Boston University

www.bu.edu
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Great job if you want to pursue a PhD

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Boston, MA
Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Boston, MA

I have been working at Boston University

Pros

The Research Assistant (RA) position is one of two methods for engineers to receive a Master of Science Degree for free. The other is a Graduate Teaching Fellowship (GTF) which I am unable to comment on. The RA works 20 hours per week on research while taking two classes each semester. You have a large amount of control over the way you go about your research although your advisor will step in and micromanage if you are not making progress. The work / life balance definitely leans more towards "life" than "work". If you take summer courses you can finish in 1.5 years. Overall the RA is a great opportunity to get a MS in engineering relatively quickly without accumulating large amounts of debt.

Cons

As an RA you are at the mercy of your advisor. Most RA's work more than 20 hours per week although I was lucky enough to keep my hours down. Upon entering a research program many MS students hope to deliver some sort of a completed project, whether it be a piece of software or a hardware component. The reality is that professors want students who are interested in learning for the sake of learning. If you are motivated by delivering a completed project this is not the job for you. Unless you plan on pursuing a career in the area of your research, it does not add much strength to your resume. If you plan on working in industry after you graduate, a GTF position will give you a more marketable skillset.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

The RA position and MS program overall is intended for students who will continue towards a PhD or plan on working in research in their career. I would recommend that the MS program is altered to accommodate students who plan on pursuing careers in industry instead of grooming them for PhD programs.

Doesn't Recommend
Approves of CEO

348 Other Employee Reviews for Boston University (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    terrible salaries, better opportunities elsewhere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Boston University full-time

    Pros

    large university so you will meet people

    Cons

    poor salaries, nepotism - everyone went to school here and then immediately started working here after graduation

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    better benefits would make up for low salaries

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    Easy, student job

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Boston University

    Pros

    There is a rather relaxed work environment, good for students with work study grants. The pay is low but so is the workload.

    Cons

    Can be rather boring at times. The other employees can be hit or miss, with some doing nothing so you end up having to do more than your share.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Motivate other employees.

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