Engineers of all backgrounds looking to fast track their careers should consider an online Master of Engineering Management (MEM) degree.
MEM degrees are affordable and are available to engineers from any segment. Civil, electrical, mechanical and manufacturing engineering degree candidates, as well as those in any other engineering fields are welcome in the online MEM degree program at Arkansas State University.
The reasoning is that the general coursework focuses on business concepts as they relate to technical aspects common among all engineering fields. An MEM is also a good choice for graduates of science, technology, and math-related programs.
With job and family obligations, many engineers decide to earn a degree online because they can do the coursework anywhere and at their own pace.
Is an MEM Right for You?
For engineers, an MEM offers a good mix of technical knowledge with important management and business principles. For many, an MEM leads to senior management opportunities in the engineering industry.
There are several reasons to enroll in an MEM degree program, an article on Engineering.com said, including the following:
- The MEM is often more beneficial for those with some engineering work experience.
- An MEM offers advanced knowledge in business concepts as they relate to engineering, including statistics, database and information systems, project management, communications, leadership and law.
- Through electives, engineering students can focus on technical concepts and develop management skills related to their core area of interest.
What Do You Do With an MEM Degree?
An MEM opens doors for management opportunities in all engineering fields. But those jobs share many common duties, according to Grad School Hub. Engineer managers:
- Perform financial duties including monitoring budgets and managing accounting staff.
- Focus on maximizing cost savings while maintaining schedules and reasonable workloads in resource management duties.
- Conduct regular meetings with interdisciplinary team members as managers and meet one on one with individual employees.
- Act as mentors, helping new engineers develop skills.
- Leverage their knowledge of industry and technological trends to better serve clients.
- Conduct audits to recognize system deficiencies, develop solutions and verify results.
Is an MEM Worth It?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average median wage for architectural and engineering managers in 2017 was $137,720 per year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $88,050 while the top 10 percent earned more than $208,000.
In 2017, BLS reported the following median wages for architectural and engineering managers in the top industries in which they worked:
- Scientific research and development services: $159,400
- Management of companies and enterprises: $143,360
- Manufacturing: $137,790
- Architectural, engineering and related services: $135,770
- Government: $128,450
Online MEM degree programs offer ambitious engineers the tools needed to advance into management roles in a wide range of engineering fields. The Arkansas State University online MEM, for example, offers students an accelerated interdisciplinary education identical to the one on campus, designed for engineers in any field on management career tracks, as well as those managing technology in engineering, manufacturing and high-tech organizations.