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For those medical device professionals: Which do you think is more valuable in this industry, a biomedical engineer with a PhD or a MS degree?
8 min reading time
As originally asked by Sheryl E. Chocron-Spieler.
These days there’s a lot of talk about over-education and it leaves me wondering…
Full time or part time or interning, in the end try to get “with” those people WHO can make your PhD align with where you need to be several years from now. Find a forward thinking prof with a network of grads peppered into the industry sector of appeal to you and you’ve got your program.
Key this alignment and something that passes for experience. Try to find a way to spend concurrent time on both sides of the fence, and if at all possible tie your thesis research into alignment with new product development that matters while getting your academic merit work covered.
Find a supervisor who is interested in scoping out unmet medical need before doing R&D such that your research has commercial relevance and can help companies make money now and you mitigate your risk.
For every individual and for every specific role, it should be clear as to what this person needs to do and accomplish in order to be considered valuable.
Wade (Weidong) Tong
On the one hand… For “no degree endorsement”….
On the other hand…
no one real answer, I guess…
I can’t really comment on employer mentality… these days.. is all about minimum wage people or automated computer software – looking at your resume for buzzwords….
As one Dean of UT in San Antonio said….. “If Picasso rose from the dead – I STILL could not hire him… ” that is the the brutal hiring mentality out there in many places…
I do know this much… if you are 4 years into this process – then don’t quit now. That is absolute gospel. Only about half or less of all Grad Students admitted to the PhD program finish it – so that matters a lot….
Paul M. Stein
Sheryl E. Chocron-Spieler
I was surprised to hear that because I believe that students in a PhD-track learn way more than the technicalities of their project. I thought it was very close-minded for this company to make that statement, and wondered how many think that way.Thanks everyone for your responses!
In fact, it is very rare to come across a few “good men” – potential candidates with good characters (eg. right attitude, humble, integrity, honesty …etc), excellent listening & interpersonal skills, critical thinking skills, trustworthy leadership, loyalty and many more in the wish list. In my past many years working experience in the medical device industries, I have seen many people come and go. Many of them joined the organization, acquired skills & experiences and subsequently resigned and moved to a better job elsewhere in a short span (1~2yrs) of employment. Probably, all of us can visualize the negative impacts to the organization as well as to the other employees working for the organization.
Lastly, we ought to re-examine the job functions and seriously look into the right candidate selection criteria (not limit to PhD and MS qualification). We have to seriously look into other aspects on Knowledge (includes technologies) Retention, People Development and Talents Retention program. These are part of the essential elements in building a sustainable business.
Mark J. Kania, MBA.
And yeah, I bought the Sawzall the next day. The original, and that pays off if you use it a lot like I do.
did you get the Sawzall? I bought the much cheaper Harbor Freight version this weekend.. I think its all about the blades…. Blades are closes tt to the cutting..
want to pay the least they can for the most “authoritative” work. I don’t think it is just a PhD versus MA/MS type answer. Whatever the case – don’t equate education level with expected income. That will mostly be wrong. There are usually full job studies done in each field – and more… Glassdoor.com is one place – and there are a lot more – to find actual info.
In Academia – there might be some equivalence… but that is a completely different issue.
Kim Nielsen, RN, BSN
The difference in preparation between individuals with master’s degrees and PhDs is considerable. Obviously, the time commitment for a PhD is substantial – many years versus, perhaps, two years for a master’s. Then, there is content. The PhD becomes a true expert in the field of study versus merely knowledgeable. Most important, for this question, is that the PhD requires extensive research – an activity not normally conducted to any great extent by a master’s student. Thus, in this case, it would seem that a PhD would be the better candidate.
However, the requirements for many positions are often overestimated. It is likely that many positions requiring a PhD could be even better served by a person with a master’s degree if that individual brought relevant practical experience, well-developed critical thinking skills and some “street smarts”. Applicants for such positions should explore this possibility with the hiring executive and emphasize their specific talent.
That said, in my experience as a medical technology assessment writer, I reviewed many sets of research conducted by PhDs. Rarely did I see work, either in quality or quantity, from master’s prepared professionals to compare with that of the PhDs. If the position in question has a heavy emphasis on research, the PhD is probably essential.
On a practical note, I have personal experience in making just these kinds of evaluations. One of my children is a PhD and the other is master’s prepared.
Paul M. Stein
After moving to the US one of our clinical advisers, a cardiologist, explained to me in great detail that I needed to buy a Milwaukee Sawzall and about all the things that can be done with it when owning a wood-frame house. Like how to add another section to the house. Another cardiologist was discussing C-code for a user interface with our software engineer.
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