In the past, employers hired engineers for technical positions first and then trained or promoted them into management positions as needed. Today, engineering management degrees are becoming quite popular due to their expertise, skills and the variety of job prospects. Engineer managers provide technical assistance in engineering tasks and manage a team of engineers. Since it is an interdisciplinary field, they act as a link between engineering and management.
Every organization today seeks employees with multidimensional skills and prowess, someone who can fulfill both managerial and technical roles simultaneously. This allows them to hire better staff with fewer financial and budgeting constraints. A degree in engineering management will prepare you for these positions, bringing you better job prospects and an established career path.
Professional Roles and Job Prospects
Career path in engineering management has great scope due to its significance in various fields, namely scientific research, artificial intelligence, data mining, architecture, technical, manufacturing, and construction. An engineering manager plays a pivotal role in planning, coordinating, and supervising an organization’s technical and engineering operations. Moreover, management positions deal with personnel handling while engineering positions entail technical expertise, so merging them into a single rank will open up several job opportunities in the market. With the master of engineering management degree in hand, one has many job opportunities and fewer competitions than with solely technical and managerial positions.
Below is the list of career options available to engineering management graduates:
- Engineering Manager
- Product Manager
- Engagement Manager
- Director of Engineering
- VP (Vice President) of Engineering
- SVP (Senior Vice President) of Engineering
Core Competencies and Skills
Some skills are crucial for the job of engineering managers, like leadership and mentorship. In a team, people look for consultation and advice from their managers. Thus, a person in this role must know when to jump in the situation and when to stop. They should be open-minded so they can share their knowledge and skills with their teammates without any hesitation. A great leader strengthens his team by exchanging productive information and appreciating the team members after achieving desired outcomes.
Soft skills like interpersonal communication, listening skills, conflict resolution, empathy, emotional intelligence, and negotiation are essential for an engineering manager. These skills encourage positive relationships between engineering managers and their teams. When team members feel that their manager respects their opinions and listens to them, they perform better and excel in their careers, resulting in the company’s growth. A good engineering manager knows how to build a conducive environment for teammates and how to maintain a healthy balance between being critical and appreciative.
For typical engineering managers, it’s normal to spend a day running between the fieldwork and the office. They must be vigilant enough to meet the deadlines of projects by coordinating with the team and other stakeholders. It is their task to assign tasks to others, so they should be familiar with deadlines and procedures for completion.
Engineering managers must have technical aptitude and be competent enough to take the initiative. According to the nature and specifications of the project, technical expertise varies. For instance, software development requires a set of computer skills, including coding, computer languages, etc. should collect and take care of all data must use computer security policy to ensure that all your data is secure. A construction project may require the technical knowledge of a civil engineer.
Responsibilities and Duties
The responsibilities and duties of engineering managers are not limited to taking charge of the projects and tackling the team members only. An engineering manager
- Determines the need for engineering strategies, policies, and plans and directs the relevant team members to formulate them
- Implements and oversees the strategies, policies, and plans
- Directs the selection and hiring process of engineering staff in a team
- Coordinates with the team for efficient results and in time deliveries
- Takes part in research and development projects
- Sets up schedule and budget of projects
- Interprets and plans the drawings, specifications, and procedures according to the project demand
- Provides the guideline for quality assurance, quality control, safety standards, cost, and procedures
- Coordinates and collaborates with other stakeholders for achieving better product design
- Supervises maintenance requirements for optimizing efficiency
- Ensures engineering standards for quality, cost, safety, and laws and regulations
A professional qualification in engineering management is the need of the hour due to its immense importance in the job market. Engineering managers are well-qualified professionals who possess both technical and managerial skills and can perform the roles of both engineers and business managers. They can pursue a defined career path after earning a professional degree, including senior engineering managers, directors, vice presidents, and senior vice presidents. Their responsibilities include supervision of projects within deadlines, quality control standards and budgets, directing and assigning duties to team members. Additionally, engineering managers also work as human resource managers for their organizations, especially at team levels.