Engineers exist to create practical solutions to society’s problems, and what every team of engineers needs is the ultimate engineering manager who can effectively lead the team to maximum productivity and efficiency. That’s why the best engineering managers are consistently those who previously worked as engineers before seeking an education in management. Programs like the online Master of Engineering Management offered by Ohio University provide a flexible way for engineers to shift into a managerial role while maintaining the engineering perspective needed to be successful.
Necessary Skills for the Ultimate Engineering Manager
Engineering managers serve in a variety of capacities but nearly always have a background in engineering, complemented by a master’s degree in engineering management. Below are some key engineering manager roles.
Project management: Managing project resources is just as crucial as supervising the people involved. To get a project to completion, engineering managers must be able to plan and organize for all their team’s needs from beginning to end. In many cases, this coordination involves multiple departments, different engineering disciplines, and even global counterparts.
Technical understanding: Managers must maintain technical knowledge of the engineering process to understand the work they are managing. They can then more effectively coordinate teams, review the work they do, and set management policies that will facilitate the engineering work.
Management duties: As a manager, professionals can expect to fulfill administrative duties, including hiring, budgeting and training. Management acumen ensures that everything involved in the engineering practice runs smoothly without any administrative missteps.
Choosing the Right Master of Engineering Management Degree
Advancement to a career in engineering management can be accomplished through different types of degrees, depending on your goals and timeline. Carefully consider your options.
For those who want to focus only on a generalized business program that doesn’t address how those practices relate to engineering, a Master of Business Administration could be an option. It is not a recommended track for those without engineering experience, however, because most engineering management careers require a solid engineering background in order to apply.
Similarly, you could opt for a Master of Engineering degree program, which focuses solely on specialization in a certain engineering discipline, such as mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering or industrial engineering. While this type of degree program does further your engineering education, it could make your career advancement more difficult because it ignores the business practices you’ll be expected to understand and implement as an engineering manager.
The Master of Engineering Management program marries the business skills you’ll need to manage effectively with the engineering focus that a generalized MBA lacks. These programs are intended specifically for engineers who want to become engineering managers. They offer instruction on how to apply newly learned business principles in an engineering setting, removing the guesswork and easing your transition into your new role. With programs like the Master of Engineering Management at Ohio University you could complete the coursework in two years. Your online classes lead to improvement in engineering writing and project management as well as a greater understanding of engineering law and information systems.
At some point, every professional encounters that moment when they pause to ask, what’s next? Management careers entice many engineers who want to fulfill advancement ambitions, but the ultimate engineering manager understands the delicate balance of skills needed to effectively lead a team of engineers. For an even further understanding of what you need to do to, here are some of these additional resources:
Master of Engineering Management: Get information about the courses that will make up your MEM degree program.
The Ethics of Engineering in Business: Every good business person needs a solid understanding of the ethical dilemmas they’ll face while serving as management.
Product Safety Case Studies: The importance of complying with government safety standards is outlined in these case studies.
History of Engineering: Brush up on your knowledge of engineering’s rich history to better understand how your team fits into the bigger picture.