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Author Topic: Masters in Engineering or MBA?  (Read 82630 times)
admin
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« on: August 28, 2009, 03:12:25 PM »

I am sure many engineers have had to confront this dilemma in their educational advancements decisions.  For good reasons of course because both degrees provides advancement in the way you think and how you plan your career to proceed.  Careful considerations must be made in determining which path you should take.
The purpose of this discussion is to allow those who have had to make this decision to make us aware of the challenges and benefits of their decisions.
Feel feel to post any insightful comments and ask relevant questions.

Enjoy.

A few links that you might find helpful:

Engineering Masters Degree Programs

Business Administration and MBA


Ken.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 11:01:55 AM by admin » Logged
1smartengineer
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2009, 12:43:50 PM »

This is an important topic that I am sure many engineers have had to confront one time or another.
In my own opinion I think an MBA would be more appropriate if,

  • you aspire to be a CEO of a large company within the very near-term, say the next five years. This is because most companies actually do require their CEOs to have an MBA, in most cases from a top ranking school
  • you want to refocus your career to non-technical industries such as banking, finance, entertainment, etc.
  • your primary focus is on credentials and you therefore want a more widely known, more common degree.
  • you want to have your own company and feel that you would serve yourself better if you had a management degree. If you however feel that you management qualities already, I don't think you should have to waste your time and efforts paying for the school. You are probably better off spending the energy to grow your company. Then you can hire accountants and lawyers to do the things you are not good at.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 11:04:52 AM by admin » Logged
dougFred
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2009, 12:53:37 PM »

  • you want to have your own company and feel that you would serve yourself better if you had a management degree. If you however feel that you management qualities already, I don't think you should have to waste your time and efforts paying for the school. You are probably better off spending the energy to grow your company. Then you can hire accountants and lawyers to do the things you are not good at.


I like this point.
I totally agree with you. Why clutter your mind with general knowledge when you can hire people to do that for you.
I was able to find a story which summarizes this point very well.
Enjoy.

Quote
During the first world war, a Chicago newspaper published certain editorials in which, among other statements, Henry Ford was called "an ignorant pacifist." Mr Ford objected to the statements, and brought suit against the paper for libeling him. When the suit was tried in the courts, the attorneys for the paper pleaded justification, and placed Mr. Ford, himself, on the witness stand, for the purpose of proving to the jury that that he was ignorant. The attorneys asked Mr. Ford a great variety of questions, all of them intended to prove, by his own evidence that, while he might posses considerable specialized knowledge pertaining to the manufacture of automobiles, he was, in the main, ignorant.

Mr Ford was plied with such questions as the following: "Who was Benedict Arnold?" and "How many soldiers did the British send over to America to put down the rebellion of 1776?" In answer to the last question, Mr Ford replied, "I do not know the exact number of soldiers the British sent over, but I have heard that it was a considerably large number than ever went back."

Finally, Mr. Ford became tired of this line of questioning, and in reply to a particularly offensive question, he leaned over, pointed his finger at the lawyer who had asked the question and said, "If I should really want to answer the foolish question you have just asked, or any of the other questions you have been asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men who can answer any question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts. Now, will you kindly tell me, why I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?
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Badger
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2009, 06:13:50 PM »

My opinion is that anyone who desires an MBA soon after graduating in engineering would have been better off graduating in business instead.  That  being said, getting a position that requires an MBA means it is also probably a position where you are more likely to get quickly fired from because it has to do with profits and losses, increasing shareholder equity and many things that an engineer is not responsible for.  If you like being the scapegoat and being under constant pressure to make financial results, by all means get an MBA. 
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m9ro6
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 01:45:53 PM »

I had a few professors that joked if we couldn't cut engineering, we could always transfer to the business school. I know an MBA is "in addition to" the engineering degree, but I can't seem to shake that perception and the feeling it diminishes rather than enhances.

Also, unless you're going to run a company, I can't see how many of the classes are applicable. I work with several engineer-MBAs that never use what they learned and forgot most of it within a year or two of graduating.

If you need a master's that's more business related, there are a number of schools that offer engineering management degrees. They're applicable to an engineering career, typically taught by engineers, and don't cost nearly as much. A cheap option, if you just want to learn, is ASME's engineering management certificate. 
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admin
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2010, 04:25:30 PM »

According to BusinessWeek, MBA Graduates make an average salary of $104,000 a year. In addition to a higher paying Engineering job. According to the articles, some other advantages of having an MBA include the following:
  • Career Advancement - Many career paths require individuals to obtain their MBA.
  • Career Change - Professionals seeking a career change may need to increase their marketability by obtaining a MBA.
  • Entrepreneurship - Turn to an MBA degree to obtain the necessary skills of business ownership.
  • Increasing Areas of Expertise - Focusing your studies with an MBA can enhance your knowledge within the Engineering industry.
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michael.brit
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2010, 09:09:20 PM »

It very much depends on your objectives.

An MBA will give you a broad awareness of business in all fields.
It will prepare you for a management career where you will
be able to converse with all management track folks in the
organization. It will also open doors in the management track.

An engineering masters is mostly an opportunity to advance
your knowledge and grow as a technologist. It will prepare you
for more advanced work in your field if done correctly.

There are also hybrid degrees in engineering management
but if management is your calling then an MBA is probably
better worth your time because of the brand recognition.

Michael Brit
www.engineer-resume.com
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admin
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 11:41:03 AM »

This topic has been quite hot and I just wanted to give some additional insights. We have complied a list of engineering programs presently available that are pertinent to this discussion.  The best way to approach this is to request brochures from these universities and study for yourself how to proceed.
Business Administration and MBA
Everest University Online
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Post University Online
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Grand Canyon University
General MBA
MBA and MS in Leadership
Northcentral University
Master of Business Administration - Management Information Systems
Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship
Ashford University
MBA - No Concentration
MBA/Environmental Management
More Business Administration and MBA Programs


Engineering Masters Degree Programs
DeVry University
Bachelor in Electronics Engineering Technology
Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Drexel University Online
MS in Engineering Technology
MS in Electrical Engineering
Lawrence Technological University
Master of Science in Industrial Engineering
Grantham University
Bachelor of Science - Electronics Engineering Technology - Military Personnel Only
Bachelor of Science - Computer Engineering Technology - Military Personnel Only
Norwich University
Master of Civil Engineering - Structural Engineering
Master of Civil Engineering - Environmental/Water Resources Engineering
Master of Civil Engineering - Construction Management
Master of Civil Engineering
Master of Civil Engineering - Geotechnical Engineering
New Jersey Institute of Technology / NJIT
Master of Science - Engineering Management
Gonzaga University
Transmission & Distribution Engineering Certificate
Master of Engineering in Transmission & Distribution Engineering
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 02:58:11 PM by admin » Logged
kennyk567
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 06:50:06 PM »

I am a civil engineer I too was face with this very diverging road (no pun intended). I recently finished my MBA. The reason I chose the MBA route was because I  know of a few people who have advanced degrees in in civil engineering. While they were taking the courses, I realized that most of the theory they learned was never applied in the real world. The classes that had relevance to their line of work, didn't teach them anything that I didn't know or couldn't figure out on my own. So, I felt I wouldn't get much out of a masters in civil. I also had in interest in Finance  so it was an easy road to take.

What I can advise you is to talk to as many people as possible before you make your decision. A good find people in industries that you want to align yourself and ask them what would be the best route to take.

Given the investment that you will be making, it is a very good idea to have a comprehensive insights from as many people as possible.
I hope this helps.

All the best.
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