Engineers and MBAs – a potent cocktail for career success

Forget the idea that MBA programs are just for bankers, consultants and entrepreneurs. Engineers of all shapes and sizes are now using a postgraduate business degree as their ticket to the executive suite and career success, and it’s working.

Here are 4 reasons why engineers should consider an MBA as their next career step.

  1. Generalists are in high demand.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a mechanical, electrical, mechatronics, industrial or any other type of engineer, obtaining an MBA is an ideal way to propel your career into the future because business skills such as critical thinking, business development and strategic leadership are in high demand.

A company’s success relies on having people who can think logically and solve problems but also build optimised and effective teams across multiple locations. These are the kind of skills that MBA students acquire, and companies can’t get enough of them.

Recruiters are on the hunt for top talent capable of leading innovation projects and building successful international ventures. Having a top MBA program on your CV is a great way to differentiate yourself from people with more traditional career backgrounds. It’s the perfect way to demonstrate on your CV that you’re someone capable of delivering value on multiple levels.

  • Companies really hate siloes.

Companies can’t stand it when different departments and business units don’t work together. As organisations continuously break down these siloes and blur the line between distinct business units and departments, the value of diverse knowledge and skills multiplies. Why just know a lot about engineering when you could dominate business as well?

Gaining an MBA places you in a unique position as someone who can speak multiple languages. Not only can you speak with engineering managers about design, project plans and supply chains, but you can also hold productive conversations with business stakeholders about organisational strategy, corporate finance, and management accounting. This is crucial for operating in complex matrix environments.

Google has gone to great lengths to break down siloes, for example, creating strategies and processes to ensure major decisions, e.g., marketing, are made when everyone has access to the data. If you’re educated in data-driven decision-making, you’ll be able to ensure your organisation makes better, more informed decisions, increasing your value enormously.

  • It’s worth it financially.

It’s obvious that money tends to increase as you rise through the organisation. While some engineers, e.g., software engineers, can often make sizeable income from $100 – $200k a year, it’s not always the case in other engineering careers.

Quantic, a provider of a unique MBA program, suggest that engineers with an MBA degree earn, on average, 13% more than their colleagues without one. Program director and management positions suit great people leaders with the strategic and operational vision that an MBA trains you for.

While an MBA can mean an investment of $150k USD, if you increase your earnings by 10 – 20% early on in your career, then the later returns will quickly create a return on that investment. 

  • CEOs rarely follow a straight path.

A lot of the engineers whom we work with for MBA admissions have their eyes set on the C-suite. Sure, not everyone wants to be CEO, and a good number of our engineering clients are interested in positions such as product management or logistics directors; some want to create a start-up or entrepreneurial venture or take the reins of the family business.

What is unquestionable, however, is how much business leaders benefit from mixed backgrounds and education. Most CEOs of top companies have had to get there by taking compulsory overseas assignments, heading up diverse business units from sales to operations and finance to logistics. It’s why top executive programs like those at UPenn Wharton promote such internationally diverse curricula and class cohorts.

Exploring different areas of interest and learning how to lead in unfamiliar environments is an ideal way to shape yourself as a high-impact leader. MBA programs at Stanford GSB, Berkely Haas, Chicago Booth, Texas McCombs and London Business School, like most top MBA degree programs, all promote international exchanges and internships as critical parts of leadership development. Diverse cohorts in terms of nationality, industry and gender all help you shape the skills needed to be an effective manager and leader. So, there you have it, a Master of Business Administration degree is the ideal way for many engineers to take a huge career leap and become valuable leaders for all types of businesses and organizations.

¿Ready to take your engineering career to the next level? Schedule a consultation now to explore how an MBA can accelerate your professional growth and open doors to exciting opportunities. Don’t miss out on the chance to become a highly sought-after leader in the business world!”

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