I am wondering if my goal is to work in an industry as an electrical engineer, is it better to get PhD? I know PhD might open some options for me such as working in industry and teaching in academia at the same time or research job. However PhD is a long term commitment and during this time you can gain a lot more experience by working at a company and this will be considered as a professional experience, which may be more useful.

I would like to know what do you guys suggest? is it worth it to spend 5 years and obtain PhD?

  • 1
    [is it worth...?]; you should answer this to yourself based on your goals and life condition. If there was a unique answer to this, we may had no PhDs currently, or all the people may had a PhD degree.
    – enthu
    Sep 26, 2015 at 20:12
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about a career in industry.
    – Cape Code
    Sep 26, 2015 at 21:07
  • Although I think the linked possible duplicate question above could be a very valuable resource for you, to answer your question: no, a PhD is not required to be an EE in industry. I did so for about 10 years without one.
    – Mad Jack
    Sep 26, 2015 at 21:52

2 Answers 2


The title of your question is rather starkly phrased. Since most electrical engineers working in industry do not have PhDs, clearly a PhD is not "really necessary".

There have been a lot of questions asked about this on the site already, which you may want to look into. In the absence of more specific information, one can only answer in general terms. What I would say is that PhDs are first of all for people who want academic careers and second of all for people who have a good, specific idea of what non-academic career they want and how the PhD will help them with it.

If your goal is to work in industry as an electrical engineer, I would try to realize that goal as soon as possible: i.e., as soon as you have a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. Then you can find out whether you really like it, get experience and so forth. You'll have a much better idea of the pros/cons of coming back for a PhD after spending time working in the field, you'll have plenty of people to ask about it, and you may even get financial support from your employers (so that for instance you may not need to do the teaching and grading that other grad students will, though as I type this I realize I don't know how much EE grad students teach or grade).

  • Good advice -- get your feet wet. Oct 2, 2015 at 22:17

I think it heavily depends on the kind of industry you are working in. In biotechnology for example, people with a PhD are more likely to get a job in research. In heavy industry,especially in production, you are going to meet much more engineers ore people with a master degree.

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