Master's in Biomed Engineering – Thesis or No Thesis?

posted 3 years ago in Career
  • poll: Does DH need to do a thesis in order to have any hope of future employment?
    Yes, a thesis matters even in private industry. : (7 votes)
    78 %
    No, a thesis is only important if he wants to stick to academic science. : (2 votes)
    22 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    6882 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

    His advisor is totally wrong. I’m a biomedical engineering PhD student and have my master’s as well. I did a thesis with my master’s. Honestly, around my circle anyone that goes for a higher education in engineering and doesn’t do a thesis is most definitely looked down upon. I don’t understand the point of graduate school if you don’t want to research something.

    I understand you said he chose this school FOR the co-ops, but as someone with a lot of experience in graduate school and engineering I’m of the opinion his degree will look like a joke and a huge waste of money. If I was hiring, I would hire someone that graduated with a master’s thesis. Otherwise, I would question their ability to conduct independent research and their ability to think on their own 2 feet. That goes for industry as well as academia. There’s just no point in NOT doing it. It makes you look lazy or unmotivated or not passionate if you don’t.

    Post # 4
    Member
    6882 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

    LadyJDAG:  Another big thing to take into consideration is what type of job he wants in industry? If he wants a research job like in R&D then yes, a thesis is super important. What type of company does he want to end up at? A well established (think big) one like J&J or GE that has tons of divisions or a smaller start up (like tissue engineering?). If he’s more on the mechanical side of things, he can probably get away with not doing a thesis and be fine… but a thesis will always open more doors. If he’s more into cellular/tissue based BME then he def needs to complete a thesis.

    Post # 5
    Member
    6882 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

    LadyJDAG:  Well I think you answered your own question. Sounds like he doesn’t want to pursue research. Even worse than not getting a thesis is trying to pursue one that you are uninterested in. In this situation it’s most likely in his best interest to stick to the co-op. 

    Post # 6
    Member
    2150 posts
    Buzzing bee

    FutureDrAtkins:  Some careers require a graduate level education and are not at all research oriented.

    I am in graduate school for school psychology. In place of a thesis, we are required to conduct research at our internship placement that is meant to provide the school with information regarding whatever you are researching. They can choose to use that info however they want.

    LadyJDAG:  That being said, if he can do both the co op and the thesis, I would recommend he do that. But, I think employers value experience over a thesis, especially if he does not plan to work for a research focused employer. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    6882 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

    LadyJDAG:  In his case I think if he just supplemented his non-thesis master’s with extra math classes as electives that would put him at an advantage. Maybe take a CS/SE class if any are offered. If he’s never had an undergrad course in it, most programs are pretty flexible about letting you take an undergrad course as an intro/refresher/precursor if you do it on an elective basis. The most important thing for him would be to tailor his classes to make him marketable in those fields and stick with the co-op. In that case I think it’s fine…but like I said, a thesis can’t hurt.

    Post # 9
    Member
    6882 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

    MichiganGirl24:  Oh, I’m totally aware of that. I was just speaking very specifically about my own experiences in the small field of biomedical engineering. I know everything I said definitely doesn’t apply to most other majors.

    Post # 11
    Member
    1197 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    My FI got his master’s in bioinformatics and molecular genomics with a thesis.  He’s now employed in his field, but I’m not sure how great of a contribution having a thesis made to him getting his current job.  I may be biased (PhD student, not interested in working in academia), but I would be scared to complete my master’s without a thesis.  I know that industry looks very closesly at the PhD thesis because they want to know what your specialty is.  I can’t see how having a thesis would hurt him – it may delay him starting work, but he may be able to get a better job in the long term.  Then again, his specialty is different from mine. 

    Post # 12
    Member
    2675 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

    I have my Master’s in Molecular Biology and did a thesis. That thesis got me lots of exposure via publications and presentations. It got me my first job right out of school – government but not academia, and my current job. My job is not 100% research a lot of it is routine lab analysis with about 20% of it being a bit more focused on research.

    I feel like my thesis more than my work experience helped get me the jobs. I had a good background of work experience in my field as well but the work I did for my thesis definitely was worth more.

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