What is Engineering Management?
Hearing engineering management, we often get confused about what exactly this means. Is it engineering or management? Both are completely different aspects, but engineering management, in short, is a combination of the two. If you are unaware of this concept, this article will surely help you understand engineering management.
Engineering management is about applying the knowledge of management principles to the practice of engineering. In an engineering-driven industry, this engineering management helps to bring together management's planning and administration ability and technical knowledge of engineering. It is an emerging career for the students where they need to combine the managing skills and knowledge with the technical knowledge to work for highly technical organizations.
In all organizations, where feats of engineering are great, it needs greater competent managerial practice. Engineering management is a career route that mixes engineering and business. One can find the mix of administrative planning and business management with engineers' problem-solving and technical know-how. This position is for the person who poses leadership qualities who is an engineer. The skills possessed by an engineering manager may not come naturally then but once they have completed the courses and learn the concepts, their expertise can be applied to various areas like to finish off the project on time and with low cost without compromising with the quality. Management is said to be effective only if it understands the needs of the projects and the team. One can get success in this area only if they have the technical ability while possessing soft skills.
Engineering management is a broad field and has a lot of managerial and technical topics to cover. First, one to quote is the management of organization and leadership which deals with the skills to manage the employees and keep their morale high. Second is the operations that state designing the structure to carry on the production operations in an organization. The third is product development, which deals with planning, designing, and developing a whole new product in the market. Fourth is technology management, which requires technology that reduces costs and improves quality to achieve optimality. Fifth is system engineering, which is basically designing and managing complex systems over their life cycles. There are many topics, I have only stated a few.
Skills for an engineering manager
Engineers are given employment for their technical expertise, but if they want to take a step ahead in their career in management, they need a lot more skills. They need to act as a bridge and coordinate various departments. Let us look at some of the skills required to be developed to be an engineering manager.
Technical knowledge: As you are already an engineer and with the further degree you are expected to have an expertise of technical knowledge. You should have an updated knowledge of technology so that the people working with you can use your knowledge and apply it to get the best result. We often find that managers whose technical skills are sound get more respect from their teammates.
Sound communication: These managers should possess sound communication skills to effectively convey the matter to their team and the executives, members, and clients who do not have sound technical knowledge. For engineers who do not possess good communication skills, moving to a management career can be tough. A degree in engineering management can help an engineer acquire this skill.
Decision Making: While engineers solve a problem with a defined solution, management mostly requires a judgemental answer and varies from person to person. A good engineering manager should be capable of making a good and prompt decision. You need to be a quick and sound decision-maker to seize an opportunity and neutralize the threats in the external environment to help your business gain a competitive advantage.
Management of projects: Engineering managers should focus on completing the projects and understanding the projects from start to end and accordingly plan and design to complete the projects effectively. Optimality cannot be achieved if the manager only focuses on completing the project. It can achieve optimum capacity only if the work is properly planned and designed from the start to end.
Delegation: We have heard the word decentralization as one of the principles of management. This principle states that the power and the work should be shared between all levels of employees. It may be possible that you can complete the work by yourself faster, but to be a good manager, you need to delegate the work to other team members. As a good manager, you need to provide space to the team members to develop their potential by giving proper feedback and guidance. You should give the work after analyzing their weakness and strength so that team efforts can be maximized.
How to be an engineering manager?
To be an engineering manager, one should complete their graduation in any engineering field to get a bachelor's degree. One can also get a bachelor's degree in engineering management, but it won't be a problem if you get the degree in any other field. After graduation, one can develop their management skills by getting a master's degree in business administration(MBA) or engineering management(MEM). There are various institutions providing courses on engineering management online.
Why be an engineering manager?
It is an emerging career, and these jobs are highly paid. With this kind of qualification, various types of jobs can be performed by engineering managers as they know various fields. They get eligible for so many career options. They can work for activities related to engineering, but at the same time, they also possess management skills. Money is the motivating factor in most cases, so you should definitely enroll in it if you are interested. It is a perfect match if you are interested in research and development, management, or technology management. After graduation, you have to complete 24 months of education to get a master's degree and start your career as an engineering manager. Also, if you are an engineer and want to upgrade your role and career or switch to a leadership career, you should definitely take up this. This type of degree automatically makes a person attractive and potential in comparison with others.
In this ever-changing world, we need to be dynamic to be with the changing world. This career option will help you get a dynamic personality and knowledge in various fields. Engineering management will make you capable of various types of jobs. If you think you are made for this type of career, do check the various courses in business management available on great learning to be an engineering manager. Go get your hands on the course from Great Learning.
Every organization is willing to take up people who have more knowledge than others. An engineering manager has definitely secured a higher rank than an engineer who deals with only technical concepts. It is also distinct from MBA because they have management expertise and skills with technical knowledge. Be a dynamic person, be an engineering manager.