Engineering management is the name given to the wide range of skills needed to plan, organize, budget, control and direct the activities and resources needed to complete technological projects. Engineering management, once considered an integrated part of the engineering profession, is now recognized as a separate professional discipline. Engineering managers have a much more extensive skill set than other professional managers. In addition to the general managerial skills such as the ability to plan and organize a project, and to direct the people involved in the effort, engineering management requires a whole additional skill set. Engineering managers must be able to assess, and in many cases, participate in, the technical and technological side of the projects.
Education for engineering management starts with a basic engineering educations. Mathematics, physics, and some area of physical science are among the general requirements. Students on this career track are also expected to study at least one of the specialized branches of engineering such as chemical, civil, structural, electrical, or mechanical engineering. The management skills such as time management, project planning, budget planning, the ability to deal with human resource issues can be studied in parallel with the rest of the engineering education or after its completion. In that way, the future engineering manager gains a specific understanding of the needs of the engineering profession as well as the additional expertise in project management, marketing, ethics and responsibilities of engineers, research and development strategies, and even the legal issues that affect the engineering profession.
Publish date: February 10, 2011