Worth adding a degree?

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Is a BSEE worth adding to a BSME/JD

Depends on if you're going to move to a large firm
Probably not worth the time/effort/expense
Total votes: 10

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Worth adding a degree?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:57 pm

I run a solo patent law practice. My undergrad degree was in mechanical engineering, and I worked in industry for about 10 years before getting my JD. Recently I learned that a state school is running an accredited electrical engineering BS satellite program through a community college a few blocks from where I live. I've been accepted to the program, which would take about 3 years going part-time, and the cost would be about 30k total. I believe getting an electrical degree would make my services more marketable, either as a solo or to other firms. I'm good at school, and I'm interested in the subject matter, but engineering school is actually a lot of work, even for lesser programs like the one I'm considering. I'm really having a hard time deciding if this makes sense from a cost-benefit standpoint. Anyone have thoughts on the value of adding a BSEE?

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Re: Worth adding a degree?

Post by trmckenz » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:54 pm

Just my opinion, but I don't think adding a BSEE makes any sense based on the provided information. You can, at least theoretically, already do EE work with your ME degree. Why not spend that time and $30k on something more productive to your business?

It kind of sounds like you are shopping because something is on sale, not because you need it. If anything, you could consider an MS in EE or CS. That is more of a supplement than a complete retooling of your already-sufficient education.

What is the real reason you are considering more school? Are you out of mechanical patent work? Are you dead set on working with software or electrical patents? Are you bored?


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Re: Worth adding a degree?

Post by haus » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:52 am

I am a older student, who is on an unusual path.

At the moment, I do not know if this would be good option for you or not. The cost is high in treasure (although not all that high by modern higher educational standards, which is a shame...) and in time. The question becomes, what are the expected gains, and are they sufficient enough to make it worthwhile.

Do you anticipate that this degree would bring a change to your business? If so, is this based on what you anticipate to learn in the program, or instead based on who you would meet/spend time with as part of this program?

Another thing to consider is what is the impact of going back to school on your life/business? Do you have a family? Will the coursework be done at a time that would impact your current work? Is there enough slack in your schedule for your homework/studies?


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Re: Worth adding a degree?

Post by jhett » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:20 am

Have you gotten a lot of inquiries about whether you can handle EE patent work? If you are having to turn down a substantial amount of business because of that, then it's probably worth it to get an EE degree. If this is just a hypothetical though, I wouldn't pull the trigger right now.

As suggested above, what about a Masters in EE instead of a Bachelors? Do you think you have enough base knowledge of electronics to handle a Masters program?


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Re: Worth adding a degree?

Post by h2go » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:35 pm

I got a Master's in EE while working to be more marketable when EE lit was hot. The time cost wasn't too bad, but I don't think it materially helped my career given the $$$ cost. Would not do it again.

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Re: Worth adding a degree?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:17 pm

No. You don't (and never will) need an EE degree to do EE work. You might need some more EE knowledge, but you should be able to cover that in a few classes at most. A second degree would be a fantastic waste of time in your position.

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