If you are employed as an engineer in your company and are desirous of switching from the technical to the business side by earning an MBA degree to learn more about management, it is a step in the right direction. And your fears whether you will get time off to pursue the said degree will be rejected by your employers is ill-founded, since most employers are only too happy for their employees to acquire additional qualifications so that they come back and take up a more business-focused role in the company.
Reasons why engineers do MBA
As an engineer, the most logical option for you is to do your technical specialization, but over time your career graph is likely to plateau, and your aspiration to climb further up the corporate ladder may get scuttled. It is here that management skills can come in handy since they break the technical mold and blend seamlessly into mainstream management roles. This makes an MBA an essential option for engineers.
However, let’s look at other reasons:
#1 Stepping up the corporate ladder
An engineering degree with an MBA post-graduation is considered the best skill combination that will help move up your career graph. This not only fast-tracks your career to more responsible roles but weans you off the painfully slow growth that you would have faced as an engineer.
#2 Acquiring managerial skills
You, as an engineer, possess an in-depth knowledge of the technical side of work, but as an MBA, you get to face real-life problems that include human elements in business. MBA teaches you concepts involving communication, enterprise management, human resource management, time management, and the like. All these skills are essential for managerial roles.
#3 Understanding business in toto
MBA teaches you how business works. It broadens your horizons and helps you think outside the box in finding unique and innovative ways to solve problems. By doing an MBA, you get a chance to solve problems that are far more complex and dynamic than technical ones. An MBA qualification also makes you a part of the think tank and helps you in the better understanding business marketing strategy of the company.
#4 Double bonanza
After attaining an MBA degree, you not only possess technical knowledge due to your engineering background but also acquire management skills. This double bonanza is a perfect fit for providing the best solutions to problems since you now understand more about how the business is run as a whole.
Prerequisites for considering an MBA
An MBA is not for all engineers, you will need to be passionate about learning about business. In that too, you will need to find out precisely what in business excites you. Doing an MBA just for acquiring a degree or moving up in your career may not get you the kind of returns you want. It is also not useful for those who are focused on a specific area, say, marketing. For this, doing masters proves as good. MBA is for those who aspire to diversify in the future.
To this end, it is of utmost importance that you pursue an MBA from a recognized business school. If you can, doing your MBA abroad is ideal, since it will expose you to a mix of cultures and teach you how to manage in different countries. Such schools not only focus on business but also help develop an interest in entrepreneurship. They also emphasize personality development, career management planning, and the like. They also nurture innovative ideas.
Advantages of MBA after engineering
- During MBA, you get a chance to build soft skills.
- You get time to figure out what career path to take since it opens alternate career paths, other than in the engineering and technical fields.
- You get to acquire extra skill sets while pursuing full-time or part-time jobs.
- An engineering and an MBA degree make you more productive and effective.
Unless you are keen on continuing in your present company after acquiring your MBA, there is no reason why you cannot look outside to greener pastures. Of course, as an engineer, you have acquired excellent analytical and quantitative skills, but an MBA will help you in not only extending these skills but also in applying them across different business functions.