I got my degree, what now?


Studying a degree (and particularly one as long and complicated as an engineering degree) is like living in a bubble.

It is a busy but still very enjoyable period during which the main preoccupation, at least you are working too, is to study and nothing else, and that during years.

The main activity, and most important one.

Therefore, when you finally reach the last months, weeks, or days, the feeling of being completely, utterly lost can be quite big.

So the question is, now I get my Degree in Biomedical Engineering, what may I do?

First is first.

Universitarian degree is part of Tertiary Education, the higher degrees of education.

Those are summarized in the image below (of course this will be slightly different depending on the country you are studying in):

So, when we obtain our degree, we have only achieved the first of the three levels of higher education ( Level 6) so, the options are two:

- on one hand, we can consider higher education over and just go to work without minding the others options

-or we can choose to continue our training up to levels 7 and 8.

The first thing you must know is as an engineer, your training is not completed without a Master.

That means at some point you must study a Master, at least, if not more than one.

Nowadays, almost everybody has a master, so probably at some point, you should get one, and maybe a second one more specific?

My recommendation is to do a specific master from the beginning.

Biomedical Engineering has many applications and there are so many fields, so the more you are specialized the better.

Why do I think like that? Because during your working life, that specialization won't count that much at the beginning.

You may have studied biomaterials in the last years but for the circumstances and offers you got, beginning in image processing, for instance.

Doesn't matter that much, as you'll have everything to learn.

But later, the skills you learn by doing a specific master would be what will make the difference between you and your co-worker, just as much as having a master or not will be, later on, a significant difference. 

So, the remaining question is, therefore, when?

Well as explained before, at some point you'll need at least one master if you want to be a complete engineer. But, that doesn't mean you must study it as soon as you finish the degree.

It is what I did. Some of my friends did otherwise, they worked for one, two years, and then did a master. Both of us are going quite well, I would say.

But, take into consideration the importance of having working experience. Right now, we are at the same level, except they have a few years of experience, and I have only one.

Is there a difference? Yes. I can clearly see, that when I am looking for a new job, many of them ask for more experience than I have.

So if I could choose again, I think I would get a job before, as there is always time a bit later for a master.

That would be my advice.

Doesn't mean that doing it the other way is a bad decision, but it is maybe not the most efficient one. 

And what about Ph.D.?

Well, that is a whole topic we might discuss later. Go here for that ;).

If you want more information about doing a Master in Biomedical Engineering, go here