Engineers need more than just technical skills to succeed. At some point in their careers, engineers will find their ability to get work done will be heavily influenced by their ability to collaborate across different departments, to motivate their team, and to track and lead projects.
“One of the missions of engineers is to solve problems,” says Rich Puerzer, associate professor of engineering at Hofstra University, “and engineers can only achieve the ability to solve those problems when working well with others. So it’s really important to be someone who’s capable of working with people across many different disciplines, such as legal or medical professions, and to be able to communicate those problem-solving skills and the approach to solving those problems.”
A degree in engineering management develops core leadership skills such as communication, finance, business analysis, project management, and more.
A degree in engineering management provides preparation for management positions such as:
- Project Manager. Project managers lead teams throughout the process of planning, executing, measuring, and completing projects. A person in this role is ultimately accountable for the success or failure of the project and requires skills that span the entire spectrum of engineering and management, such as human resource and software management. A successful project manager understands the scope of the work and can choose the best course possible to achieve positive results, while directing a team of workers to execute the project correctly.
- IT Manager. IT managers have an increasingly important role in business. While computer technology has been integrated into businesses for decades, advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning are creating new problems for IT managers to solve. Much like a project manager, an IT manager needs to plan, coordinate, and execute projects concerning the computer and technology systems of a company. This often involves working with a team of individual contributors to keep the systems running smoothly and anticipate the changes brought on by advances in technology.
- Product Engineer. Product engineers move a product from design to manufacture. This is a critical position for any manufacturing company, and product engineering managers fulfill many crucial tasks as they lead the teams that bring products to market. A product engineering manager helps create the roadmap and strategy necessary to make the product and facilitates communication between the product engineering team and stakeholders across the company, including marketing and sales.
An Engineering Management Degree That Goes a Step Farther
Mastering these leadership skills is only one benefit of an engineering management degree. The right program should also help you network and get real-world experience.
At Hofstra, engineers can develop those skills at the only engineering management program affiliated with an AACSB-accredited business school, the Zarb School of Business. Hofstra’s Engineering Management program not only teaches core management and leadership skills, it is integrated with an award-winning business school, which provides opportunities to seek a variety of roles across government agencies, tech manufacturing businesses, and service companies.
“It’s’ a program designed for practicing engineers and scientists and technologists to expand their management skill set by taking classes that are in the area of project management, finance and accounting, quantitative analysis and so forth,” says Puerzer. “They can take their technical skills and expand them to either become better managers or to move into management positions.”