How does a six-figure salary sound to you? If you are like most other people, it probably sounds pretty good! Engineering managers oversee employees, activities, and projects in engineering firms. They make plans for the development of new products, lead production and design teams, coordinate budgets and equipment, and perform human resources activities. Most engineering managers work for engineering services firms, but there are also jobs in available in manufacturing, the sciences, and government.
Most professionals in this area have a bachelor’s degree in an engineering specialization and a master’s degree in engineering management. They usually have at least five years of experience, and many are also licensed engineers.
Online master’s degrees in engineering management focus on business and management skills particular to the engineering industry. These programs are appropriate for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in engineering and are interested in learning more about the business aspect and assuming a leadership position in their field. Students in this degree program take courses in economics and financial management, technology and business development, project management, research and development (R&D) management, and more. Graduates of master’s in engineering management (MEM) programs are prepared to work in all areas of engineering as well as in manufacturing, research, and government.
Students who wish to further their careers in engineering can also pursue a master’s degree in their discipline or take a master’s of business administration (MBA). Both types of degrees are available online, and which one is best for you depends on the path you would like to take in your career. A master’s degree in a specific discipline mainly focuses on technical skills, while an MBA concentrates more on general business skills. In many ways, an MEM represents a happy medium between these two extremes.
Although less common, some online schools offer bachelor’s degrees in engineering management. These courses combine the general requirements of a bachelor’s degree with basic courses in both engineering and business. This is a good option for students who are more interested in areas like project management and quality control than in the technical side of engineering. However, since most engineering managers have at least a master’s degree, the best advice is to start with a bachelor’s degree in a particular engineering specialization and go from there.
Both bachelor’s and master’s level engineering management degrees usually involve practical projects and hands-on problem solving. Take advantage of as many of these opportunities as possible as they represent the best way to gain real-world experience.
Engineering management is a great career path for people who have both technical and business skills. If you want to lead a team of designers, engineers, and manufacturers, this may be the perfect career for you.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Architectural and Engineering Managers.” Occupational Outlook Handbook