Question about EE grad school

<p>Hey all, I noticed there was a more general thread about taking time off to work before going to grad school but I am curious about how engineering grad programs view that. </p>

<pre><code> As far as EE is concerned, my three main interests are microelectronics, controls and maybe systems engineering (it's worth noting I don't have too much experience with systems engineering but from just general knowledge it seems interesting).

A management degree also interests me. Should I decide to go that route I figure I'd get work experience before going for an MBA or MSEM (master of engineering manag.). I have some management experience running a 24 person department at a surgical tool manufacturer that went incredibly well and I enjoyed it. Although a degree doesn't guarantee me a management job in a tech company, it may assist.
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<p>Bottom line: Should I take at least a year off and work in industry to determine what to go to grad school for, or, should I go straight into an grad EE program just using my best judgment and if I choose to, later on go for a management degree?</p>

<p>Work experience is not very valuable in grad school admissions and neither are letters of recommendation from managers. Letters from professors, on the other hand, are probably the greatest factor in admissions. And those are best when your professors still remember you and the work you did with them. If you decide to work first, you will likely have to go to a lower ranked school than you would have otherwise been able to get into. If the strength of the program doesn't concern you, then I suppose it wouldn't matter.</p>

<p>Your interests are indeed too disparate. Microelectronics and control theory are on the opposite ends of the EE spectrum. You're generally expected to know what area you want to work on in grad school and explain that in your statement of purpose. But I don't understand why you think working for a year will allow you to figure out what you like. There are no jobs in which you can sample different areas of EE. You are to do a few things and do them well, so that the company can make money. That isn't exactly conductive to exploring your interests and arriving at a decision (unless you get lucky and find that you like exactly what you're working on).</p>

<p>I apologize for not clarifying. The idea behind working a year would be to determine whether or not I would go for an MSEE and then an MBA later, or, just skip the MSEE and get the MBA later (pretty much to see whether or not I feel an MSEE would be beneficial).</p>

<p>I'm hoping over the course of my internship this summer I gain some clarity on what topic of EE interests me the most but as of now this is my dilemma.</p>