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Im sorry if this is not the right exchange for this, but I couldn't think of a more fitting one.

Me and my friend are about to finish our Bachelors of engineering in Mechatronics. We both have good grades, internships at a very reputable companies etc.

Now we are thinking of which Masters degree to go for. We both really enjoy Mechatronics for what it is- the combination of embedded, mechanical and electrical engineering.

My friend expressed that he would like to continue this path, BUT:

"mechatronics is too obscure of a degree and recruiters will skip over it just because they wont know what it is".

For this question we assume that I am fully qualified to do the task recruiter wants.

Should this be a concern for a masters degree holder in Mechatronics when applying for industry positions?

  • Are you and your friend required to go to the same Masters? – Bebs Sep 17 at 8:54
  • @Bebs no, and we probably wont, this is just a theoretical question, whether something like this should hold someone back from studying Mechatronics – throwaway963258 Sep 17 at 8:56
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    Many new grads assume that the job hunt is passive or that dropping their CV into a web-form is how they'll be discovered. It's much more effective to seek out the company/department you might want to work for rather than hoping their HR department will find you. For that reason you need a detailed CV that uses the language of the discipline. Target your searches, use precise language. It's easier. – teego1967 Sep 17 at 11:23
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    @teego1967 that would make a great answer. – dwizum Sep 17 at 13:20
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    If a recruiter says they don't know what mechatronics is, it is time to find another one who is more up to date... – Solar Mike Sep 17 at 16:05
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Every single master's degree is obscure

Except to the people who work in the field daily and see a lot of resumés. Like recruiters.

Your master's is supposed to be a specialization in a very small field. Your graduating class will be tiny compared to your bachelors.

But you will be either applying to jobs which ask for your specific degree or a recruiter will know which degrees they are looking for. They will know how to introduce you to a company in a way which is recognizable to people who don't know about your specific degree.

Don't worry, compared to many fields Mechatronics is ridiculously well-known and defined.

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If you just put:

MSc, Mechatronics (University)

on your CV under qualifications, then your concerns may pan out, at least partially. Some recruiters will skip because it does not match known degrees. There may also be an opposite effect of being attractive because you stand out from the crowd. However, that secondary effect requires more thought from CV filtering, and the first stages of that are often automated.

You can fix this by suitable presentation on your CV. E.g.

MSc Engineering (Mechatronics) at University

Mechatronics is a combination of embedded, mechanical and electrical engineering

That should be all your need to have your cake and eat it in my opinion. If you feel the "spin" introduced by the ordering is not accurate, find some other order which gets the keywords in that will be initially filtered. Once this is in front of human eyeballs, then the specific nature of the degree could be very helpful for the jobs you want, assuming you enjoy the subjects you have studied.

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    I'd even argue, it's not obscure, I've got nothing to do with it, and already knew the term. I also have seen job openings actually asking for people with a mechatronics degree - and as long as there are job openings for it, there will be recruiters looking for people to fill those jobs with. – Frank Hopkins Sep 17 at 9:03
  • Listing ones undergraduate degree, assuming it is consistent with their graduate degree, can help. Presumably the OP has a BSc in one of the "combination" fields -- software, mechanical, or electrical engineering. – Julie in Austin Sep 17 at 14:40
  • @JulieinAustin: Yes that makes sense. But actually I suggested this because my undergraduate degree is technically "BA Natural Sciences", which could of had the same issues. I added "(Physics)" at the end to make it clearer what I actually studied - in my view pre-empting any chance that it would be considered an arts degree or life sciences degree and get applications rejected. I did not run any comparisons between different CV presentation on this issue, so cannot really say whether it made any difference. Nowadays my work history covers this, so it's less important – Neil Slater Sep 17 at 15:33
  • @NeilSlater - Yes, if your work history explains what you know better than the "name" of your degree, rely on the work history. FWIW, my major was completely unrelated to what what I've done for over 30 years. Have you looked at the "Functional Resume" format? I've not had to use that format, but it's apparently helpful in answering "What does this person know?" when it may not be readily obvious. – Julie in Austin Sep 17 at 15:38

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