Every student who wishes to study engineering abroad faces a common dilemma – do they choose M Eng or MSc? If you have enquired the same with educational consultancies, they would have probably told you that there is not much of a difference. Others might have told you that MEng is called as MSc in some countries. But if you have taken some time to do a bit of research, you will see that some universities offer MSc and MEng – signifying that MSc is not an alternative for MEng. Rather, they are different approaches to the same subject. In this article, we will explore how different the two courses are how the difference impacts the learner’s employment.
MEng is not always a postgraduate study:
In Europe, MEng is considered as an undergraduate degree while MSc is considered as a postgraduate study. Whereas in America or even India, MEng or ME is considered as an postgraduate degree.
In Europe, an MEng degree will immediately qualify you to become a Chartered Engineer (which can be done if you pass the assessment). If you are in international student who graduated in Europe, you can still apply for a Chartered Engineer assessment.The alternative to becoming eligible for a Chartered Engineer would be to do a BEng + MSc. An MEng is not considered as professional engineering as BEng + MSc is.
The programs are structured is different:
An MSc specialises in theories and studies and is more research oriented. An MEng is structured with technical coursework and focusses more on application.
An MSc degree requires you to work on a thesis paper. Depending on the university, a MSc contains 2-3 pre-requisite courses and a number of assorted electives from which you can choose to specialise in. So if you are planning to get into PhD, it will benefit you more. Being classified, MSc has a wider scope.
An MEng requires you to work on a project and is designed with a close, specialised focus and therefore the options are limited. It is usually structured with 2-3 electives. It is suitable for students who are looking to gain technical experience.
The tenure of the courses vary significantly:
In Europe, an MEng lasts 4 years minimum where it covers similar syllabus to BEng in the first three years and during the last year, it offers advanced study. In the US, an M.E lasts one year whereas, in either place, an MSc usually lasts two years.
Employers have their own preferences, depending on the type of job:
In many cases, companies only mention the level they are recruiting in (bachelor’s or master’s) or the departments they want their candidates to be (electrical or mechanical). This has led to students thinking that it doesn’t matter whether you hold an MEng or MSc. But what we fail to perceive is that the skills the employers look for, they are usually not taught in both the programmes. An MSc covers a wide range of topics and skills the learner in various areas over a period of two years. A ME that spans only a year does not convey all the skills a learner has to know. So ultimately, when applying for a job, the student will find himself holding a masters but lacking the skills required.
On the other side, an MEng that spans for four years once again opens only a few technical opportunities as opposed to learning MSc which opens a wide door of chances for the graduates.
To summarize the above points:
|Level of study||Postgraduate||Undergraduate/Postgraduate (depending on the country)|
|Course structure||Research oriented with a thesis paper||Technical coursework with a project.|
|Tenure||1-2 years||4 years in Europe and 1 year in US|
|Skill learned||Wide range research oriented skills||Technical skills focusing on specific areas.|
If you are looking to study abroad and you find yourself in crossroads on whether to apply for MEng or MSc, decide an option based on your future plans. At the same time, bear in mind that the salary range for a Master’s graduate depends largely on the location of the company. On average, it is estimated that MSc graduates are paid a little higher than MEng graduates due to their diverse knowledge and skills.