I’m getting a BS in engineering and would like to continue on to graduate school. I am not sure if I should pursue a Masters in Engineering or a MBA?

Q. I’m getting a BS in engineering and would like to continue on to graduate school. I am not sure if I should pursue a Masters in Engineering or a Masters in Business Administration?

A. It depends on what you want to do with your education. If you want to do engineering, go for the Masters in Engineering. If you want to be a manager with a technical background, get the MBA. The fact that you are weighing the pros and cons of both options suggests that you may be looking to make significant technical contributions while managing people or projects. If that is the case, you might want to get both a MS in Engineering and MBA. Do yourself a favor and go for the Masters in Engineering first. Engineering is hard and the longer you are away from the advanced math and rigorous courses, the harder it will be to get back in the swing of things. If you are presently an engineering student, consider continuing on as a full time student until your Masters is complete. Once complete, you should be able to get a job that pays better than those available to BS college graduates. Begin making your technical contributions and start preparing for your MBA course of study.

I’m about to graduate and I have a choice of two jobs and a girlfriend.

Q. I’m about to graduate and I have a choice of two jobs. Job 1 is my dream job, but it is located out of state. Job 2 is a decent job located in town. I also have a girlfriend. She has a year left in school and I think there is a future for us. If I take Job 1, I know it won’t be good for our relationship. If I take Job 2, it won’t be good for my career. I really like this girl. What should I do?

A. I think this is the first time I will ever give relationship advice. You are facing a common dilemma. Many people consider sacrificing their careers for a relationship. Before I entered to graduate school, I considered postponing my education to move near a girl I had fancied. I wanted to see if there was a future for us. In the end, I entered graduate school as planned and broke up with the girl. I have no regrets. Two years later, my girlfriend of a few months took an awesome out of state job with one of the best companies in the United States. For a couple years, we took turns driving 3 hours every weekend to see each other. When we got engaged, she sacrificed her career, moving back to our college town, where we were married and had our first child. Now on child number three, we’re still married and she has no regrets. I have two pieces of advice for you:

  1. Don’t think either/or. Taking Job 1 may not be good for your relationship, but who says you have to sacrifice your career for it? How can you maintain your relationship and still pursue a rewarding career?
  2. Choose what is right for you and don’t look back. Many people like to dwell on the past. Do yourself a favor and move on. There is no point to regretting past decisions. Maybe they were dumb, but they are over. Don’t do the same dumb thing twice. That’s about all you have to remember. Whatever you choose, go for it with all you’ve got.