Does having a PhD in an engineering field such as electrical engineering give you an advantage in terms of salary or level in big tech companies?
Is having a PhD useful?
Yes, these people aren't spending 6-10 years of their lives accomplishing nothing 😛
Tactically speaking, for software engineers with a relevant PhD (i.e. some branch of Computer Science), they will join at the mid-level at FAANG/Big Tech, skipping the junior level. I know several ML PhDs who joined Meta as E4s (mid-level at Meta).
I don't know about electrical engineering, but I imagine at pretty much every tech company, you will get a 1-2 level bump if you have a PhD in whatever engineering pillar you are going into.
Having a Phd does give you a bump when you start working, but it's almost never worth it in terms of opportunity cost.
i.e. if you're doing the PhD in order to come in at a higher level, you are making a mistake. You'll make way more money (and you'll advance your career faster) if you just start working after your undergrad or Masters degree.
The reason to do a PhD:
Thanks. I thought that they would consider a PhD overqualified or irrelevant!