If you have decided to become an engineering manager, the first step is to research the available engineering programs that can lead you to a managerial career path. When coming from high school, you can choose to first focus on elective or undergraduate engineering courses, and later pursue a graduate degree in management. Alternatively, you can pursue an engineering major with management or a business management major with a concentration or specialized track in engineering.
Engineering management degrees aim to produce students who are either management-focused engineers, or managers focused on engineering. At first glance, any engineering management degree will appear to lead to a similar outcome; however, the title given to an engineering program often influences the courses you learn and your career options.
Here are some of the common titles engineering management degrees go by:
Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management
Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Management
Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Engineering Management
(Branch of Engineering) with Management, for example, Electrical Engineering with Management
(Branch of Engineering) management, for example, Industrial Engineering Management
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Engineering Management
Bachelor's Degree in Engineering and Management
While this is not an exhaustive list, so many options to choose from can be overwhelming. The best way to choose the best engineering management degree program is by evaluating your career goals, interests, and learning objectives. As you've established your desire to work as an engineering manager, the next step is to identify the specific type of engineering that interests you. Some of the common fields of engineering include:
Aeronautical or aerospace engineering
Civil engineering, which includes specialties such as architectural engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering, structural engineering, and hydraulic engineering.
Electrical or electronic electrical engineering
Introduction to an engineering management technology degree:
In your search for the best engineering management program, you are likely to encounter an engineering management technology degree such as the one online program offered by University of Arkansas Grantham. An engineering management technology degree provides students with the knowledge and skills to handle management roles in a technical environment. An engineering management technology program is best suited for people who enjoy working in technical teams. Engineering management technology combines technical skills such as math, physics, chemistry, electronics, computers, accounting, communication, and team building.
An engineering management technology degree covers courses in various engineering fields including electronics and computer engineering, computer science, accounting, management, finance, and entrepreneurship. An engineering management technology degree differs from an engineering degree in the final career outcome. With an engineering degree, you will work on the technical side of engineering projects, while an engineering management technology degree allows you to work on engineering concepts and technology, in addition to business-related roles
We truly believe that the best way to evaluate the right program for your entry to an engineering management career path is to begin by researching dozens of degree programs from different institutions and to not be distracted by the degree titles. For sure, check the specializations offered within the degree program, the career paths of their graduates, and the topics covered within each program’s coursework or curriculum. The admission and program requirements are another important factor when choosing an engineering management program.
Requirements for a Degree in Engineering Management
The admissions requirements vary depending on each engineering management program and university. More rigorous programs are more likely to have higher requirements for admissions. Generally, here are the requirements you can expect to come across when looking for an undergraduate degree in engineering management:
A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
A standard score in Mathematics, Science, English
Completion of certain general education core courses in high school, for example, chemistry, algebra, physics, or trigonometry
Standardized admissions test scores such as ACT or SAT
An admission essay
A statement of purpose
In addition to admissions requirements, different engineering programs will have varying internship requirements.
Let’s take a look at several engineering management undergraduate degrees:
Arizona State University - Online BSE in Engineering Management
The admissions requirements of Arizona State University's online engineering management program include:
A high school diploma with 4 years in math and English, three years in lab sciences (a year each from biology, chemistry, physics, integrates sciences of earth science), two years' social sciences, one year in fine arts or career and technical education
3.0 GPA in competency courses
ACT scores of 22 for Arizona residents and 24 for non-residents
SAT scores of 1,120 for Arizona residents or 1,180 for non-residents
An application for federal student aid
The University of Vermont - BS Engineering Management
The University of Vermont requires that students applying for the BS Engineering Management meet the education requirements as per that year's requirements. For students to graduate from the program, they must complete a minimum of 124 credits. In addition to admission requirements, you must develop certain skills and competencies for you to graduate from an engineering management program.
The University of Scranton - Engineering Management
The undergraduate engineering management program at the University of Scranton equips students with technical and practical expertise in engineering, project management, and engineering. At the end of the program, students can:
Apply engineering and business knowledge in managing, developing, analyzing, and implementing solutions to meet various enterprise needs
Develop organizational leadership and communication skills
Make ethical and socially responsible decisions
Engage in lifelong learning
Programs such as the BS Engineering Management from the New York Institute of Technology offer students an Undergraduate Research and Entrepreneurship Program to help students tackle real-world problems. The program also offers career development opportunities such as the ability to complete both an undergraduate and master's degree in five years.
Western Michigan University's Engineering Management Technology program also includes opportunities for students to participate in hands-on projects during their time of studying.
Most engineering management undergraduate programs take 120 credit hours to complete which amounts to about 38 months. You can fast-track your program by taking additional classes every term until you complete your course. For busier students with other commitments, you can complete the program on a part-time basis, which takes longer.
What to Expect from Engineering Management Degrees?
An engineering management degree can introduce graduates to a multitude of career paths. With your degree in hand, you can choose to:
Find employment in management roles such as engineering design manager, engineering manager, engineering research manager, global engineering manager, process engineering manager, mechanical engineering director, systems engineering manager, and electrical engineering director, among others.
Further your education with a master's in engineering management degree (or an MBA) for senior management positions and potential for higher salaries.
Use your business and entrepreneurship skills to start an engineering enterprise.
Some programs such as the BS Engineering Management from the University of the Pacific support continuing education by allowing students to begin graduate courses alongside their undergraduate programs.
An undergraduate in engineering management program also prepares you for career development if you wish to pursue a graduate degree in management. Although engineering management can be a lucrative career path, students need to develop the right skills so they are ready for their careers. Some important skills to have include:
The ability to apply mathematics, science, and engineering knowledge to technical and enterprise problems
The ability to plan and design systems
Good verbal and written communication skills
The ability to apply technical skills and modern engineering tools to technical and business problems
Data analysis skills
Teamwork and collaboration skills
Knowledge of contemporary issues (you can keep up with the industry by following credible professional engineering management professions.)
What You Can Do with a Degree in Engineering Management?
According to the BLS, engineering management careers have a solid career outlook. Jobs in the sector are growing at the same rate as other engineering careers with the potential of providing a high-income potential. Engineering management prepares learners for diverse work environments depending on the specializations they choose. For instance, a construction manager is likely to spend a significant amount of time between the office and construction sites, while an engineering research manager might spend more time in a lab setting.
Some areas you can work in as an engineering manager include:
Engineering management is a diverse field with multiple career options for you to choose from. Most engineering management programs will highlight the possible career paths you can pursue after your undergraduate degree.
Here are some programs and the career paths they prepare you for:
The Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Management from Stevens Institute of Technology prepares students for careers in various industries including financial services, consulting, pharmaceutical, construction, government/defense, energy, manufacturing, telecom, and logistics.
The Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management from Michigan Technical University prepares students for careers as compliance technicians, manufacturing/industrial engineers, plant maintenance specialists, process engineers, project managers, project analysts, operations supervisors, transportation engineers. Alumni of Michigan Tech get hired in notable corporations such as Cooper Standards, MJ Electric, Siemens, Dematic, CCI Systems Inc.
The University of the Virgin Islands offers an online Bachelor of Science Engineering Management Technology degree, which prepares students for a management career in a variety of tech fields. With this course, students can work as industrial production managers, architectural and engineering managers, and industrial engineering technicians for major manufacturers, healthcare facilities, governments, and technology firms.
At the beginning of your engineering management career, you might find yourself in entry-level positions. However, with more education and years of experience, you will advance to higher positions, such as Director of Engineering, VP of Engineering, or SVP of Engineering.
For those passionate about engineering, business, and management, engineering management provides a powerful balance. With an engineering management degree, you can lead teams in engineering projects and enjoy the best of both worlds. The first step is by choosing the degree program that best suits your needs and interests.
Here are the steps to remember when choosing an undergraduate degree in engineering management:
Choose an accredited university offering an engineering management degree program
Evaluate the course curriculum to determine whether the majors, minors, and elective courses will lead you to your desired career path
Decide to enroll in a program that offers the student support you need
The admission requirements (some universities offer pre-admission certifications for students who do not meet the admission requirements)