At first glance, engineering and an MBA don’t seem like they would go that well together! However, depending on what shape you want your career to take, the two disciplines can actually complement each other incredibly well.
Many engineers reach a point in their careers where they no longer want to solely focus on their technical skills but wish to move their career in a slightly different direction.
How is an MBA relevant for engineers?
MBAs are highly relevant to engineers as their careers progress. MBAs provide graduates with a knowledge of management, marketing, budgets, and accounting. All of these skill sets are highly valuable for people looking to move into any kind of management position, positions with budgetary responsibility, or even people looking to start their own business.
Engineers are technically minded and great at problem-solving. They are curious and used to working as a team. This is a great base for a solid career as a CEO, and with the skills that an MBA gives you on top, you’ll be unstoppable.
A great real-life example of this is Amazon’s CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos. His degree was in computer science and electrical engineering. He worked on wall street for four years, until he left his job to found Amazon. Bezos’ story is a great example of how the analytical mindset of an engineer lends itself perfectly to becoming a CEO.
To read more about what an MBA can do for you, click here.
There are countless examples of engineers who have used an MBA to change their careers. Some examples of the types of career changes that have been made possible through an MBA are:
Moving into management
The great thing about using your MBA to step into management is that it essentially means you can work in any sector. At that level, what is important is your management capability much more than any industry-specific knowledge you may have.
Once you move into management you are on the right path to one day become a C-Suite level executive – that is a CEO, CFO, or COO.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for top executives is $104,690 per year. This of course varies hugely depending on which sector you are working in and how much experience you have.
As a C-Suite executive, your role is to strategize and plan for the future of the organization you are working for. It can be a highly satisfying role, with plenty of opportunities to make decisions that take your company to new heights. On the flip side, of course, the job comes with quite a high level of stress! You are likely to be required to travel often and to work irregular hours.
The projection is that the requirement for executives of this level will grow by 4% between 2019 and 2029, which is about average growth. Of course, if you choose to start your own company rather than work for someone else's, you can create your own opportunities!
What about the cost?
Embarking on an MBA is an expensive undertaking, so it’s worth really thinking about whether or not it’s the right thing for you before committing.
If an MBA is going to help you to achieve your career goals and those career goals involve earning enough that having student debt isn’t too much of a worry then it could be a good choice for you.
You can also look at applying for a scholarship which will cover all or part of the cost of your studies.
When is it a good choice?
Whether or not getting an MBA is a good choice really depends on your situation and your personal career goals.
In general, an MBA is likely to be helpful if you are looking to move into management, or into a position that relies heavily on the skills provided by an MBA.
If you are looking to further your career in a more technical position, then it’s probably worth finding different further education that focuses on this area.
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