The title of my master degree certificate says that I obtained M.Sc. in "Control engineering", but half of the courses I took during my master belong to machine learning (computer science), and even my Master Thesis and my publication were related to machine learning.

But when I put in the top of my CV that I studied my MS in control engineering it brings a negative first impression! I think the default assumption is that engineering disciplines are far away from computer science skills and programming.
So, I was wondering if I can use another title or a modification of that title to properly send the message at the beginning?!

  • 2
    I don't think a degree in control engineering gives a bad impression at all. A lot of people in machine learning come from other fields. You just need to emphasize the experience you have, courses you took, etc. Mar 3, 2019 at 20:20
  • Depends whether this is a CV/resume for applying for jobs, or an academic CV.
    – smci
    Mar 4, 2019 at 7:07
  • @smci consider both, then what would be the difference?
    – Bob
    Mar 4, 2019 at 11:19
  • On a commercial CV/resume, you can be freer about outright rewriting/restating e.g. "M.Sc. in Control Engineering/ Machine Learning" as opposed to "M.Sc. in Control Engineering with a major focus on Machine Learning"
    – smci
    Mar 4, 2019 at 12:26
  • Babak it helps if you restate for @Jair and others who gets a negative impression and why: most software recruiters assume/won't understand that Control Engineering could actually be in both software and ML. Many software recruiters will even assume engineering graduates can't program.
    – smci
    Mar 4, 2019 at 12:29

2 Answers 2


I would strongly recommend listing your degrees the same way they were awarded and (probably) printed on your diploma. You can add, of course, that your specialization was in the subfield of machine learning. This clearly separates the official title from your more specific description.

You wouldn't want someone who needed to check items on your CV to find that you are claiming something that you didn't "earn" and the university doesn't even "award".

This is true for nearly everyone, in fact. My degree is in Mathematics but my field was actually Real Analysis, so I can say PhD Mathematics (Real Analysis) honestly enough.

  • 3
    Can I say "a master in Control Engineering with a focus on Machine learning"? or "a master in Control Engineering with specialization in Machine learning"?
    – Bob
    Mar 3, 2019 at 16:20
  • That would be my choice. It makes it clear and projects the information you want to be known.
    – Buffy
    Mar 3, 2019 at 16:33
  • 1
    @Buffy Which choice did you make there then?
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 3, 2019 at 16:45
  • 1
    @Buffy: Thanks, but which of those two suggestions looks better regarding the situation I described?
    – Bob
    Mar 3, 2019 at 16:48
  • 2
    Either of them seems fine.
    – Buffy
    Mar 3, 2019 at 18:27

List the degrees properly. If you want to add bullets, you could describe the specialization there (along with any other special things, perhaps a research project, thesis, etc.). Most young people don't have enough meaty achievements to fill the page anyways (opposite problem as you get older). So doing it as a bullet kills two birds.

The other way I have seen it done is as a parenthetical:

2018 B.S. Systems engineering, Enormous State University (machine learning emphasis)

Of course if you have an actual minor list that.

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