursework masters will be better for him than a research masters. An finally, a BS is certainly a fine degree for an entry level job.</p>

<p>I have sent my comments to him in a pm, so please do not worry that my comment is too brief or irrelevant. Perhaps we should not belittle other posters' comments and focus on making positive remarks.</p>

<p>All I am saying is he has a clear distaste for research at this point in life, so how did discussing a Ph.D. even become part of the discussion?</p>

<p>I have to disagree with you Inmotion12.
Research is part of the learning experience.
If you have 2 people, one with no research experience, and the other has at least involved a lab project, and both are undergraduate students, who would you take? Of course the one with research experience.</p>

<p>Research does not give you a ticket to get a job. When a manager wants to hire a person, he checks everything: everyone on your resume, your school transcript. If both are 4.0 students, the one with some research experience gets more credits because he spent times outside of classroom, and work in a laboratory. Whereas the guy who got 4.0 might be spending every hour that he gets to get 4.0. The manager does not care how harsh your teachers were. All they want is someone who can bring contribution.</p>

<p>Research is part of the application of knowledge.</p>

<p>I am not saying that research is mandatory. But there are tens of thousands of people with at least a BS / BE degree. Many of them have MS/ME, and even Ph.D.
Your potential employer does not want a theoretical person.l Even the theoretical physicists have to go through research, right?
Great that you get 4.0 in classes. But it does not mean that you can actually apply them correctly and efficiently in a real assignment.
Very often you will be glad that research experience will help you in your future employment.</p>

<p>To the poster: I am sorry for your experience. But actually this is what you will be doing as your career if you do get an offer. Most likely a yes, a similar situation.</p>

<p>The reason being that even if you are not in a laboratory, you will be looking at the same goddamn paper, draft, proposal over and over, and doing the same stupid calculations :) and then wonder why did my manager ban my proposals.</p>

<p>I think you might just have some bad experiences. But nonetheless, you should not give up on your study, and any opportunity.</p>

<p>"Correct me if I am wrong - because I have only heard this on unconfirmed posts on this forum - but don't most engineers only have a BS degree? I remember threads talking about how a Masters degree in engineering really only raised salary by 10k."</p>

<p>10K * 40 years is a lot of money. Worth the MS I'd think...</p>

<p>It doesn't quite work out that way. The value of the MS will decay with increased work experience. When you're a new graduate, you will get paid more for having a graduate degree. When you're on the job 20 years and an "expert" in your field it will be worth close to nothing as work experience will trump it many times over.</p>