Why Engineers Should Consider an MBA Versus a Master’s Degree

Engineers are in high demand thanks to the increasingly high-tech world we live in. To work in engineering, a bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement. While completing a bachelor’s degree will set you up for a good, stable paying job, many engineers are eager to climb the ladder and take their career to the next stage.

Aviation technician

One of the most sought-after degrees engineers look into is the MBA (Master of Business Administration). Obtaining an MBA will not only open more doors but allow you to use your natural talents to command a higher salary. If you’re unsure about what move to make, here are a few reasons why you should consider an MBA versus a master’s degree.

Path to Engineering Management

Completing an MBA will prepare you to work in the engineering management field. There are soft skills that you will be required to learn, such as time management and learning how to communicate multifaceted information to varied audiences. Throughout your MBA degree, you will learn how to lead a team, the importance of delegation, and how to meet a variety of legal and ethical standards. If you are interested in becoming an engineering manager, some of the main responsibilities include:

  • Researching and developing designs and products
  • Supervising cross-disciplinary teams
  • Managing and proposing budgets for tasks
  • Ensuring products are cleared by upper management
  • Building teams and hiring contractors

An MBA degree is vital for those who want to move past team leader roles and work in program management. There is also the opportunity to study for a second master’s degree in fields such as engineering management or operations management. The more credentials you have on your resume, the better chance you have of employees taking your application seriously.

Learn Transferable Skills

In addition to learning the importance of time management and how to lead, there are numerous transferable skills that you will learn throughout your MBA degree, including:

  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Global orientation
  • Project management skills
  • Adapting to change
  • Initiative
  • Analytical skills
  • Strategic thinking

Diverse team members in a project management team

Possibility of Cross-Functional Positions

An MBA alongside your engineering degree will prepare you to move into a project management role. You may be able to switch from supervising equipment upgrades to being in charge of a whole facility. If you obtain an MBA degree, you could oversee an entire IT strategy for a business, which will have a huge effect on the future of the company.

Studying for an MBA will teach you all about how to start and run your own business. Some of the modules you will undertake include:

  • Risk management
  • Financial planning
  • Managerial accounting

To move into a management position, it’s vital that you learn the core topics that an MBA can provide. If your aim is to set up a consulting business, learning how to solve issues holistically while referencing a wide variety of case studies will prepare you for roles in change management. MBA programs tend to teach other core units, such as:

  • Supply chain management
  • Logistics
  • Customer relationship management
  • Accounting

If you would like to work in engineering sales or supply chain management, the modules listed above will help should you want to change path with your career.

Increase in Salary

No matter what kind of role interests you most, job security is at the top of most engineers’ lists. When compared with a bachelor’s degree, an MBA can see you earn up to 50% more. While this will depend on the role you choose and where you work, there are numerous roles that you will qualify for which gives you the chance to command a higher salary.

For instance, a program manager can earn over $100,000 per year. There are other high paying fields that an engineer can go into once they have completed an MBA degree, including:

  • Senior staff engineer
  • Marketing director
  • Facilities director
  • Solutions architects
  • Senior project management

There has been a vast amount of research carried out to show that an MBA degree will boost your salary potential. One study has shown that MBA graduates earned $12,000 on average more per year than those with a bachelor’s degree.

Validate Your Business Experience

Many engineers plan to launch a business straight after finishing engineering school, or once they have gained a few years’ experience. While engineers will develop a core skillset through their bachelor’s degree, an MBA can teach you the ins and outs of business, helping to improve the chances of your startup becoming a success.

If you like the idea of running your own company, an MBA will require you to participate in group projects and presentations, which will build interpersonal skills that you can use to your advantage when in a managerial role.

Study MBA online

Option to Study Online

Engineers who have recently completed their bachelor’s degree may not have the time to dedicate towards an MBA. While there are many on-campus establishments that provide MBA degrees, online providers are becoming increasingly popular. Studying for your MBA online with a provider like Kettering University Online can give you flexibility and freedom to learn at your own pace. You can click here for more information on how an MBA can benefit you as an engineer.

There are lots of other benefits that you can gain from studying for your MBA online, such as:

  • Lower total costs and debt
  • Teaches you self-discipline
  • Access to course materials 24/7
  • Study from the comfort of your own home

If you need any assistance during your MBA, all the online schools have a dedicated support team who are available to answer your queries and provide guidance to help you achieve the best grade possible.

As an engineer, you may have aspirations to climb the career ladder and enter senior management roles. In order to be considered, you will need to have the right credentials on your resume.

Studying for an MBA degree can teach you invaluable knowledge and skills that can broaden your career options, increase your salary, and teach you fundamental topics and modules that can benefit those who are looking to start their own engineering business.