Should I Get an Online Engineering Management Degree?
In years past, a typical engineer would receive a problem to fix, go off to work on it and return with a solution. As all industries, including engineering, become more globalized, networked and responsive, employers are increasingly seeking flexible, collaborative engineers who can lead. Pursuing an engineering management degree is one way for engineers to set themselves up for success now and in the future.1
Read on for some of the benefits of earning an engineering management degree and reasons why you should consider studying online.
Understand the Business Side
Beyond preparation for taking on a management role, a master’s degree with an emphasis in management—such as Case Western Reserve University’s online Master of Engineering with a concentration in Engineering Innovation, Management and Leadership—develops the broad, interdisciplinary skills needed to be a high-performing employee. Engineers with a business background are highly sought-after for their ability to understand engineering problems on a technical level as well as their impact on an overall business plan.
Expand Your Repertoire
Engineers often have a reputation for being overly analytical and occasionally lacking in interpersonal skills: An analytical, problem-solving mind is necessary to succeed as an engineer. Hiring managers also greatly value skills such as communication, emotional intelligence, presenting and the ability to sell yourself and your ideas to professionals in non-technical fields.2
The right engineering management degree can help you hone your management and business operations skills through focused, relevant courses.
Gain a Competitive Edge
Many experienced engineers report a feeling of flatness in their career trajectory.3 Mastery of technical skills counts for a lot in engineering, but if you’re being called in for an interview, technical competence is going to be assumed. A master’s degree adds an extra edge that will set you apart from other candidates. It’s a competitive edge that could help move you from focusing on day-to-day technical tasks into greater responsibility for strategic planning, project management and leadership.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for engineers is $91,010.4 For an engineering manager, that median salary jumps by more than 50 percent to $137,720 per year.5 While earning an engineering management degree is not a guaranteed payday, you can reap major financial benefits if you put in the work to both your studies and your career after graduation.
Why Should I Study Online?
Part of the reason for pursuing a master’s degree in engineering management is to prepare you for the networked, globalized work marketplace. By pursuing an online engineering management degree, you are not only demonstrating your commitment to learn more and expand the range of your skills, but you also will master the tools and techniques required to succeed in a fast-paced digital environment that may call for seamless communication across time zones. Building the skills to develop and maintain distance relationships will pay dividends in a professional world that demands those skills every day.
In addition, pursuing an online engineering management degree offers unmatched flexibility for working professionals who need to study while working a full-time job. Hear from Case Western Reserve alum Kaitlyn about how easy it was to tailor an online program to her schedule.
Increase Your Confidence
Pursuing an advanced degree will increase your scope in a way that will lead to greater opportunities and responsibility. Perhaps most importantly, expanding your skills in this way will lead to greater confidence and a sense of achievement that will improve your chances of success in the real world.6
If you’re ready to take the next step in your education and your career, explore the online master’s programs in engineering at Case Western Reserve, all of which engage students in a combination of leadership-focused and technical coursework. Those who wish to specialize in management should learn more about the Engineering, Innovation Management and Leadership concentration offered within the online Master of Engineering.
1. Retrieved on April 12, 2019, from asme.org/career-education/articles/career-and-education/rise-master-engineering-management-degree
2. Retrieved on April 12, 2019, from asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/technology-and-society/12-skills-need-advance-career-part-1
3. Retrieved on April 12, 2019, from pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0a34/0e6ff114accbaf66c68e7b3b0c1a0ca99892.pdf
4. Retrieved on April 12, 2019, from bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/article/engineers.htm
5. Retrieved on April 12, 2019, from bls.gov/ooh/management/architectural-and-engineering-managers.htm
6. Retrieved on April 12, 2019, from asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/technology-and-society/12-skills-need-advance-career-part-2