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any1
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CEO
re: Do engineers need an MBA?
any1   9/17/2012 5:41:45 PM
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I agree with the sentiment that if your employer is willing to pay for it, then it would be worthwhile. That's assuming your main career objective is to climb the management ladder. Otherwise I would skip it.

rob18767
User Rank
Manager
re: Do engineers need an MBA?
rob18767   9/17/2012 7:36:20 PM
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Most people with MBAs need more engineering experience in my opinion.

EREBUS0
User Rank
Rookie
re: Do engineers need an MBA?
EREBUS0   9/17/2012 7:55:57 PM
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For engineers transitioning into management, some only need the basics of business practices to succeed. Knowledge and good communication skills are much more important than a lot of business theory. If an engineer wants to start a company, then they need to partner with someone with a good business background. I would only consider an MBA if there were specific business opportunities that rewarded the effort. From what I have seen, an engineer with an MBA is not that valuable unless they the solid engineering background and the skills I discussed earlier. Just my opinion.

chipmonk0
User Rank
CEO
re: Do engineers need an MBA?
chipmonk0   9/18/2012 12:11:35 AM
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Engineers dealing with hardware and manufacturing are held back by the fact that they require a lot of investment to get to market and have to often depend on a large number of people to get the product out of the door. This is where even non-technical MBAs & bean counters can have an upper hand over Sr.Engneer. So it would make sense for Techies in these areas to arm themselves with a MBA just to stay competitive. But for those in Design, Simulation, Software a MBA is not all that critical unless they want to manage a large Team or get into the start up mode..

JeffL_2
User Rank
CEO
re: Do engineers need an MBA?
JeffL_2   9/18/2012 12:45:23 PM
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OK I'll admit my perspective on this may be a bit extreme, but I really think an engineer who gets an MBA is essentially terminating one career in order to start at the very bottom in a new one. God knows I've "earned" this perspective though, spending countless hours either in meetings or private conversations with my manager(s) in vain trying to get allocations for tools and equipment that I considered essential to get the productivity of our group up to somewhere CLOSE to what would be necessary to meet the overly ambitious project schedule that was already "cast in stone", THEN practically getting dared to try and meet it anyway! I'm old enough to remember when there was actually a "tech career track", heck I was even around when we had "staff engineers" who were considered valuable enough that they'd actually be "kept around" even while they didn't have a "primary project" to charge time against. The current feeling that engineers and managers "play for competing teams" is actually NOT contributing to bottom-line productivity, but considering the extent to which it's been adopted you'd think it was always like this. (And I'm sure a lot of "line managers" feel pretty alienated themselves from the guys in the C-suite.) Also I've seen lots of places where the "transition" (from engineer to manager) is made even more difficult to discourage "career experimenting" and make entry-level management even harder to get into. I'd be interested to hear about different perspectives because I'm sure some of you will just disregard my comments as "terminally cynical" but I assure you they're at least legitimate.

agk
User Rank
Rookie
re: Do engineers need an MBA?
agk   9/18/2012 1:44:48 PM
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Knowledge is ocean.Doing MBA will assist to strengthen their carrier.For example a Purchase head of an engineering company can utilize his engineering and business studies effectively.They can easily pick up and economize their company. A sales manager ,where as needs more technical strength with a good business approach.So MBA is a must, for those who are technically strong and this can be done in part time. Where as non engineering companies they do not need Engineering MBA's unless other wise they dont mind employing engineering MBA's because of their higher IQ levels.

Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
re: Do engineers need an MBA?
Bert22306   9/18/2012 6:53:36 PM
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I used to hear this too, about getting an MBA. However, going on the assumption that earning this MBA would be at the expense of some decent engineering graduate courses, after many years in engineering, I say nuts to that idea. Getting an MBA is essentially straying off course. Moving into management, from engineering, is also straying off course. Since there are many more people "qualified" to become managers, than to be productive and well educated engineers, the simple truth (I've observed) is that managers are now far more expendable than real engineers. In this economy, straying off course for engineers is a mistake. Simple as that.

Mr Ness
User Rank
Rookie
re: Do engineers need an MBA?
Mr Ness   9/19/2012 8:44:46 AM
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MBA's are taught how talk a great fight in my experience. The grand masters of death by powerpoint and cheesy buzzwords. Does it add value?

Mr Ness
User Rank
Rookie
re: Do engineers need an MBA?
Mr Ness   9/19/2012 8:53:41 AM
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"adding value" WOW I must have an MBA - better get out of design and into management quick

mrwood
User Rank
Rookie
re: Do engineers need an MBA?
mrwood   9/19/2012 11:09:51 AM
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The management view of a 40 or 50 year old engineer is that they have failed in their careers. NOTHING could be farther from the truth. Yet it is this fear of appearing to have failed drives far too many good working engineers into management just so they can feed, clothe and house their families. I have seen this many times over the past 30+ years. Companies tout a dual career path yet put no effort or resources into the engineering leg of that path so the path fizzles out at a modest senior level. Management makes no effort to identify, reward and keep in engineering their top engineers thereby making it look, to younger engineers, like engineering is just an entry level position for a career in management. If this mindset is to change a cultural shift must take place in the management ranks and that is unlikely to happen unless real engineers get a voice at the table. Getting an MBA does not give engineers the voice needed and is thus a monumental waste of time.

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