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Is it worth to do M.S. and/or Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering for a future engineer if they already have B.S. in it?

Currently I am a chemistry major, and I am planning to switch to Chemical Engineering but I am not sure how much I should learn to be a competitive engineer. #chemical-engineering

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Michael’s Answer

You don’t need a masters or PhD to be a productive chemical engineer. The more degrees you get open different opportunities to you. If you like going to school keep going and get an advanced degree.
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M. A. Rafe’s Answer

My undergrad research advisor told me several years ago that getting MS in Chemical Engineering isn't worth much more than a B.Sci. He instead encouraged me to get a PhD because MS non-thesis is just more coursework than BS and not much experience is gained per say. If you are looking to get into research and development, which is usually a different direction than what you do after getting a B.Sci. in industry, then I highly encourage getting a PhD or at least MS thesis (meaning completion of a more open-ended research project over a few semesters instead of a single-semester project). Otherwise it is not worth getting a PhD or MS.

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Jayavignesh’s Answer

My personal opinion is that here in the US getting your Masters is becoming more prevalent. There is A LOT of varying thoughts on this issue so I would suggest further research.


If your school has a program where you could get your Master's with an additional year and you can afford to do so, I think you should go for it (or at inquire about it). A non-thesis Master's degree won't do much to set you up for a R&D career but it will give you some advantage in getting the more traditional industry positions. The magnitude of the advantage depends on the company, but if you have your Master's I think you immediately set yourself apart from a lot of your fellow fresh graduates when applying to entry level positions given everything else is equal. Prior work experience though will always be the most desirable.

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Robert’s Answer

I went in the other direction, from ChE BS to Chemistry PhD, and I can assure that there is a LOT to learn switching between the two. ChE is a bit like two years of liberal arts in engineering (you usually take a course or two in EE, CE, ME, plus lots of physics and math) and two years of very specialized, math-intensive coursework specific to chemical engineering (like mass transport phenomena, and reactor kinetics) that a chemistry degree does very little to prepare you for. If I understand your question correctly, prepare for a great deal of challenge to get your BS, or an absolute need to get an MS in ChE (and it will be HARD) if you want a ChE job with a Chemistry BS. Not to say it isn't worth switching, it's just not nearly as easy as the similar names might imply!
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