What is a better specialization for a master's degree in EE, computer engineering, or VLSI in terms of mid-career jobs and salaries in the US?

Updated on : January 21, 2022 by Katie Meyers



What is a better specialization for a master's degree in EE, computer engineering, or VLSI in terms of mid-career jobs and salaries in the US?

A2A. You're asking a question about choosing a spec that depends on a volatile future job, the college you graduate from, and your job performance spanning 30+ years. My best guess is that they are roughly the same.

If you Google “Stanford MSEE RIO,” you will find PayScale College's return on investment report: Top Colleges, Stanford University School Salary, Average Salary by Degree, etc. You can google using your university.

I would never advise a student to choose a major in the future that may not happen, especially 30 years from now.

There is no direct answer to this. Electrical engineering itself is a very broad area and a master's degree focuses on a much narrower domain within it. What you want to specialize in is your choice and job prospects will vary from one specialization to another. Your courses, research, and the job search process itself will be directed to the area in which you will specialize. In my case, my field of study within the US was Power and Energy Systems and therefore I can only provide information on what the job prospects for this topic were like when I graduated in 2016.

I believe the work will prosper

Keep reading

There is no direct answer to this. Electrical engineering itself is a very broad area and a master's degree focuses on a much narrower domain within it. What you want to specialize in is your choice and job prospects will vary from one specialization to another. Your courses, research, and the job search process itself will be directed to the area in which you will specialize. In my case, my field of study within the US was Power and Energy Systems and therefore I can only provide information on what the job prospects for this topic were like when I graduated in 2016.

I think the job prospects were pretty good for Power and Energy Systems, if not the best, considering the fact that the opportunities are heavily skewed for computer science students in the US There were definitely a decent number of companies in EE who were willing to accept international students. Some of them are:

  • Government research laboratories like NREL, ANL, etc.
  • Independent System Operators (ISO) such as NYISO, MISO, PJM, ERCOT, etc.
  • Distribution companies, also known as utility companies like Comed, Ameren Illinois, Duke Energy, etc.
  • Energy consultancies such as Brattle Group, LCG Consulting, etc.
  • Other private companies such as Cummins, First Solar, The Energy Authority, Fujitsu, etc.

Note: All examples cited are companies that you knew had accepted international students in 2016 or earlier. The information may not be up to date.

In my case, I did my internship at NREL in Golden, Colorado. I applied for the internship through your job portal. They were pretty quick to respond to my request. The interview process was also very straightforward. Towards the completion of my course, I began to apply to many companies, either through their online portal or referrals. I interviewed many energy engineering companies before finally deciding to give C3 IoT a try. Although this was a software profile job, it was a good transition for me as they were doing utility applications at the time. I have worked here as a full time developer since my graduation.

The job search process for everyone is quite different and is very specific to their skills and interests. I think that despite your specialty, you should always make sure to use these tips and tricks to help improve your chances of landing a job.

You can follow my Gradvisors Facebook page to stay updated with more helpful posts on applying to graduate school.

Other Guides:


GET SPECIAL OFFER FROM OUR PARTNER.