How many engineers are thinking/wanting to pursue an MBA

<p>I'm just curious as to how many people want to pursue an MBA after working as an engineer for 3-5 years? I am wanting to, for sure, figured I'd ask others there thoughts.</p>

<p>You would have to be in the right position to get an MBA. I won’t elaborate too much but if you get it too prematurely the corporations will be reluctant to hire you because of “overqualifications”; meaning they wont want to pay you the salary a general employee would get with the experience. Having the experience is key to taking advantage of all an MBA could give you. 3-5 years is an acceptable time frame for considering your mba but other factors may play into it. If the corp. your working for pays for it, then your golden.</p>

<p>I would go for an MBA but only if its necessary for advancement and I see myself in the position of other’s with the same degree. Do not make the mistake of thinking that an MBA is your golden ticket to a 6 figure salary. I am sure you will have no problems seeing it is you had the foresight to do the research.</p>

<p>Nope, unless I had no other choice to move up. I will probably go for an M.S in CS, if anything.</p>

<p>As far as an MBA after working for a few years; I wouldn’t unless you want to change careers and go into business. Engineering companies do need business people, but they aren’t doing engineering at that point.</p>

<p>If you want to become an engineering manager, the skills you need are typically not the same as a business degree. </p>

<p>An engineering manager needs to know the engineering part first and foremost. After all, you are required to cost and schedule the engineering activities and if you don’t know what is involved, then you’re in trouble. You also need people skills to handle your staff and communication skills to deal with others including your staff and your customers. Accounting, finance, business law, stock and bonds, etc. aren’t required of an engineering manager.</p>

<p>If you want to get into engineering management, then first become the best engineer you can. There are National Management Association (and maybe other programs) that will give you the skills to be an engineering manager. Start taking those classes while perfecting your engineering skills. Then when you finish the NMA program, you will have the skill set to do what you want.</p>

<p>^^^ What advice would you give a young person (current undergraduate engineering student) who seems well-suited, personality-wise, to someday going into engineering management?</p>



<p>The first and foremost thing would be to work to become a good engineer. The concept of having a personality that makes you somehow well-suited to be an engineering manager is a bit silly because it doesn’t matter a bit if you don’t know your stuff. You can be rather “anti-social” and still be an effective engineering manager on the basis of being a good engineer who works reasonably well with and has the respect of his team. You can’t really be a good manager if your team doesn’t respect your expertise.</p>

<p>I’m graduating with a BS and MS. An MBA would do diddly squat for me.</p>

<p>As boneh3ad says and I did also above; become a good engineer first.</p>

<p>Since I have been watching the World Series (I’m a Red Sox fan); imagine trying to become a baseball manager if you didn’t know what baseball is about? You have to know the game before you can mange it.</p>



<p>Be a great employee at your first job. Be helpful to your manager, and your fellow team members. Try to learn from everyone you come in contact with. Ask your manager for the opportunity to do new things. Volunteer for the tasks that nobody wants to do. Let your manager know that you are interested in gaining leadership experience. (In other words, do everything you can to make sure your manager wants to be your champion, and help position you for advancement within your company.)</p>

<p>In my experience, the engineers who get promoted to management are those who are the best communicators. They certainly must be competent at their jobs, but the best technical people are not necessarily the best managers. The typical way to become a manager is to have your current manager recommend you for a management position.</p>

<p>Good point; not all good engineers make good managers. There is a certain set of people skills that are not required to be a good engineer that are critical to becoming a good manager.</p>

<p>Also, once you learn what the role of the manager is these days, you may think twice about becoming a manager. I spent the first 10 years of my career trying and working toward becoming an engineering manager. I made it and really enjoyed my new role. Over time, however, the role of manager was changing in my company to the point where it was all budgets, schedules, people issues, etc.; nothing at all technical, not even the technical mentoring that I enjoyed doing. There was also a push to reduce the percentage of labor costs that went into management (ie. overhead). So, I was managing a group of about 30 engineers. </p>

<p>One day toward the end of my career, I decided I’d had enough and asked to step down. I got assigned to the chief engineer as his top trouble shooter in my field of expertise (which was different from the chief engineer’s). To me, it was the most enjoyable job. I used all my customer contacts to help keep the customer happy, I did some real engineering work solving some tough problems, etc.; a real “Life of Riley” experience. </p>

<p>In many ways I began to see that the life of a first line manager can be about the most stressful, underappreciated job in some companies. If you are using it as a means to upper management, then you put up with it. I was too much of an opinionated rebel to make that next jump.</p>

<p>Back in the 80s and 90s, lots of engineers I knew got MBAs in the hope it would advance their careers. Unless they went to a place like Stanford, it didn’t seem to help.</p>

<p>Now I can’t think of anyone I know who’s going for their MBA. The degree doesn’t seem to be as respected as it used to be.</p>

<p>MBAs are more about learning how to run a business, rather than managing a group of people.</p>

<p>While I don’t have an MBA, I had several years of managerial experience (small business as well as large corporation) before going to school for my BS in engineering. I was a little surprised just how negatively that has affected my interactions with recruiters at career fairs/info sessions. When I interviewed for my current internship I was constantly reminded that the position was technical and not managerial. I had to swear up and down that I have no ambitions to become a manager (the whole reason I wanted the job was to get technical experience). I even had a JPL guy tell me “everything on your resume is meaningless” which is akin to saying everything I’ve done with my life so far means nothing. I have reworked my resume to heavily focus on academic projects and my current engineering internship. I’ve been reluctant to completely omit my prior work experience because then my resume looks no different than a fresh out of high school candidate who is probably listing eagle scouts, summer camp counselor, and McDonald’s cashier as their experience. Also, I’ve had some success breaking the ice with my resume summary line “Experienced manager of operations and people, but don’t let that fool you, I’m actually pretty smart.”</p>

<p>Don’t let the recruiters trick you with “we’re looking for leadership” lip service, they want competent engineers who work well with a team. Also, for the love of god, learn Python or some other useful language well.</p>