As an engineer, you certainly learn to appreciate the value of getting a high-quality education. Chances are that without your solid background and training in math and science, you would struggle to perform basic tasks in your career as an engineer.
And, studying for an advanced degree can add even further value to you as a professional, providing you with the opportunity to build on the intricate technical knowledge of engineering that you already possess.
More and more engineers are discovering that the skills and abilities that they develop throughout the course of engineering also stand them in good stead for a position in business management and leadership.
However, you might be wondering whether or not getting an MBA is going to be a valuable career move for you. While engineering and business might seem like polar opposites at first glance, some of the best CEOs and business leaders come from an engineering background and there’s an increasing need for professionals who can combine both technical and business knowledge and skills to become thriving engineering managers.
So, what are the pros of getting an MBA as an engineer?
Gain a Strong Business Knowledge:
If you’ve decided to move up the corporate ladder into engineering management, you may certainly not be lacking when it comes to technical knowledge and transferable skills. But, a lack of business knowledge could be holding you back.
After all, although engineers and business professionals have a lot more in common than you might realize, the day-to-day duties and responsibilities are very different. Gaining an MBA will open your eyes to how your skills can be applied in the business world.
If you’re currently working as an engineer and have a goal of climbing up the corporate ladder and into a management position, getting your MBA could be your foot in the door. Click here to learn more about just what an MBA could do for you and your career.
There’s no denying that engineering firms want managers who have a strong combination of both engineering knowledge and business acumen; as an engineering manager you will be required to use both of these strengths on a daily basis and it will allow you to see the bigger picture while appreciating the finer details.
Engineering management isn’t the only option out there for engineers who decide to get an MBA. This qualification is well sought-after all over the world and gaining an MBA can be very beneficial in a wide range of different fields.
If you’re looking for a chance and want to work as a manager in a different industry or even give entrepreneurship a try, an MBA can help you achieve almost anything that you like.
Perhaps you’d like to move from engineering into finance, marketing, or retail – an MBA provides you with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully switch.
Is There a Downside?
It Can be Expensive:
Any type of advanced degree education has the potential to be very costly, and the MBA can certainly set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Although there are both private and federal student loan options available for you to take advantage of, you will be required to repay these so it’s important to consider your goals carefully to ensure that you are on track to a career where you can easily make student loan repayments and get the most out of your investment.
In addition to the cost of tuition, you’ll also need to consider the other expenses associated with getting a master’s degree including purchasing study equipment, potentially moving to be closer to your chosen business school if you decide to study on-campus, and reducing your working hours or taking time off work completely in order to focus on getting your MBA.
Getting the Right MBA:
The type of MBA concentration that you choose and the business school you attend will be important. Although it may not hold as much weight if you are earning an MBA to improve your value with your current employer and move up the corporate ladder since your employer is already familiar with you, your program and business school choice is likely to matter more if you want to find employment with a different company or facilitate a career change.
To ensure that you make the right choice, conduct some research beforehand to ensure that you are studying with an accredited business school, and look into its reputation. Consider the goals that you hope to achieve with your MBA and whether or not the business school you choose is going to be an important factor.
For example, if you want to eventually work in management at a Fortune 500 company, you’ll be a much more attractive candidate with an MBA from a top-tier business school.
Management Positions Aren’t Guaranteed:
Bear in mind that experience often comes first for recruiters looking for management and leadership candidates, so don’t expect that investing your time and money into getting an MBA is going to be your golden ticket straight into a lucrative management position.
There’s also the risk that a more experienced candidate might be favored over you, and there is a great deal of bias in the business world towards those with an MBA and no experience, with many viewing them as candidates who will be expensive to hire for somebody with no real-world experience.
However, you can mitigate this while studying through getting as much experience as possible. Internships can be extremely valuable as they offer you the chance to put what you learn from your MBA into practice in the real world.
Some MBA students come up with creative and innovative business ideas to build their practical industry experience as they study.
For many engineers, the question of whether or not an MBA is a worthwhile endeavor will depend entirely on what your goals are. Consider where you hope to go with your MBA, factor in your personal situation, and consider the pros and cons to determine if getting an MBA is the best next step for you.