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Offline pelkanator

Future nuclear engineer and graduate school
« on: Apr 17, 2015, 03:31 »
   I have completed a BS in physics and I have now been accepted to some graduate programs. I am still not sure if I would like to study fission or radiation detection, so I can't exactly say what it is in nuclear engineering that I would like to do in a few years.

   Either way, I need to choose between two programs: Nuclear Engineering at University of New Mexico with a research assistant position, and Applied Physics at Columbia University with a debt of $40k. One gives me the degree I was originally aiming for and the other gives a prestigious debt.

   When hiring for positions, do people only demand nuclear engineering degrees or would they entertain the idea of hiring someone with an applied physics degree? Is a research assistant position more important than an Ivy League school?

   It's hard to figure out what would be the right choice since all of my professors have never been outside of academia and thus don't know how the industry hiring process works. I was hoping a forum filled with professional nuclear engineers would be able to provide some insight. Any advice would be extremely appreciated.

Offline RDTroja

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Re: Future nuclear engineer and graduate school
« Reply #1 on: Apr 17, 2015, 03:49 »
I am afraid you will find very few Nuclear Engineers here... lots of nuclear experience in about every nuclear field, but very few degreed Nuclear Engineers.

Having said that, I will offer my highly deflated (or would that be inflated?) 2 cents worth. A degree in Physics (or just about any other BS degree) with an MSNE attached will get your foot in most any door in the Commercial Nuclear Industry. There are some positions you could not hold without experience, but the doors will be open. An advanced degree in Applied Physics may not offer the same cachet... unless you also plan on remaining in the academic world, in which case you would probably need the PhD to grab the brass ring. My guess is that the Physics degree would carry a lot of prestige but less cash than the MSNE. I once worked for a PhD NE who did quite well for himself in the commercial world and would have done better if he was as good at business as he was at core design and the other highly esoteric studies he was into.

In any case, welcome to NukeWorker. Where else could you get such good advice from a college dropout?
« Last Edit: Apr 17, 2015, 03:50 by RDTroja »
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