I said complete a few business courses along with your engineering courses; I did not say anything about an MBA. I still think engineering or computer science is the way to go for the future. It has worked very well for me all these years. But we do need to encourage our future engineers to keep up with changing times. A few business courses will never hurt a future engineer, that's my point.
Back in ancient times, the school I received my BSEE from had a REQUIRED course called "Engineering Economics." This introduced the concepts of life cycle costs, amortization, ROI, etc. which back then ENGINEERS were expected to include in their analyses of various proposals, etc. THAT was the 'business side" we ALL were exposed to and expected to be competent in. Many major companies then had engineers as top management. Now, of course, we all suffer the phenomenon of MBAs running things; however, there are numerous "flavors" of MBAs. The major offenders (IMHO) are the "finance" flavor types, all of whom expect to attain 8-figure compensation as their reward for surviving a year or two of graduate business school. These are the ones who think they know everything they need to know to do anything, and anyone who disgarres is an enemy to be gotten rid of as soon as possible. More than anyone else, they have presided over the precipitous decline in the state of manufacturing and many other businesses in the US over the past 3 decades or so.
Max wrote: I find this sad -- non-engineers are people too (sort of).
Engineering applauded the other departments and often cheered, especially the School of Nursing. We only booed Business. The School of Business made a feeble attempt to boo us back, but obviously the Booing Committee hadn't met to develop a Booing Policy and few biz grads wanted to take independent initiative :-)
Update: On a happier note, this was the first year the band played the "Bud Song" at graduation, which became a yearly tradition. Alert readers will immediately recognize the school :-)
I got my BSEE from a large USA univeristy. The graduation ceremony was likewise large, and part of the ceremony was that the graduates from each department were invited to rise in turn and be cheered and cheer for themselves. When the School of Business rose, the School of Engineering spontaneously booed. Wow.
I should mention that this was back when IBM still had its Full Employment Practice (i.e., no layoffs), Hewlett-Packard was still considered a great place for an engineer to work and retire from, and industry had not yet embraced the Harvard MBA concept of treating all employees as cheap commodities to be outsourced or discarded at will: "We use them and we throw them away -- like Kleenex."
Being forced to take a business course would have made me very unhappy, and I suspect most of my fellow engineering students would have felt the same way. Instead, I think the course we really need is "Defence Against the Dark Arts of MBAs" :-)
Your article does make a valid point.The problem is that many engineering students are not required to complete a business course in college.But, business is everywhere.Some engineering schools are starting to take a closer look at this.It is my hope that some college administrators are visiting this site and reading our posting.
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