Unfortunately there is no definite answer to your question. There is no "legal" standing about acceptance of any of the SW advanced certifications. I feel that they will help more in getting a job than they will in grad school applications. I do think they may influence someone who will look toward you as a person that is ready to take on new challenges.
Congratulations on your tests and best of luck in the future!
Thank you for your advice Mr. Jeff. I might need to put a brief passage in my statement of purpose regarding my interest in solidworks and how I gained knowledge and skills by myself.
I doubt that the certifications would be a factor other than showing the evaluators your dedication to furthering your knowledge regardless of external reward.
Typical MSME courses are largely theory based, not application based, and all CAD packages are about application. I use SW and FEA on a daily basis, but I only refer to a BS/MSME textbook a few times a year.
If your goal is not to use SW on a regular basis, why do you feel the need to become a CSWE? Is your new employer willing to pay for you to take the SW exams so you do not have to?
I am not sure whether my new employer will be willing to pay. I haven't joined the company yet. But, I have to decide this in a month or two because the grad school application deadlines are approaching. So, I guess, I have to pay on my own as of now.
And yeah, CAD packages are all about application. I want to become a CSWE for personal satisfaction. (2 years of my undergrad life has revolved around solidworks). Am just not sure if its the right time to do it and if it is, I am trying to find out if its worth it for the applications.
The SW subscription at my employer's firm helped me take 4 advanced certifications for free. After joining the grad school, I took the CSWE for 149$ and successfully passed it. It was a tremendous satisfaction and motivation for me to get CSWE, though I won't be using SW forever. I am still trying to break my link with CAD, but my profile always puts me in the CAD oriented roles.
Understanding your position my personal opinion is that, when you strive for a Master's degree, you'll land up taking a more leading job then an designing job (however that's up to you), so I don't see any advantage gaining the higher certificates, because you won't be using those skills.
Choosing for a more 'executing' design job, you'll be glad you achieved them.
My opinion is that you don't have to spend money on things you don't need (or won't use), certainly creating debt's is a waste of your future (time).
Fast forward 3 years after the question, I am about to complete my grad school. I felt the same about investing the money for something that may or may not be useful in the future. But I ultimately ended up getting the CSWE, thanks to my work as a design engineer at a company for an year. They had SolidWorks subscription and I could take 4 advanced certification exams for free, thus preparing me for CSWE.
Once I joined the grad school, I thought 149$ was worth the investment as I came so far. It may not matter for R&D positions or managerial positions, but I believe I will start as an entry level or associate level design/cae engineer before moving to those roles. My focus from Master's is on Finite Element Analysis though.
An MSME is an education certificate.
A CSWE is a training certificate.
Although education and training are often intermixed and treated as interchangeable, they are two distinct entities:
Training is the practice and application of skills and techniques.
Education is the broadening of understanding and, subsequently, perspective.
That said, I'd recommend that you do some other less costly activities to stave off brain atrophy until your cash flow improves.