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Engineering or Engineering Management as a professional?

  1. Jan 13, 2008 #1
    i ll be completing my BE Mechanical in a year and a half. right from my high school, i knew i was to be a mechanical engineer. Now i ll be, but its just not i thought what it would be, something is just missing. 99% of my college mates plan to get an MBA degree, reason: what is engineering going to give you back??
    Now what kind of a question is that? i am an engineer because i like to know how things work and right from the day i started, i have been learning new things, i have my immense interest in robotics and control, i do a lot of it. i like thermal, especially power plant and refrigeration cycle part and i am already through half of refrigeration although it is still 2 sems away, why?, just because i like it. when i come back home, i feel bored, i don't have anything to do, i like just keeping doing something every time.
    Engineering is soo very much an interesting field, but people just aren't interested, why did i get into an engineering branch if i just had to do a management degree just after college? but then, i am not saying management is bad, it is there, definetly there somewhere down the line, but pressure is soo much from everyone including parents to just score and get a seat in management institute just after college.
    And what i hate most is the English test, not that i am weak in it or something, its just that it doesn't seem right to me. i am an engineer, i should be rated on engineering terms, not on some English aptitude test. same is the case with GRE, now how does an English test, test my capabilities(or for that matter, anyone's) in engineering or physics(if it is applicable, i don't know). now i am soo much in a fix, what will i do? i definetly won't be going for management just after college, i can't go for GRE because i don't have that much $$, and engineering jobs don't pay that much and by the time i have that $$, i might be out of gas to run further!! and companies like schlumberger, HLSA and some consultancy firms DO have very lucrative pay packages, they don't fall in exactly places where i, as an engineer, like to work.
    Am i missing something?? is it so for everyone everywhere?? is it the line to go?? maybe i am just thinking a bit too much
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2008 #2
    So don't go into management!

    The reason all those people are going back for MBA's is a question that has been asked here before. MBA programs are full of people from very different undergrads, often the least of which are business majors. So are those people going back because it is a reasonable step in their career, or did they just get the wrong degree in the first place? It isn't as easy to make an argument one way or another as you'd think. . . or as you'd like.

    Here's one consolation though: MBA's have value with respect to how much JOB EXPERIENCE you have. In other words, going straight from your BS to an MBA is probably not a great idea. So going out and working for a while and seeing what you like is actually a good idea in many senses.
  4. Jan 14, 2008 #3

    Tom Mattson

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    Almost no one gets an MBA right after college. The top MBA programs typically don't accept applicants who don't have a work history of at least 5 years. Also, business management is not the only kind of management work available. You could also become an engineering project manager, in which case I don't think you need a business degree.
  5. Feb 1, 2008 #4


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    You sound like you love engineering - do that! Work as an engineer for a few years before you make the decision to get an MBA. If you end up going into management, you will be a better manager, and have more respect, if you were an engineer first.

    Don't worry too much about money. You willl have enought to live on, and having a lot of money isn't worth it if you're miserable in your job.
  6. Feb 1, 2008 #5
    I"m going to go into management once I get burnt out coding but not until then!
    I'm not sure how the pay is for your major but Comp Sci gets pretty good money up to 200k at some company's when you hit a certain level like IBM. They have bands, at band 10 its 140k-175k pay range but the work load is much much more. It would def. be easier I think to be a manager and get paid that much than having an insane amount of work load. Some people I talked to didn't want to move up in band level's because they liked the easy work load. This one guy is still a band level 7 and he's been there for 25 years. He said it straight up, he has 2 kids and likes how much work he has to do now and doesn't want to do more.

    I actually would think management would be less stressful. My one development manager just has to go to tons of meetings and push the workload onto the project manager, so the project manager is the guy who is getting screwed, the development manager just makes sure the project manager gets his **** done.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  7. Feb 1, 2008 #6
    as u r in ur final year (hop so) doing MBA after getting into a job would be a fine idea as u can understand how corporate world works and do u need it for ur further growth (as for now u r not bit sure y u need an MBA ) u r going to live ur life ofcourse u have ur rights. blindly putting that ok i am not into MBA is not a good option u can keep the doors open and watch it further do u really need it or not.
    All the best
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  8. Feb 1, 2008 #7
    This is a common feeling amoung young technical people. It is however completely wrong. Even if you don't go into management or sales you will still have to communicate with them, customers and fellow engineers. There is a line from the movie "The Right Stuff" which you would to well to remember "No bucks, no Buck Rodgers". You will eventually realize that you are always in sales, requiring written and verbal communication. You must first sell yourself to your first hiring manager by writing convincing cover letters and resumes. You will have to then establish a good reputation as a technical worker by doing good work and then DOCUMENTING it. This means writing good technical memos describing the results of your work, good patent applications, lucid work instructions for techs and shop floor workers to follow, clear specifications for your vendors to get you what you need. Suppose you get a great idea - you must of course document it in technical ways, but you will need to convince other, probably ultimately non technical people, that you are worth investing their money in. These people could be just the upper management of your company or some outside investment bankers or a friends rich uncle. You will need to be able to write nontechnical summaries of your idea, business plans, probably inital sales and marketing literature. You'll have to produce progress reports showing these people how you are spending their money. I've seen surveys of engineers who were asked after several years in the work force what they wished they had more training in. Communications (written and verbal) were near the top of the list.

    So far as post graduate work - if you can't afford it, get a job. Not to be insulting or flip, but the work experience will give you a better idea of what you'd ultimately like to do, so you apply to the right programs. Even the smallest companies I've worked for have had tuition reimbursement programs, so you might want to apply to places somewhat close to universities and go part time. That's the route I've taken. If you prefer to go full time and get it over with I think that in many technical programs student get tuition waivers and teaching or research assistantships that defray most of the costs. This isn't true of the more popular MD, MBA and liberal arts type graduate programs.
  9. Feb 2, 2008 #8
    i think i, now, see what you guys mean.
    definetly i ll be in some job for atleast 3-4 years before moving forward.
    thanks for help
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