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Engineering Management

Throughout human history, some of the most respected and celebrated people have been those who bring engineering projects to the fore. In a number of ways, you can determine the success of a civilisation by the success of its engineering, and by the brilliant minds behind these creations.

Archimedes is rightfully still celebrated for his many classical inventions, and the Romans owed much of their success to the enormous scope of their engineering. Later, da Vinci’s concepts were ahead of their time, as were many of Nikola Tesla’s; those of Isambard Kingdom Brunel launched the Industrial Revolution, whilst Fazlur Rahman Khan conceived the skyscrapers which have shaped our cities.

What is Engineering Management?

Engineering combines science and mathematics in the design and creation of structures and machines. In all cases, great feats of engineering require great organisation; and the greater the feat, the greater the need for competent managerial practice. Engineering Management sees the application of managerial practice to the discipline of engineering.

This is a career route which straddles the fields of business and engineering, and will see you blend engineering’s technical and problem-solving savvy with the administrative planning of business management. It is a position of leadership, often appreciated by engineers, as it helps to bring projects to completion, on time and within budget. Many of the necessary skills may not come naturally to engineers; however, once they are learnt, they can be applied to a range of industries, even supervising cross-disciplinary teams globally.

What do you learn with an engineering management qualification?

Effective management is about understanding the needs of the project, and your team. Therefore, success in this area comes through harnessing ‘soft’ skills, as well as a technical ability. Qualifications such as an MSc in Engineering Management, or MEM – the engineering equivalent of an MBA – explore management skills specific to the field of engineering.

You will be required to have a grasp of the practical and technical aspects, however the goal of these qualifications is to foster the type of skills which will support a project’s progress. In order to manage engineering projects both large and small in scale, these qualifications will typically cover risk management, budgeting, data handling, supply chain management, sustainability, and decision-making skills which will help get the best from staff, and keep a project on the rails.

You will also learn to check the technical accuracy of the work completed by your team, ensure their methods are suitable, and liaise with other staff to solve equipment or training needs. Though in order to oversee these activities, you should first have sound knowledge of your subject, engineering.

Why should I study engineering management?

Engineering Management uniquely crosses the environments of engineering and business, and therefore requires a rare combination of skills, combining communication, organisation, and analytical capability. You will typically blend accounting, economics, HR, quality control, and more.

A qualification of this type will enhance your professional credentials and immediately make you more attractive to potential employers. A course with accreditation, such as those accredited by the Chartered Management Institute, will also attract greater attention, and bring with it the benefits of membership, such as enhanced networking.

What kind of jobs open up with an Engineering Management degree?

If you are looking for opportunities beyond your current role within engineering, a qualification focussed on engineering management will provide you with theoretical and practical knowledge to command a higher salary, and advance your career to a more senior position: Operations Manager, Director, Production Manager, Production Team Leader, or Supply Chain Manager, amongst many others.

Your qualification will open the doors to further positions, such as Engineering Project Manager, Lead Analyst, and Construction Management Engineer positions; but should you decide to look at opportunities outside of this field, you will discover a number of possible alternatives.

What is the scope of an engineering management qualification?

A qualification of this kind – whether undergraduate or postgraduate – will help you develop skills and abilities which will make it possible to change easily.

With an engineering management degree covering so many varied and useful topics, you will be qualified for a wide range of jobs, both directly related to the field of engineering, and other positions in the broader business world. Having developed skills in mathematics, analytics, science, humanities, and a range of competencies including accounting, risk assessment, and planning, an engineering management qualification will give you considerable career opportunities.

Average salary?

Typically, the average base salary for Engineering Managers in the UK is around £52,000, with this varying between approximately £35k at a lower level, to £75k for senior, and more experienced positions – some specialists may command higher salaries, still.

How much does it cost?

With an eye towards US universities, course costs can run in excess of $100,000 for a four-year on-campus degree course - depending on the specific degree and university – with each academic year costing in the region of $30,000.

Campus courses located in the UK often cost around £9,000 per academic year for UK/EU students – with international students required to fork out £20,000 per year.

Comparatively, earning an Engineering Management qualification from a UK university can cost significantly less if studied online.

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