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Old 08-20-2012, 09:06 PM    (permalink
kalbears13
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I start my Masters in...2 weeks?
Where are you going??

I'm going to be finishing my last year of my ME degree this year and then I'm going to apply to University of Arizona's optical science masters program.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:11 PM    (permalink
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Screw higher education... Just think of an iphone app and get rich. Like one that makes 30 different fart sounds and charge a dollar for each downlonad. I think that app has more than 10 million downloads. Dude's rolling in cash. lol
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:50 PM    (permalink
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Thesis: done! Time to start looking at schools.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:47 PM    (permalink
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Did my M.Sc in Food Safety and Toxicology right after I got my B.Sc in Bio. Now I'm a MPhil and looking to change to a PhD this academic year.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:19 PM    (permalink
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I'm thinking of applying to the University of Connecticut for a master's degree in Education but I have no idea what to expect. Has anyone been researching grad schools, or attended one?
Grad school is often more flexible than undergrad. Your professors understand that a lot of students are full time employees, the homework assignments aren't as demanding, the schedule is more flexible.

But you have to go to class. It's not like undergrad where you can just show up on exam days and still make it out ok. Also, grad schools are often easier to get good grades in, because they really hate failing students.

Just go to class, put in the work, and you should be ok. I like small schools, you get more interaction with the professors. Good luck!
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:22 PM    (permalink
Rob S
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Grad school is often more flexible than undergrad. Your professors understand that a lot of students are full time employees, the homework assignments aren't as demanding, the schedule is more flexible.

But you have to go to class. It's not like undergrad where you can just show up on exam days and still make it out ok. Also, grad schools are often easier to get good grades in, because they really hate failing students.

Just go to class, put in the work, and you should be ok. I like small schools, you get more interaction with the professors. Good luck!
Well, I agree on most of these point but a lot of things lie under the surface. For instance, yes, good grades are easier to get and nobody ever fails, but if you're below a "B-" it is pretty much failing. Employers know this.

Furthermore, week-to-week HW is not as demanding as UG, but there is usually an epic project in each class, so it's a trade off.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:24 PM    (permalink
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Well, I agree on most of these point but a lot of things lie under the surface. For instance, yes, good grades are easier to get and nobody ever fails, but if you're below a "B-" it is pretty much failing. Employers know this.

Furthermore, week-to-week HW is not as demanding as UG, but there is usually an epic project in each class, so it's a trade off.
This is also true. Forgot to mention that.

You can't get too many Bs. In fact, I think you have to maintain a minimum of a 3.0 gpa to even graduate. That was the rule with my school.

And there is always a large project, yes. But I rather have that then weekly hw, especially when you work full time.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:29 PM    (permalink
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This is also true. Forgot to mention that.

You can't get too many Bs. In fact, I think you have to maintain a minimum of a 3.0 gpa to even graduate. That was the rule with my school.

And there is always a large project, yes. But I rather have that then weekly hw, especially when you work full time.
Agreed on the preference for project. You learn way more as well.

As far as GPA, just to put it in perspective, to graduate top 5% in MBA class you needed a 3.96.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:32 PM    (permalink
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Agreed on the preference for project. You learn way more as well.

As far as GPA, just to put it in perspective, to graduate top 5% in MBA class you needed a 3.96.
Wow. Didn't know that. In my industry it's good to have an mba if you want to go to the business side of the industry, but you don't have to have a degree from NYU Stern or Wharton or anything to make it. But your science degree does matter, so I guess it depends on the industry.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:36 PM    (permalink
Rob S
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Wow. Didn't know that. In my industry it's good to have an mba if you want to go to the business side of the industry, but you don't have to have a degree from NYU Stern or Wharton or anything to make it. But your science degree does matter, so I guess it depends on the industry.
It's all about the industry. In retrospect it may have been better for me to hold off on my MBA and shoot for a Wharton or Sloan, but meh, I have no loans so whatever.
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Old 01-31-2015, 06:51 AM    (permalink
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bump... has anyone gone through the process of applying to medical school?
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:09 AM    (permalink
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bump... has anyone gone through the process of applying to medical school?
My 3 roommates are doctors (or in their last year of Med School waiting to match). It's a crapton of work and really expensive.
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:56 AM    (permalink
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My 3 roommates are doctors (or in their last year of Med School waiting to match). It's a crapton of work and really expensive.
Yea, from what I've heard it's basically living with your head in a book for 4 years. Then there's also the huge amount of debt...

I'm finishing my Bs in Biology next spring so this is usually the time to schedule the mcats. My gpa is good enough to be pretty competitive at most medschools and I'd expect to do well on the mcats, but I'm still lukewarm on how I feel about GP/surgury/etc. My heart is in research and I'd love to get into medical virology/human disease, so going the Ms/PhD route seemed like the more logical choice, but the more I'm gathering it seems like all roads ultimately lead back to obtaining an MD to be qualified for most positions.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:25 AM    (permalink
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Medicine is a great profession if you're committed to it. As much studying and debt you accrue, you can still make a **** ton of money and live a very wealthy life afterwards if you push through it and choose the right field.

It wasn't for me, but if you love it go for it. But you have to love it, because if you don't, you won't put in the necessary work you need to become successful.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:27 AM    (permalink
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Doctorate or bust.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:30 AM    (permalink
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Also, I was a scientist for 5 years, so I know what you're feeling right now, because I went through the same thing.

Ultimately I decided I wanted to be a scientist instead of a doctor because when I shadowed at a hospital I absolutely hated it. I hated the atmosphere, I hated the people, I hated the depression of constantly being around sick people, I just hated it.

So I decided I was going to get my masters in biochem and go the phd scientist route eventually.

When you're in the lab, it's great. You'll love research if you're passionate about it. You get to be creative while also not as stressed as a doctor, but still stressed. You have certain shackles on you that prevent you from really going all out as a scientist, but that's normal because the company has their own goals and want to make their money.

Eventually, for me personally, I got tired of it. You spent hours and hours in the lab and you don't get enough credit for the work you put in. Some douche in the office who has nothing to do with your work presents it to the board, or to upper management and gets all the credit for your work. They get the promotions, they get the bonuses, while you slave away in the lab.

Ultimately that weighed on me and I decided to make the career change to engineering where my passion was anyway plus more money. And the rest is history.

Keep in mind, if you decide to do your phd part time, it's a looooong journey. A part time phd usually takes around 7 to 8 years to complete. So you better be dedicated to it.

I'd recommend doing a full time phd that would take 4 years to complete if you want the degree.

Also keep in mind that unless you have a phd, it's very difficult to advance in the research field. You'll basically get as high as principle associate but you'll never get the higher level jobs unless you have a phd. It's like a fraternity.

So you need a phd to become very successful in the science fields. I personally felt that 8 years part time wasn't worth it because I could make more money in engineering without that degree plus do something I enjoyed more, but that was a personal choice.

Everyone has to figure it out on their own and see what's right for them. My suggestion if you go the R&D route is to get your phd. You'll feel limited without it.
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Old 01-31-2015, 11:37 AM    (permalink
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I'm finishing my Bs in Biology next spring so this is usually the time to schedule the mcats. My gpa is good enough to be pretty competitive at most medschools and I'd expect to do well on the mcats, but I'm still lukewarm on how I feel about GP/surgury/etc. My heart is in research and I'd love to get into medical virology/human disease, so going the Ms/PhD route seemed like the more logical choice, but the more I'm gathering it seems like all roads ultimately lead back to obtaining an MD to be qualified for most positions.
Current PhD 4th year here. I'll start writing my thesis in in 8 months or so.

Make sure you really want it for research. Around 25% of my intake cohort dropped out 1-2 years in because they realized it wasn't for them. I'd recommend volunteering at a few labs during your off time (supervisors love this because it means you come in partially trained and have some knowledge of how to plan experiments) just to get a feel for the lab life. It can be fun, boring, or balls to the wall work. This will really depend on the supervisor and lab group.

As for becoming a doctor, what a lot of people don't realize is that it take a long time to get a good salary as a doctor, especially with internship and residency. People applying to med school just see the 6 figure salary/comfortable work hours of a family doctor/senior physician whilst ignoring the road that leads to those positions (1st call with 30-36h work shifts every other day, 1 day off per week in the beginning). Also, if you want money, don't choose paediatrics or infectious diseases. They rank as some of the lowest pay of all doctors (besides non-specialists) because both are non-procedural areas.

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My heart is in research and I'd love to get into medical virology/human disease, so going the Ms/PhD route seemed like the more logical choice, but the more I'm gathering it seems like all roads ultimately lead back to obtaining an MD to be qualified for most positions.
Most high end positions where a MD is in charge usually results from a Public Health background, or they spent a lot of time in research already. If you are talking about pharma, it's because a MD has the knowledge of how their drug R&D can affect the human body, whereas a PhD will not have that.

If you really want to be the top of the heap, get a MD then a PhD. You'll have the in depth knowledge of human anatomy and be very up to date on your PhD specialty (PhD then MD usually leaves people out of touch with their thesis subject).

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Old 02-04-2015, 05:40 AM    (permalink
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Thank you for the insight guys. I really appreciate anytime someone is willing to give some advice on this topic because it's a fairly big decision. I also feel like I wouldn't love the idea of working in a hospital for all the reasons BBD listed, it is somewhat depressing. And Verloren is right on the crazy work hours at the start of your career, will definitely have to consider the toll of not having a regular routine if going the MD route. I'm going to take the mcats either way just to see, but I think my gut is saying to go the masters/phd route.

Question for BBD, did you need to grab another degree in order to get into engineering or was your masters in Biochem sufficient?
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:17 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by TheFinisher View Post
Thank you for the insight guys. I really appreciate anytime someone is willing to give some advice on this topic because it's a fairly big decision. I also feel like I wouldn't love the idea of working in a hospital for all the reasons BBD listed, it is somewhat depressing. And Verloren is right on the crazy work hours at the start of your career, will definitely have to consider the toll of not having a regular routine if going the MD route. I'm going to take the mcats either way just to see, but I think my gut is saying to go the masters/phd route.

Question for BBD, did you need to grab another degree in order to get into engineering or was your masters in Biochem sufficient?
I'm in the process of getting my engineering management degree, I feel that in order to complete my resume I need an engineering degree to go along with my experience just in case.

What I would suggest for you is to get a biomed engineering masters degree. That way you kill 2 birds with 1 stone. If I could do it all over again I would have gotten that but I didn't have the foresight at the time to cover both angles.

To get the job, no I didn't need the engineering degree, but I took drastic measures to get the job. I shadowed with engineers for 2 years after work and during work to learn the ins and outs of engineering. I took on engineering projects, I became our resident engineer within my department because we had so many failures with our equipment that someone needed to take charge there.

I bought books off of amazon and taught myself engineering concepts. I borrowed and printed engineering books from colleagues to learn more. I taught myself how to create and read P&ID drawings etc.

It took a lot of work, and a lot of dedicated hours to make the transition. I did it because I enjoyed it. I came into this industry thinking that being a scientist was for me, but through my experiences I learned that I enjoyed engineering a lot more and decided to make the transition.

And that's honestly not uncommon. When you get into industry you'll see that a lot of times you go in thinking you want to be 1 thing and find out during the journey what really drives you. It happens to a lot of people.

My suggestion is if you go into the pharm/biotech industry, cover your angles. Get a biomed engineering masters degree. That will allow you to do research as well as potentially go into process engineering or process development engineering etc. It covers both angles.

And if you really want that phd, which I highly recommend if you're going the scientist route, then get a biomed engineering phd, if worst case scenario you decide half way through that you don't want your phd anymore, you can drop out and they'll convert it into a masters degree. But to be a scientist, if you really want to go far you need a phd.

That's not the case for engineering. You can go far with just a masters in engineering. So this is the safest route to cover all your angles.

And the pharm/biotech world is hiring a lot more engineers now then they did in the past. A lot of scientists who are doing R&D now have engineering degrees. It's not uncommon.

And there's scientists who do engineering work too. It's not as common though, so getting that engineering degree is so valuable because of it's versatility.

EDIT: When I say biomed engineering, it doesn't necessarily have to be that exact degree. I'm saying get an engineering degree that also covers the science aspect of whatever it is you want to get into. Maybe chemical engineering if you're more of a chemist etc. You have options here. Look into what degree is right for you. Nowadays you have a ton of options, engineering isn't just computers or mechanical or electrical anymore, the sciences and engineering fields are blending more than ever before.
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Last edited by bigbluedefense : 02-04-2015 at 08:23 AM.
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