MBA vs. Master of Engineering Management

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All engineering managers must possess technical knowledge. However, those engineers who also possess superior management skills have an edge. What aspiring engineering managers should consider is whether they should pursue an MBA or an Engineering Management Master’s to learn those management skills. Although an MBA focuses on the business skills that anyone will need in order to ascend to management positions, a Master of Engineering Management, like the program offered at Ohio University, has its courses designed to directly relate to the engineering industry. To best decide between these two types of online degrees, consider the qualities of an MBA vs. an Engineering Management Master’s.

Should I Pursue an MBA?

When considering online degree programs, it’s best to first decide what your career ambitions are and what type of education you need to achieve those goals. During an MBA program, engineers receive a predominantly business-focused education, and with some programs, they can also pursue a concentration in Engineering Management. Often, this means that they learn business strategies by taking core courses that examine how those strategies apply to the engineering environment. If you’re more interested in developing marketing, interpersonal communication, and financial planning skills, then an MBA might be a good fit for you.

Core Courses in a Typical MBA Program:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Statistics

A generalized business education could complement the knowledge of a vastly experienced engineer who thoroughly understands engineering and might already recognize how the workplace operates. However, the Master of Engineering Management degree provides a guided education of best practices while maintaining a committed engineering perspective in each course. For those who want to work as project, design, and development, or technical managers, a MEM from Ohio University could be a more appropriate fit.

Should I Pursue an Engineering Management Master’s?

Ultimately, some of the most necessary skills for engineering managers are in communication, project management, technical knowledge, and financial planning. Through a focused Engineering Management Master’s degree, you can work through courses that are consistently applied not just to engineering as a vague profession but to your current work as an engineer in your specific industry. In an online program like Ohio University’s Master of Engineering Management, you can begin impressing your employer before you even graduate.

The Master of Engineering Management is famous for bridging the gap between engineering minds and business minds. The concentration of the Engineering Management Master’s degree is divided equally between a core of technology courses and a core of business courses. It is a recommended program for engineers who want to become viable candidates to move up within their current place of employment.

Core Courses in a Typical Engineering Management Master’s

  • Engineering Statistics
  • Project Management
  • Foundations of Engineering Management
  • Information Systems Engineering
  • Quality Systems
  • Six Sigma

You can see how even the course names illuminate how these two types of degrees differ in not so subtle ways. Deciding between an MBA and an Engineering Master’s degrees boils down to a personal decision about what type of career advancement you want to pursue and which courses you believe will best help you achieve it.

Learn More

Ohio University: Online Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Ohio University: Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering

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Ohio University Blog, “Is the Online Engineering Management Degree Right for Me?”
Ohio University Blog, “Engineering Project Management: Methods and Best Practices”
Ohio University Blog, “Getting an Engineering Degree Online: Challenges and Opportunities”