Why get a Master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering?

A Masters degree gives you an opportunity to dive deeper into a technical specialty. Choosing a program that allows you to do a Masters thesis or a project of equivalent scope gives you opportunities to apply your knowledge and develop the design, problem solving, and soft skills necessary to work at the leading edge.

Starting salaries

The average salaries of MSEE/MSCE engineers working in their Primary Area of Technical Competency (PATC) with 0-9 years of experience is 21% higher ($97,000) than for engineers with BSEE/BSCE degrees ($79,872). (Source: IEEE-USA 2018 Salary and Benefits Survey Report).

Increased earning potential

The benefits of a Masters degree continue throughout your career. The average salaries of MSEE/MSCE engineers working in their PATC with 20-29 years of experience is 19% higher ($158,022) than for engineers with BSEE/BSCE degrees ($133,000). (Source: IEEE-USA 2018 Salary and Benefits Survey Report).

As careers progress, engineers with MS degrees find opportunities to lead teams as Technical Managers where the average salaries ($167,625) is 21% higher that for engineers working in their PATC without management responsibility ($138,800). (Source: IEEE-USA 2018 Salary and Benefits Survey Report).


While the total number of jobs that require only a BSEE degree is larger than for MSEE degrees, there is strong demand from industry for engineers with Masters degrees to work on the most interesting, difficult, and promising technical challenges. For EE’s and CE’s, working in their PATC, 22.2% have BSEE/BSCE degrees and 21.5% have MSEE/MSCE degrees (27.5% have Ph. D’s). (Source: IEEE-USA 2018 Salary and Benefits Survey Report).

Why get a PROFESSIONAL Master's degree?

The term “Professional Masters” describes programs that are designed for students preparing for careers in industry. (These programs can also be good preparation for Ph.D. studies, but the primary focus is on developing leaders in industry.) In addition to the technical concentration of a traditional MS degree, Professional Masters programs also develop your business, management, leadership and so-called soft-skills such as oral and written communications, working in teams, defining and managing projects, etc. You will learn how to translate technical projects into successful products in the marketplace. These programs often include a serious design project that takes the place of the thesis in traditional MS programs. Many employers pushing cutting edge technologies seek MS degree engineers who have completed a thesis or similarly ambitious project. As your career progresses, the knowledge and skills you acquire in a professional Masters program open up opportunities in Technical Management of engineering teams.

Why get a PURDUE University Professional Master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering?

Purdue’s Professional Masters program in Electrical and Computer Engineering has been designed from a “blank slate” for a new era of electronics. It takes the best of the existing MS curriculum to provide you with technical depth in a focus area, adds a suite of 1-credit courses to provide “breadth at the edges” of your technical focus, and combines this coursework with an ambitious yearlong project that further develops your technical and soft skills. Purdue’s new and unique program is tightly linked to industry to provide students with solid base of fundamental knowledge and practical experience with today’s trending technologies.

There is a strong demand for students with Purdue MSECE degrees. According to 2017 data from Purdue University students, starting salaries for new MSECE graduates ($95,082) are 29% higher than for BSECE graduates ($73,982).

What are the trade-offs between online and residential programs?

Some engineers earn MS degrees through online programs while working fulltime. For some, this is a good choice, but online students must balance their course studies with other commitments on their time. Ambitious, one-year residential programs provide students with opportunities to focus on their studies and interact with faculty and other students in a way that can’t be done online. An MS degree completed on-campus is often regarded as a cut above one done online.


An MS degree will give you the technical knowledge and skills to work at the leading edge of electronics. A Professional MS degree helps you acquire the related business, management, and leadership skills that will prepare you for opportunities in technical management. For students looking to use their BSECE degree as a springboard to a broader, non-technical career in management, the MBA is a good choice. It’s not all uncommon for engineers to obtain both the MS and MBA degrees. Purdue’s two-year, combined MS/MBA degree is a good option for students interested in this path (https://engineering.purdue.edu/Engr/InfoFor/DualDegrees).

Decide what’s right for you

You’ll need to decide for yourself whether an MS degree is for you, but if you enjoy working on hard and important problems and leading teams that push the state-of-the-art in technology, you will want to consider Purdue’s Professional Master’s degree  in Electrical and Computer Engineering.