From inventing the wheel to building the world’s tallest skyscrapers, the innovative work of engineers has truly shaped societies across the globe. Engineering professionals have the difficult yet necessary task of efficiently solving wide-scale problems, and creating that which has never been made before.
The broad scope of engineering spans from designing prosthetics, to drawing up plans for aircraft, to planning water treatment systems. For these complex designs to become a reality, someone needs to take charge and ensure the success of an engineering project. Engineering managers fulfill this important role, overseeing projects and guaranteeing the quality of the final product.
One of the most effective ways to move from an engineering to a supervisory position within your field is to earn an engineering management master’s degree. Talented engineers have the practical skills to design physical structures and cognitive procedures that can improve society, but understanding leadership and business methods takes even the most brilliant engineer to the next level of their career. During an engineering management master’s programme, professionals develop skills in managing people and processes, using their understanding of engineering as a foundation.
Lead your team
Strong leaders encourage quality and innovation in any industry, and in engineering fields they can be essential to the success of large-scale projects. Engineering management master’s programmes explore various theories of management in the areas of human resources, business performance, and organisational change.
Proper project management is crucial for an organisation to reach its overall business goals, as well as effectively plan and execute individual projects. During a master’s course, professionals develop techniques for managing projects as well as reporting methods, and team building.
Leaders require sound interpersonal and judgment skills, as they will likely interview and hire new team members for their organisation. As the best candidate for a position isn’t necessarily always the one who has the most extensive CV, managers must be able to read people and gauge how current and potential team members may interact if working together.
Recognising each team member’s individual skills is crucial for managers, both in assigning tasks to the right people and ensuring project quality. Having interpersonal insight and an ability to judge how each team member supports an organisation’s overall goals can help team members thrive in their position, and produce quality work.
Know your business
Capable managers have an extensive understanding of how their industry and organisation works beyond technical engineering demands. When a manager knows the ins-and-outs of their industry, daily business runs more smoothly and they can make tough decisions quicker.
During an engineering management course, students develop an understanding of the manufacturing systems and processes that operate within a business, and within the larger industry. Students also gain a more thorough appreciation of their industry, learning how finances and assets are managed in a professional organisation.
The nature of the projects and teams that engineering managers lead depend drastically on which industry they work in. The fields of engineering themselves are so vast that whatever your passion, there is likely a need for engineers, and subsequently engineering managers.
The list of engineering fields reads as long as a book: architecture, automotive, computer, consulting, defence, environmental, healthcare, manufacturing, mining, optical, sports, structural, sustainability, thermal, and transport are just a few of the major and interdisciplinary fields within engineering.
In the agriculture and farming industry, engineers and engineering managers may tackle problems in sustainability, irrigation, waste management, livestock production, or harvesting. For the energy field, engineering managers could be overseeing projects in extracting petroleum, safety at nuclear power plants, or designing solar panels. The endless number of industries and specialisations open up possibilities for engineering managers to explore whichever direction fits their passion.
Time is a major consideration when deciding to pursue a master’s degree. Fortunately, online master’s programmes provide convenient options for earning a degree, as most courses can be studied part-time and scheduled around a student’s ongoing commitments. Online courses allow students to continue gaining hands-on career experience in their current position, while learning additional management theories from renowned academics.
With engineering’s impact found in every society, it is not likely that engineers will ever become obsolete. A master’s degree in engineering management prepares professionals for a host of potential careers in an exhaustive list of fields. Technical engineering experience and effective leadership skills combined with a master’s degree makes you a strong candidate for the career of your choice. As engineering positions are needed all across the globe, careers in engineering management are available on every continent. Wherever you dream of living, there are likely organisations who need your engineering and management expertise.
Engineering managers can also expect a promising salary outlook, especially as they move into more senior positions. According to payscale.com, the average salary in the UK for a senior engineering manager is £61,149, with some managers making upwards of £83,000. As with any industry, salaries will depend on the particular field, and where the management position is located.
If you imagine yourself managing an engineering team, read more about Arden University's MSc Engineering Management (CMI) and Brunel University London's Engineering Management MSc to discover if this is the right career path for you.
MSc Engineering Management (CMI)
Advance your understanding of the management of major engineering projects in a global context, whilst cultivating your leadership skills.
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