14 Jul 2022 | MS Vs. MEng.: Choosing the Right Path for Your Engineering Career
MS Vs. MEng - Which One Should You Choose?
Choosing between an MS and MEng depends on your career aspirations, learning preferences, and long-term goals. Here are some pointers to help you make an informed decision:
Choose MS If: You are passionate about research, enjoy delving into theoretical concepts, and aspire to contribute to cutting-edge innovations. An MS is also a great choice if you're considering an academic career.
Choose MEng If: You are eager to gain practical skills, thrive in real-world engineering scenarios, and aim for rapid career progression within the industry.
In a nutshell, these two programs are not alternatives to each other but different approaches to the same subject i.e. engineering. The fundamental difference between the two courses in the MS in Engineering is a research degree, while MEng is a professional degree. We will find out more about both these courses in this article.
Those of you thinking of studying abroad probably know how popular both the MS (Masters in Science) and MEng (Masters in Engineering) courses are for students. With the world witnessing remarkable and consistent advances in science, students are drawn to MS and MEng courses as these courses are a perfect route for securing outstanding jobs and careers.
What are MS Courses?
An MS is considered to be a research-focussed course where students study engineering or technology.
- MS courses typically require students to complete a thesis or a research project.
- The course prioritizes theoretical study, and based on the university students will have to take 2 to 3 pre-requisite courses and select from a number of assorted electives for specialization.
- Depending on the program you choose, you could move towards a Ph.D. and pursue a career in engineering which is focused on academics.
- The program also has practice along with theories, and depending on the university, the program might offer more practice and less research.
- The MS programs require a GRE score for admission (or a waiver).
- Some of the popular MS programs are computer science, finance, information systems, and data analytics.
- The duration of MS courses is typically two years.
What are MEng Courses?
MENg is a highly specialized master's course in Engineering. In general, most students who study MEng become professional engineers or get jobs in related fields.
- Since MEng programs lead to professional degrees they are usually accredited by official bodies who oversee these professions.
- MEng courses are offered by specialized universities or faculties. In most countries, MEng courses are offered by Universities of Technology or Universities of Applied Sciences. These universities specialize in professional and technical training rather than academic research.
- The MEng degree requires students to work on a project during the tenure of their course.
- Students also have to study 2 to 3 electives in MEng courses.
- Some of the specializations in MEng are mechanical engineering, mechatronics, electronics, environmental engineering, and chemical engineering.
- MEng courses are typically of one-year duration and it is a terminal or final degree.
What is Taught in MS Courses?
MS courses focus on building problem-solving and analytical skills in students through research and lab work.
- You can earn an MS in a variety of scientific disciplines such as Biology, Engineering, Chemistry, statistics, health science, data sciences, etc. You could also go for a completely research-based program or combine both types.
- Based on the field you choose, your course will comprise the following subjects:
- Computer science: Here, you will study AI, Databases, Computer architecture, data mining, programming languages, etc.
- Finance - Study global economic markets.
- Information systems: You study how to use computer systems for management, for instance storage, security, organization, etc.
If you are someone with an Engineering background and wish to study further then you must be in a dilemma about which course to choose, MEng or MS in engineering program. It all depends on what kind of career you are interested in. Do you want to pursue a Ph.D. in Engineering or advance to a management position? You would need to clarify your career goals in order to choose between both these courses.
MS Vs. MEng: Navigating the choice between an MS and MEng degree can be challenging. Here's a breakdown of both options to help you make an informed decision:
Master of Science (MS)
The MS degree is designed for engineers who want to delve deep into a specific field, conduct research, and contribute to cutting-edge advancements. It offers a broader perspective and focuses on theoretical concepts. By pursuing an MS, you can develop strong analytical and problem-solving skills, making you well-suited for roles in research, academia, and innovation-driven industries.
Advantages of an MS Degree
Research Opportunities: MS programs emphasize research, allowing you to explore complex engineering challenges and contribute to new discoveries.
Specialization: You can choose a specialized area of study, such as robotics, renewable energy, or artificial intelligence, and become an expert in that field.
Academic Path: If you're interested in pursuing a Ph.D., an MS can be a stepping stone toward academia and higher-level research.
Disadvantages of an MS Degree
Time-Consuming: The research-intensive nature of an MS program can extend the duration of your studies.
Limited Practical Skills: While theoretical knowledge is emphasized, hands-on experience might be relatively limited.
Master of Engineering (MEng)
The MEng degree is tailored for engineers aiming to enhance their technical skills and practical knowledge. It focuses on applied engineering and is often chosen by professionals seeking career advancement within the industry. MEng programs typically involve coursework and real-world projects that mirror challenges faced by engineers in their jobs.
Advantages of an MEng Degree
Practical Application: MEng programs emphasize hands-on experience, preparing you for real-world engineering challenges.
Industry Relevance: The curriculum is aligned with industry needs, making MEng graduates highly sought after by employers.
Career Advancement: An MEng can accelerate your career growth and open doors to leadership roles.
Disadvantages of an MEng Degree
Limited Research Exposure: MEng programs focus less on research and more on practical skills, which might not be suitable for those interested in in-depth research.
What is Taught in MEng Courses?
MEng courses are designed for specific branches from electrical to chemical engineering, civil engineering, etc.
- MEng programs are highly structured and emphasize rigorous practical training along with theoretical.
- MEng includes learning industrial skills, completing engineering projects, project management, and communications.
- The courses teach technical skills to students in the field of their choice, which puts them on an accelerated career track.
- The various fields of specialization in MEng are AI and machine learning, biomedical engineering, computer networking and security, sustainable energy, electrical and computer engineering, etc.
Entry Requirements for MS Courses
- An undergraduate degree in the field of their interest from an accredited university or college. Students should have an average GPA of 3.0 or above (65 to 70%.)
- Qualifying marks in GRE.
- Statement of purpose
- Two to three LORs (Letters of Recommendation)
- Proof of English proficiency (if you belong to a non-English speaking country) such as TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic.
- Some additional skills that can add weight to your application are:
- Published research paper, if any.
- Internships or research projects.
- Proof of any leadership or social activities.
Entry Requirements for MEng Courses
MEng course requirements depend on whether it is an undergrad or postgrad program:
- Undergraduate MEng: This is an integrated course that requires you to follow UCAS or equivalent application process.
- You would need "A" levels in your secondary qualification.
- Qualifying marks in English proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE.
- Qualifying marks in SAT or ACT.
- Postgraduate MENg
- A relevant bachelor's degree in your area of interest.
- Minimum of two A levels.
- Qualifying marks in English proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE.
- Qualifying marks in GRE.
Best Countries to Study MS Courses
Some of the top universities and best countries for MS courses are:
- The USA: MIT, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California - Berkeley), Georgia Institute of Technology.
- The UK: University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London.
- Australia: University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales Sydney, Australian National University, University of Sydney.
- Canada: University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University of British Columbia Vancouver, Western University.
- Germany: Technical University of Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Ruprecht-Karls-Universitaet Heidelberg
Best Countries to Study MEng Courses
The following countries and universities offer the best MEng courses in the world:
- The USA: MIT, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley
- The UK: University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Imperial College London
- Switzerland: ETH Zurich
- Singapore: Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore
- China: Tsinghua University.
Cost of Studying MS Courses
Master of Science (MS) degree is an investment in both personal and professional growth. As you set your sights on advanced education, it's crucial to comprehend the intricate landscape of the costs associated with pursuing MS courses. The cost of studying MS would vary greatly from country to country and also across universities. On average, for a high-ranking university, you would spend 70,000 to 80,000 USD.
Cost of Studying MEng Courses
Master of Engineering (MEng) course is a significant investment in your academic and professional future. This comprehensive description sheds light on the multifaceted nature of the costs associated with studying MEng courses, offering valuable insights to prospective students. Based on your country of choice and selected university, the costs would vary, but approximately you would spend 15,000 to 20,000 USD for a one-year course and 20,000 to 22,000 USD for two-year courses.
Benefits of MS Courses
MS courses are research-oriented and provide job opportunities in many spheres.
- You gain specialist-level knowledge through thesis work which helps immensely in future career goals.
- If you wish to pursue a career in academia, an MS degree is required to continue with a Ph.D. which will make you a leading expert in your subject.
- MS course structure provides ample industry experience via projects and internships where students can apply their theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios.
Benefits of MEng Courses
MENg is a specialized course that increases your chances of employment immediately after finishing your degree.
- The MEng course provides a lot of practical experience to students where they get to apply theoretical knowledge while they are still studying.
- If you wish to become a chartered engineer then you need to have an MEng degree.
- You also get to manage a team of engineers while doing your MEng, where you oversee the different phases of a project. This gives you first-hand experience with management tools like WBS, GANTT chart, etc.
- MEng course modules are structured in a way that gives you in-depth information and understanding of a specific topic. This additional understanding helps students perform better in their job roles making them attractive to recruiting companies.
Both MS and MEng courses offer job opportunities and vast knowledge to students. Which one you take depends entirely on your aptitude and interest. If you like researching and becoming a specialist in your area, then MS is the right course for you. If your goal is to get a job immediately after the course and are more application-driven then you might want to pursue an MEng degree.