/ Asked by Rhonda
My son is graduating this spring with a major in Biomedical Engineering with a focus in cardiovascular biomechanics. He went into the field wanting to work in the medical device industry. Now all we read online is that companies won't hire BMEs and will only hire MEs or EEs. He understood going in that he should plan on getting an MS for employment and has already applied for graduate school, but he is wondering if he'd be better off to look at an MS in ME for grad school considering everything we read online about the lack of BME jobs. He has been unable to land an industry internship despite having a 3.95 gpa, great professor recommendations, and research experience for the last 2 years of his undergrad. He's getting positive response from his grad applications, but they want him to consider a PhD. Committing 5 years in the research realm at this point is not something he wants to do since it still won't get him industry experience and he's not sure that researching in academia is where he wants his career to go. He'd like to get into medical device engineering in industry. Any insights would be helpful.
Answered by Kellie, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on Thursday, January 16, 2014
This sounds like a challenging dilemma for your son. I think the first place he should start is to visit his career service office and ask to view past placement data for his major. This will provide him an idea of the types of career paths that others have pursued after graduation. Career services may also have recruiter contact information for local/relevant biomedical employers. I encourage him to reach out to the contacts and ask for a job shadow/informational interview with his companies of interest. During the job shadow/information interview he could explain his career aspirations and ask what the best emphasis for a Master’s degree might be. With the guidance of career services and influence from industry contacts he should be able to make a sound decision on the next step in his career. Best of luck to him!
Answered by John, Hiring Expert at DuPont, on Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Thanks for your question.  I would suggest that your son targets a number of companies that do the work he is interested in pursuing and does some research (perhaps with help from his Career Services Center, reviewing job postings, talking with representatives on campus or on the phone) to determine what type of degree/majors those companies typically hire.  He should be able to get some valuable information which may help him make a decision about graduate school.

DuPont has hired "generalist" engineers, which have good, solid core skills in competencies like chemical, mechanical, and electrical engineering.  For certain jobs, we have hired more specialized majors (Occupational Health, Safety Engineering, Reliability Engineering).  It really depends upon the company's hiring strategy for entry-level talent.  One reason companies hire "generalists" is so that they have more flexibility if the specific job they are hiring for were to change in responsibility or focus.  

I wish your son all the best in his job search. 
Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on Friday, June 6, 2014
In addition to the great advice offered by John & Kellie, I would also suggest that your son make sure that he is attending all of the engineering career fairs that are sponsored by his school, academic Greek Life organizations, and or any professional societies that he is a part of already.  He can get connected into these events by working with his Engineering Career Services department as well as contacting the Professional Development Chairs for each of those types of student organizations.  If he is not a part of some type of Engineering Society that has a Biomedical component he needs to join one at the local, regional, and/or national level.  The name of the game is “networking” and your son is going to have to lay down solid groundwork in order to build the contacts that he will need in the biomedical industry.  If there are specific companies that your son is interested in he should do some research and see if there are developmental programs that target university talent that he can get in involved with to provide him with valuable contacts as well as insight into other possibilities that he may not have thought of before now.  The most important thing for him,  is that he is going to have to get out there, be proactive, and network, network, network.
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