Should you be a Master or a Bachelor of Engineering?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different programmes, and what opportunities do they give you when you want to find the right job?

Bachelor of Engineering
The Bachelor of Engineering programme takes three and a half years to complete. It is a practical and vocational education, after which you are ready to work. As a Bachelor of Engineering, you can continue your studies to become a Master of Engineering, but you should be aware that there may be entry requirements for the various engineering programmes which your bachelor engineering programme may not meet.

When you complete a bachelor’s degree, you can go straight out and get a job, or you can keep studying and become a Master of Engineering. An important part of the bachelor’s programme is that the students complete a six-month internship during their studies.

Whether you stop at the bachelor’s level or you continue your studies, the internship is a beneficial experience. The internship provides some practical lessons which you can use whether you want to be a BSc, MSc or pursue a career in research.

Master of Engineering
The Master of Engineering programme consists of two-year graduate studies, building on a bachelor’s in engineering or another qualifying bachelor’s degree. A master’s engineer is a specialist. The programme is a master’s degree programme which equips engineers for a more theoretical and academic approach to the engineering profession.

Can I take a break?
As a bachelor, you have the opportunity to continue your studies after joining the labour market for a few years. The challenge is that it can be hard to get started again if you wait too long. Depending on how long you have been away, you may find you have left the theoretical side of things far behind, and it can also be difficult to return to the state education grant (SU) once you have become accustomed to receiving a salary.

"The ideal way is to continue straight away, but if you need a break, you should take one. But if you wait too long, your theoretical knowledge might become a little rusty, and you may have strayed too far from, for instance, the mathematics," says Birgitte Castenskjold Viborg, Head of Student Counselling, Aarhus University School of Engineering.

Get an overview of the entry requirements
Not all BSc programmes provide access to all types of MSc programmes, so be sure to get an overview of the entry requirements for the MSc programmes which you would like to be admitted on.

“You have to make sure that you have got everything right at the end of your BSc if you want to continue your studies. For example, the master’s programme may have some requirements for mathematics which you have to fulfil. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead and make sure to choose the right subjects now on the bachelor’s programme," says Jannie Østergaard-Andersen, Master of Guidance, VIA Engineering, Campus Horsens.

Difference in salary
When you look at pay statistics for bachelors of engineering and masters of engineering, the difference is not so great on average that it should be the primary motivation. There may well be significant differences in pay, but that is just as much about whether the person in question is employed in the private or public sector, the type of company they are employed in and how good they are at negotiating pay.