An engineering management degree opens the doors to promotions, better paying jobs, and more job opportunities. However, the time commitment and costs deter many from even considering it. There people do not know, however, that it is possible to earn an engineering management degree even while working if you know the alternatives to attending a brick and mortar school. Here are 6 reasons you should consider getting an engineering management degree online.
The Flexibility It Provides
Online degrees are known for their flexibility. They generally have multiple intake dates, so you can choose when you start classes. You can attend entirely online or combine online and in-person meetings. You can also choose between attending part-time or full-time.
In many programs, you can listen to lessons and join group projects when it fits your schedule. You don’t have to attend a lecture at a set time each week. You also have more flexibility in courses and certifications, choosing the program that fits your career goals and schedule. You might specialize in supply chain management, software engineering, or IT management.
Another benefit of online education is that you can continue your education wherever you are. If you have to travel for work, whether it is a three-month assignment abroad or working in a different city every week, you can continue your master’s program unabated.
The Time Savings
Online degrees can save you time. It isn’t just the ability to take classes on your lunch break or in the evening online without having to drive to and from campus. Most online masters of engineering management programs don’t require you to do a thesis. You simply take your classes in addition to working and taking care of family.
Furthermore, many of these programs allow you to skip the GMAT or GRE. This means you don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to qualify for a master’s program. You may or may not be able to get credit for work experience, but online programs recognize the pressures working professionals are under.
This is why they allow you to apply what you learn in the classroom and use that for class credit. The project plan you created for work and the industry white paper you wrote might be reused for class. Online management programs also drop the unnecessary classes. This is why you may finish it in a year to a year and a half if studied full-time, whereas most MBA programs take two to three years.
The Ability to Attend a Better School
Online education allows you to attend a better school without having to move. For example, you could get an engineering management degree online through a university like Kettering. You can earn graduate certificates in leadership, operations management, or supply chain management, certain that employers will recognize the credential. This means you can attend a recognized program regardless of the quality (or lack thereof) of the programs in your immediate area.
The Business Opportunities It Creates
An engineering management degree prepares you to work as an engineering manager in a large firm, but that’s not the only career path available to you. An engineering management certification could help scientists and IT staff to move into management as well. This degree could prepare you to open your own firm or shift to project management instead of working on site, overseeing skilled tradespeople. You could move into business development or sales. An online degree program will connect you with other working professionals, giving you the network you need to move into a new role.
Another side benefit of being part of this student body is that most people have several years of experience in the profession. You can ask them questions about how they’re dealing with similar problems you see at work and get real world advice. Or you can leverage their expertise for projects in class or at work. You’ll also connect with a much more diverse student body. They work in a variety of fields and are often in different parts of the world. You’ll be able to tap into their experience when working on projects or discussing real-world issues. This can help you achieve more at your current job while you prepare to move to the next level.
The Systematic Teaching of Soft Skills
One of the benefits of engineering management programs in general is that they teach the soft skills many engineers lack. You may be a technical subject matter expert, but most engineers and scientists are weaker on people skills. Engineering management, however, requires managing people as well as hardware, schedules, and construction equipment.
Engineering MBA programs, including the online ones, teach you how to manage and lead people. They also teach you how to make data driven decisions, gain a holistic view of the organization and communicate your vision to others. It isn’t enough to be a problem solver as an engineering manager; you also need to know how to get others to solve problems or implement their tasks according to plan.
You’ll have the skills to manage customer relationships and deal with complex ethical dilemmas. You will be able to identify social and economic roadblocks holding your team back and resolve them as quickly as possible. Whether it is recruiting and hiring the right people or controlling the budget while working with corporate management depends on the situation.
The Lower Overall Cost
The cost savings start with the eliminated travel costs. Tuition fees are often lower for online students since schools don’t have to build and maintain infrastructure to support these students. Another benefit of online degrees is that you’ll generally be able to cash flow your education and living expenses since you can continue working full-time while earning the degree. You don’t have to give up your job to attend school online, something that adds living expenses to the overall cost of the program.
Engineering management employment is growing steadily, and companies value those who are as familiar with management as the engineering side. An engineering master’s degree is the perfect proof that you’re ready for the job, and an online degree is the ideal way to earn it.