When it comes to improving your career, education almost always pays. If you're wondering "Is an engineering degree worth it?", the answer is almost certainly "yes."
- According to U.S. News & World Report, the return on investment (ROI) for a bachelor's degree in engineering over the course of a career averages $83,000 per year1
- A master's degree in engineering has a potential ROI of $120,000 per year1
Those stats are just one example of how it pays to continue your engineering studies at the graduate level. Here are a few more facts to think about as you consider taking the plunge and going to grad school.
Boost Your Earning Potential
Engineering is an in-demand skill, and starting salaries are competitive even with just an undergraduate degree. Earning a master's degree, however, can supercharge your earning potential, and this earnings boost is consistent across most engineering disciplines.
- Guess which degrees are among the top 10 best-paying master's degrees in the world? Four of them are from traditional engineering disciplines—civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and electrical engineering2
- When you say "earn more," how much more are we talking about? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, on average, mechanical engineers as well as architectural and engineering managers who have completed an engineering master's degree program earn between 9 and 13 percent more than their counterparts who only have undergraduate degrees.3 In other words, what you pay for your graduate education could be offset by the raise you'll be giving yourself every year for the rest of your career
Find a New Job
Some people who study engineering at the graduate level do so to advance their position at their current company. In fact, your current employer may offer tuition reimbursement to help potential students like you offset the cost of your master's in engineering because they see it as an investment in your future with the company.
Other students want to move to a new company or switch to a different engineering specialty, and they view going to school as a way to open a new door. Businesses are already competing to hire engineering grads; earning your master's degree can lead to your dream job, giving you an edge in the job hunt and the possibility of a healthy signing bonus. For example:
- Chemical engineering graduates earn signing bonuses averaging $5,2504
- Engineers in general earn signing bonuses averaging $5,1074
Additionally, when it comes to hiring new engineers, employers take the process seriously. With a master's degree, you place yourself in an even stronger salary-negotiating position.
- 33 percent of employers report offering higher salaries to engineering grads5
- 65 percent of employers express willingness to negotiate for the right person for an engineering position5
Step Into Leadership
As the baby boom generation heads toward retirement, experts anticipate many openings in engineering fields. 23 percent of current STEM professionals are 55 and older.6
Think about it: almost 1 in 4 of today's engineers will be out of the labor force within a decade or so. Even more importantly, the exodus of more experienced workers will leave many leadership positions vacant, and your decision to pursue a graduate degree in engineering today will position you for leadership positions tomorrow.
Achieve More Job Satisfaction
"Is a graduate engineering degree worth it?" is more than a monetary question. The time and money you invest in a master's in engineering can also pay off in a more satisfying experience at work. By boosting your credentials, you position yourself to work alongside industry leaders, and you position yourself to work at the world's best, most innovative companies on projects that could truly change the world.
As we mentioned before, a graduate engineering degree shows that you're ready to lead. Leadership adds more challenges to your workday, yet with those added challenges come added rewards. Being a leader gives you the chance to be more influential and more autonomous, to take control of your career, to initiate new projects and to be a mentor for up-and-coming engineering professionals.
Discover Your Next Step
Where Can CWRU Take You?
Case Western Reserve University is home to one of U.S. News & World Report's top engineering graduate schools in the country.7
Case Western Reserve has nurtured many engineers who have gone on to achieve great things. The founder of Dow Chemical was a CWRU graduate, as was the inventor of the Nike Air sole. Current tech innovators like Paul Buchheit, inventor of Gmail, are also CWRU alumni. The rich history of CWRU positions you for an exciting and rewarding future.
Investing in your education is rewarding not only for your wallet, but for so much more. Prepare yourself for a life of continuous opportunity and discovery by pursuing an online Master of Science in Engineering at CWRU.
- Retrieved on January 29, 2018, from usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/paying/articles/2017-03-14/weigh-the-cost-benefits-of-graduate-school
- Retrieved on January 29, 2018, from monster.com/career-advice/article/best-and-worst-paying-masters-degrees
- Retrieved on January 29, 2018, from bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm
- Retrieved on January 29, 2018, from shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/compensation/pages/signing-bonuses-graduates.aspx
- Retrieved on January 29, 2018, from https://www.peaktechnical.com/2015/05/07/stiff-competition-acquiring-engineering-grads/
- Retrieved on January 29, 2018, from news.osu.edu/news/2017/03/27/aging-scientists/
- Retrieved on January 29, 2018, from usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/case-western-reserve-university-201645/overall-rankings