Masters of Engineering in Engineering Management (ME) or an MBA?
Why earn a graduate degree?
There are four main reasons people pursue graduate degrees.
- Learn and apply new skills
- Get into a new field
- Increase networking
- Learn for the love of learning
What's similar between an ME and an MBA?
Either an MBA or ME degree will help advance your career. Both programs are designed to jump start roles in early to mid management.
Both teach fundamentals. This is where the similarities end.
An MBA program takes a broad brush approach to the fundamentals. A student generally learns accounting, finance, real estate and marketing across a whole spectrum of industries.
An ME in EM, on the other hand, focuses the student on technical and engineering-heavy industries. While general demand for MBAs is on the wane, engineers and technologists with management skill continues to rise. For example, as of March 20, 2015, Linked In had 64,960 jobs posted under "Engineering Manager". That is nearly triple the number of jobs since November 2013.
Our ME in Engineering Management prepares you for management and leadership in high-tech situations with a focused curriculum in areas such as new product development, project management and managing applied research. EMP does not cover areas such as retail, real estate, banking, recreation, macro and micro-economics, tourism and the restaurant industry, as do many MBA programs.
A ME degree is 30 credit hours as compared to 55 credit hours for a typical MBA. An MBA is often more expensive to earn than an ME.
Though it is widely believed that earning an MBA will increase one's career opportunities and salary, when you dig deeper, this is only the case for a top tier business school.
What's right for you?
It depends on your goals, both personal and professional. An MBA may be appropriate for you if you want to shift the focus of your career to non-technical industries such as banking, finance, entertainment, etc.
What's the nature and quality of the curriculum?
Do the instructors have senior level business experience?
How successful are the faculty in their business endeavors?
Where is the learning I will gain by this program best be applied?
How immediate is the possibility of applying the material I learn to my current job? To my future prospects in the next 2 - 5 years?
How can I make the best business case for my graduate study to my boss?