What Is an Engineering Management Degree?

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Explore the path to a career in engineering management, how to qualify for admission to a degree program, and the job opportunities available.

[Featured Image]: Engineering Manager discussing the latest project with design team member

An engineering management degree is an undergraduate program designed for students interested in careers in project or industrial management.  This field may be fascinating to those who enjoy problem-solving and have strong leadership skills. Explore some possible degree programs that may open opportunities in engineering management.

What is engineering management?

Engineering management combines engineering with leadership skills.  Your duties as an engineering manager include ensuring employees are working effectively and efficiently while producing a quality product. An engineering management degree will help you prepare for advancement opportunities and leadership roles.

Types of engineering management degrees

Whether pursuing a bachelor’s degree or master’s in engineering management, you’ll want to make sure the school you choose is accredited. You can check with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) to research schools you're interested in to ensure they have the proper accreditation. 

Take a look at some of the available degree programs, and research the institutions you’re interested in that offer the coursework you need to fulfill your career goals.

Get a bachelor’s.

When pursuing a bachelor's degree in engineering management, you’ll study engineering and business. Many schools require a strong science background for admissions, such as high school courses in physics and math.  You may also need to submit your high school transcript and a personal statement. Some schools might require SAT or ACT scores. Some of the types of engineering management degrees accredited by ABET include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management

  • Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Management Engineering

  • Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

  • Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management

  • Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering with a minor in management

  • Bachelor of Science in Management and Engineering Manufacturing

Engineering is a broad field and encompasses many engineering disciplines. As an engineering management student, some of the careers you can qualify for are construction management, IT management, and electrical engineering. 

Pursue a master’s.

Most graduate schools require an applicant to hold a bachelor’s degree to be considered for admission and a minimum GPA. Letters of recommendation and transcripts are often required, and some schools want to see professional experience. You may need to submit a resume and personal statement as part of your application. Specific engineering management master's degrees accredited by ABET include:

  • Master of Science in Engineering Management

  • Master of Science in Construction Engineering and Management

Consider an online degree. 

You can earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering management online from many schools. The admission requirements are sometimes the same as for traditional programs.

Online learning provides the opportunity to earn a degree at your own pace and at a lesser cost than attending in person. You’ll save on transportation, parking, and housing, and you may not need to leave your employment. Not only can you learn from anywhere in the world, but you can also earn a degree from an institution located anywhere in the world. 

Another advantage of online learning is the ability to communicate in various ways. For example, you might have video conference lectures or prerecorded videos to view at leisure. You might have discussion forums and message boards on your school’s platform, such as Canvas or Blackboard. 

You might also find more course availability online, and exam results can be immediate, so there’s no waiting for your instructor to grade papers. 

How long does it take to earn an engineering management degree? 

A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete, and a master’s degree in engineering management can take one to three years, depending on if you attend school full or part-time.

 

Online degree programs typically take two years to complete. However, some schools offer the opportunity to learn at your own pace, so you may be able to accelerate the time or take longer.

What skills are learned with an engineering management degree?

The skills you learn in an engineering management program focus on engineering and management. Upon completing a degree, you’ll be prepared to apply your acquired knowledge and skills to qualify for various positions. Among the skills you’ll learn are:

  • Finance 

  • Leadership 

  • Decision-making

  • Quality control

  • Mathematical modeling 

  • Management information systems 

  • Team building 

Reasons to earn an engineering management degree

Whether you’re thinking about a career as an engineering manager or are working as one and want to advance your career, you’ll want to consider the reasons for pursuing an engineering management career. Not only are there personal and professional rewards, but you’ll also have a degree in a versatile field. 

Work in an engineering management position.

An engineering management degree can qualify you for a career as a manager in many areas of engineering and business. If you aren’t working in a managerial position, a degree can help you advance your career goals. 

Improve your salary-earning capabilities.  

A master’s degree in engineering management can improve your earning potential. You could increase your salary and advancement opportunities. According to Salary.com, professionals with a master’s of engineering management in the US can earn up to $145,551 per year, whereas those with a bachelor’s can earn up to $144,409 per year [1]. 

Gain in-demand skills. 

A degree in engineering management can provide you with the skills necessary to succeed as an engineering manager. Some skills may include:

  • Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines

  • Ability to give construction criticism

  • Communicate effectively

  • Ability to think strategically

  • Ability to inspire and motivate team members

These are all skills that employers may seek. 

What can I do with an engineering management degree? 

A degree in engineering management offers many career options. You can work in almost any field of engineering or management. Take a look at some possible careers you might have with a degree in engineering management: 

  • Automation engineer

  • Business analyst 

  • Construction management 

  • Design engineer 

  • Director of business development

  • Electrical engineer

  • Hardware engineer 

  • IT manager

  • Manufacturing management 

  • Plant manager 

  • Structural engineer

  • Technical consultant 

Read more: What Is Team Management: Strategies, Duties, Job, Career Outlook

Next steps 

Engineering management offers many career paths, and you can earn a degree the traditional way or online. 

Explore certificate programs to enhance your college application and resume, expand your knowledge, or research the various disciplines. Consider the online Specializations Rice University offers in engineering project management and leadership development for engineers on Coursera. 

If you’re considering earning a master’s degree in engineering management, take a look at the University of Colorado-Boulder's performance-based Master of Engineering in Engineering Management you can earn online. 

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specialization

Engineering Project Management

Manage Successful Engineering Projects. Master strategies and tools to more effectively and successfully manage projects.

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BEGINNER level

Average time: 4 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

Planning, Schedule, Earned Value Management (EVMT), Project Management, Procurement, Project Charter, Project Planning, Risk Management Plan, Project Risk Management

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Master of Engineering in Engineering Management

University of Colorado Boulder

Article sources

  1. Salary.com. “Salaries for Engineering Manager with a Master's Degree or MBA, https://www1.salary.com/Salaries-for-Engineering-Manager-with-a-Masters-Degree-or-MBA." Accessed November 3, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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