Engineering is a field that continues to grow year after year. Depending on the area of engineering the individual chooses, engineers can expect job growths from five percent to 27 percent or more through the year 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). One option potential engineers are considering is earning both an MBA and an engineering degree. This option may entail a little more education but can also enhance a resume and increase hiring and earning potential. Learn more about MBA and engineering degrees and the various colleges and universities that may offer this option.
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MBA is an abbreviated term for Masters of Business Administration, a degree that focuses on business and teaches students about accounting, marketing, finances, operations management and human resources – all the components necessary to ensure a business is running efficiently and as cost-effective as possible. Engineering, on the other hand, focuses on a combination of science, mathematics and technology. The number of engineering degrees has increased through the years.
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Online MBA Engineering Degrees
Earning an MBA engineering degree is not a privilege afforded only to on-campus students because many colleges and universities offer online programs. Online programs allow the student to continue to work while earning the degree. Arizona State University offers an online MBA Master of Science Engineering Electrical Engineering program through distance learning. ASU’s online MBA, incidentally, was ranked fourth in the nation among online MBA programs by U.S. News and World Report for 2014. Other universities that offer this dual program online are Purdue University, University of Southern California and Ohio University.
Whether you choose to attend college on campus or earn your MBA engineering degrees online, it is vital that the school you choose is accredited because that can make all the difference when you’re pursuing your career after graduation.
Earn an MBA in Engineering to Distinguish Yourself
Today, there are six major branches of engineering: civil, chemical, electrical, mechanical, management and geotechnical. In addition to the major branches, there are several concentrations from which a student may choose. Combining an MBA with an engineering degree can bring about the best of both worlds: technology and business.
An MBA engineering degree teaches students the important parts of running and operating a business while also focusing on the engineering aspect. Many colleges and universities offer this as a dual degree. Whereas a master’s degree typically takes two to three years in addition to a bachelor’s degree, an MBA engineering degree allows the student to actually earn two degrees in the time it would normally take to earn one degree.
MBA in Engineering Degrees to Consider
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers an Engineering MBA dual degree program that gives students the opportunity to study and learn at both the MIT Sloan School of Management and the School of Engineering. MIT offers students the choices of an MBA and the following engineering degrees.
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Aeronautics and Astronautics
- Biological Engineering
- Engineering Systems
- Mechanical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
The job outlook for graduates of engineering MBA degree programs is very good, according to a 2013 report by Monster.com. There is an increasing demand for engineers and engineering firms are looking for engineers who think like businesspeople. This is the type of preparation students can get from an engineering MBA degree.
Typical Workload for an MBA – Engineering Student
The type of classes a student will take depends in large on the area of engineering he or she has chosen. For the MBA portion, the classes may include operations management, organizational leadership, systems optimization, finance and marketing.
Students in a chemical engineering program may take courses like systems engineering, industrial chemistry and chemical engineering thermodynamics. A mechanical engineering student may take classes like control of manufacturing processes; intro to robotics; energy, materials and manufacturing; product design and development, and manufacturing systems analysis.
Additional MBA Programs to Consider that Focus on Engineering
There are several colleges, in addition to MIT, that offer engineering MBA degree programs. The Stanford Graduate School of Business offers a dual MBA/Electrical Engineering MS degree, an MBA/Computer Science MS degree and an MBA Environment and Resources MS degree. Below is a list of some of the nation’s top universities that offer MBA engineering degree programs.
- Cornell University
- Iowa State University
- USC Viterbi
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Colorado
- University of Pennsylvania
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Lehigh University
In addition to offering the degree program, the students generally have fellowship, internship and co-op opportunities, which help them begin gaining their work experience while still learning.
Business and Engineering
Earning an MBA engineering degree can teach students about various aspects of both business and engineering. In addition, many of the programs offers specific concentrations that allow the student to focus even more on a specific area of interest. The concentrations may be on the MBA part of the degree or on the engineering part or both. For instance, Carnegie Mellon offers concentrations in technology leadership, entrepreneurship, business analytics, and management of innovation and product development. While the technology leadership teaches how to implement data principles into management, the entrepreneurship is designed more for someone just starting out in business. MBA engineering degrees may offer concentrations on specific engineering such as civil engineering, which is ideal for someone interesting in building large structures. A student interested in the actual designing process may choose a concentration in mechanical engineering.
Career Options for MBA Engineering Degree Holders
Graduates of MBA engineering degrees should have many career opportunities open to them. Adding the MBA degree with an engineering degree makes it more possible to utilize the engineering knowledge in almost any industry. Besides choosing the basic title of engineer, these graduates may also work in the capacity of engineering manager or industrial production manager, to name just a few. As of May 2013, the BLS reported that engineering managers earned an average annual wage of $124,870 while industrial production managers earned $89,190. Engineering wages also vary based on the area of study. Civil engineers earned $79,340 while chemical engineers earned $94,350.