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? asked in Science & MathematicsEngineering · 1 decade ago

Lets just say I undergo a mechanical engineering degree at a top 10 engineering school?

And lets just say I do very well and chase to get my masters degree. get 2 years of work experience. get my MBA...

I feel medical school would set me back in my 20s and 30s and i would have problems "settling," i don't want to be making the big bucks late in life (which most doctors do around 40, i would rather be consistent... than rather start off with 40k residency salary after 8 years of being in debt of 100k+...)

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  • DJ
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I was faced with this same decision almost 10yrs ago... And many more decisions like it before and since...

    When I entered college, I couldn't decide between chemical engineering (ChE) and pre-med... My advisors told me to go chem eng because I could still get into med school with a ChE degree, but alternatively I couldn't get many jobs with a pre-med degree. So I finished my ChE degree, got accepted to med school, and got a ChE job offer the same week. So the decision was in front of me...

    I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon, and like you said, med school is expensive and they don't pay jack in residency, then surgeons are essentially on call 24/7... So you have to answer 2 questions: 1) how much money will I make during my career? 2) How many hours, weekends, and nights will I have to work to make that money?

    Doctors make a lot of money once they clear residency, but they also don't have much room for advancement. They can boost their salary by specializing or by switching from one hospital to another, but by and large, there isn't much room for salary bumps. They're also typically on call 24/7, and often have to pull weekend shifts or night shifts. One of my former wrestling coaches was an orthopedic surgeon, he pulls 9-4 in the office Monday through thursday, then does surgeries fridays and some saturdays, and is on call for emergency surgeries 3 weeks a month. He says he works 80+hrs a week average...

    On the other hand, BS in engineering jobs start out less than a doctor, but they also get a 6-8yr head start (no med school, and no residency), and they don't have med school tuition to pay off. They typically work a 50hr week, monday thru friday. The room for advancement is there, through management positions and corporate hierarchy.

    All those things considered, I took the ChE job and declined the med school.

    After under-grad, I also started working on my masters in Chemical Engineering via distance education (which is a sweet gig because most engineering jobs will help pay for further education)... Then I got knee deep in my masters and realized that it wasn't worth NEARLY as much as an MBA, so I put the masters on hold (you have 10yrs to finish it, I MAY go back once I finish my MBA).

    All said and done, a masters in engineering isn't worth much. It costs around $20k to get it, and takes 2-3yrs (or more if you do it via distance ed while you're working), then depending on the industry you're in, it could either be worth nothing, or at best $5-8k per year, so it takes you 4yrs or more to pay it off. A masters in engineering is truely that, it makes you a better engineer... So while it MAY boost your salary a little, it also sort of locks you into an engineering role, and engineers don't make big bucks, engineering MANAGERS do...

    An MBA, on the other hand, typically boosts your qualifcations for management positions, so instead of being an engineer at 40 making $85k, you could be an engineering manager at 35 making $100k.

    From my personal example, I started my first year out of undergrad at the typical entry level engineering salary, then changed jobs once and boosted over 50%, then changed again and boosted another 50%, more than doubling my starting salary within 4yrs of graduation (6 figure income at 25). Plus, I haven't paid a dime towards my masters or MBA, because the companies I work for have paid for continuing education (additional $15k so far).

    But all that said, what really matters is what you really want to do. If you want to be a doctor, then go for it, the world needs doctors. If you really want to be an engineer, then go for it, the world needs engineers too...

    One thing to consider, MASSIVE paycheck potential... Biomed mechanics... It's hard to get a job, but they pay like vegas. You'd be responsible for designing hip replacement parts, artificial prosthetic limbs, artificial hearts, heart valves, etc etc etc. Things that need a mechanical engineers touch, but for the human body... Still requires med school, but the mechanical engineering under grad degree will make you a good candidate for the jobs, and it's an instant speciality. Intead of needing years of experience to specialize, you'd have a specialized education and skillset coming out of the gate...

  • 1 decade ago

    so, what's your question? You're just rambling.. if that is characteristic, you might have a harder time getting into med school, or a "top 10" engineering school (why waste the money on a top 1) engineering school, when an "average" school will get you the same REAL quality of education?

  • FredA
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Agree with the guy above. Best schools aren't everything. It's what you do and how active you are at the school that counts.

    In terms of med. school, you gotta think about what's worth more to you: money or a life? If you really enjoy med. school, then you should go for it. If you're just doing it for the money, it's not worth it.

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